Day 17: Joshua 11:16-23
….and they said it couldn’t be done….
In today’s reading the writer is looking at how far Israel has come and giving a review and assessment of what they have achieved since arriving in Canaan, the land God had promised to them. Vast areas of land and many cities had been taken.
But looking back to the time when Israel had not long been rescued from Egypt and were still in the wilderness, Moses had commissioned 12 spies to enter Canaan and report back on what they saw and indeed confirm that it was “a land flowing with milk and honey”.
Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, returned full of faith and praise for the land believing that they could possess the land with God fighting for them but the other 10 returned fearful and unbelieving. They swayed the nation, magnifying the opposition, seeing huge giants, city walls up to heaven and seeing themselves as mere grasshoppers! It couldn’t be done they said.
But what had God said? While the Israelite nation was still in Egypt God had made promises to them. Exodus 6 v.6-8 records them.
- I will bring you out from under the cruel hard labour of Egypt.
- I will rescue you from slavery.
- I will redeem you, intervening with great acts of judgment.
- I will take you as my own people.
- I will be God to you.
- I will bring you into the land that I promised to give Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- I will give it to you as your own country.
Coming back to today’s passage, we see that God had totally fulfilled His promises. All that He had promised was accomplished. Many said it couldn’t be done but it had been done! You see, when God says “I will…” there is no power in heaven or on earth that can stop Him. We may delay it happening as the Israelites did but God’s promises cannot be broken.
There are two amazing “I will” in the New Testament that Jesus spoke. “I will build my church” and “I will come again”. I love those.
In Exodus 6 verses 6-8 we read the great promises that God made but the following verse says that the people did not listen to what God had said. How vital it is that we are hearing what God is saying to us. Faith is birthed within us as we hear what God is saying to us. Whether it is the preached word, through reading the Bible or whatever way God speaks, we need to hear what He is saying to us.
If we are to possess all that God has for us there are three things we must do.
- Hear what God says
- Believe what God says
- Move forward in response to what God says
In other words, doing exactly what Caleb and Joshua did. ….with God it can be done….