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Faith is the victory

During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah. When Joshua heard that they had been found, he issued this command: “Cover the opening of the cave with large rocks, and place guards at the entrance to keep the kings inside. The rest of you continue chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t give them a chance to get back to their towns, for the Lord your God has given you victory over them... Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told. “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.” Joshua 10:16-25 NLT

God’s judgment was swift. For the Canaanites, there was no escaping from God’s wrath. It was God who fought for Israel; “As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah” (v. 12). The whole artillery of heaven open fired. Though the Israelites were in close proximity running after the fleeing soldiers, no hailstorm fell on them. Since Joshua wanted the fight to be over before the night fell, God demonstrated His power over creation. “So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies” (v. 13). God responded to Joshua’s prayer when he stood before the Israelites. God accomplished His purpose by revealing His power as a response to Joshua’s prayer. The fear of the Lord had fallen upon the land and people were awed to silence. “After that, no one dared to speak even a word against Israel” (v. 21). When the Israelites defeated the fleeing armies of the Canaanites, they went back to the cave where the five kings were hiding. Few hours before, they stood before their armies to rally them to gain back Gibeon and punish the Gibeonites because they surrendered to the Israelites. Then, when they realized the power of God, they fled for their lives. Now they find themselves facing God’s wrath. Joshua had no choice but to follow God’s command. “When the Lord your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them” (Deuteronomy 7:2). Joshua then delivered the word of encouragement; “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged...Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies” (Joshua 10:25). Joshua emphasized to them that the battle was won because of the Lord and that they should not boast in their achievements. “So Joshua conquered the whole region—the kings and people of the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes. He completely destroyed everyone in the land, leaving no survivors, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded” (v. 40). All the victories were obtained “for the Lord, the God of Israel, was fighting for his people (v, 42). It was faith in God that brought about the victories. “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4 NKJV).



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