Sometimes you need more time…
Anyone else get phone calls that it is now time to purchase an extended warranty for your car? It is so common that it’s become a joke. My mother-in-law even gets the calls – as does my 95 year-old mother. And neither of them even own a car anymore! I think it’s time we do something about it.
Extended Deception Time
Our miracle from Joshua 10 won’t make sense without the background of chapter 9, so let’s take a second to look there first.
After the defeat of Jericho and Ai, word had spread about this marching multitude and their powerful God. The Gibeonites from only 25 miles away had also heard about God’s law that all the Canaanites must be destroyed. They came up with a plan to secure their survival. Their deception was very detailed:
- What they did: They used God’s law in a perverted way to achieve their goal. Even Satan knows Scriptures, and he wields it like a weapon against us.
- What they said: A– They were from far away (Joshua 9:6 & 9:9) . But it was only 25 miles.; B– They started the journey with fresh bread, but so much time had passed it was now stale and moldy. (v.12) Seemingly verifiable with just a glance. Dirty clothes. Moldy bread.; C– They were important envoys seeking peace (v. 9:8 & 9:11) Instead they wanted to protect themselves at any cost.; D– They claimed to be Joshua’s servants, but they didn’t want to obey. Their only desire was to fool him.; E– They came in the name of the LORD (v. 9:9). But God had nothing to do with it.
If Joshua had consulted God about the matter in a time of prayer, he would have saved himself a lot of trouble.
But he didn’t. Josh and the leaders took a logical approach, and the “father of lies” won – for a time – when Joshua made a treaty with them. This was a clear violation of God’s command. And because they had a treaty, they could not attack/destroy them when they learned the truth.
One thing about this treaty was that Israel was now committed to protecting their new yet deceptive friends. So when FIVE different kings – the king of Jerusalem plus 4 others – gathered their armies to attack the Gibeonites, the Gibeonites cried out to Israel in their time of need.
Five armies against Israel’s new warriors who only have 2 battles under their belts. Let’s take a minute to review those victories:
- Seven days of marching at Jericho. Then the walls fall down to give Joshua instant access.
- Ai defeated Israel the first time because a single man took spoils from Jericho despite God’s clear instructions to give Him everything. After God ID’s and punishes the culprit, His battle plan uses the previous defeat to their advantage: A – attack again, but…; B – have a 2nd group set up as an ambush on the opposite side of town; C – After this new attack, run away again. Their army will follow; D – Have the 2nd team take the city because it will now be undefended; E – God commanded Joshua to extend his hand with his javelin toward the city. With this signal, the ambush began. They rushed the city and set it on fire; F – Ai’s battle force saw the smoke and turned back. Now trapped between 2 Israelite forces, they were defeated.
Time for a New Victory
Now Joshua brings his entire army to defend those who had tricked and manipulated him. His treaty forced him into protective detail against the 5 invading kings. The Israelite army marched all night so their attack would be a surprise. (Joshua 10:9). And, boy, was it a surprising day:
- God confused the enemy to the point that they ran (v.10)
- God threw large hailstones on them as they fled. More died from hail than by swords (v11). The stones only hit the enemy. Imagine that! The first “Smart Weapons!”
- With Joshua’s prayer before Israel, the sun and moon stopped for almost an additional day. God gave them extra time! (v 13)
- 5 kings were defeated in a single battle! This included conquering Jerusalem, God’s chosen location for His future temple.
What this means for me:
- People aren’t always what they seem. I need to proceed with caution – AND PRAYER – before entering into business with someone new.
- I can’t rely on logic above faith. Obedience in the face of seemingly impossible situations is God’s time to shine!
- Even when I mess up, God still expects me to meet my obligations to others.
- God can use impossible situations to further His plan on His timetable. A single battle to defeat 5 of God’s enemies? That’s a God thing!
- I can use both previous successes and failures to formulate new battle strategies.
- God listens to our prayers. When I know/see evidence that God is working with me on something and the results are more than I could imagine, I need Joshua’s confidence to pray GIANT prayers of faith to extend the time available to me.
Thanks for stopping by today.
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