I read about a lady that had many small t's and p's written in her Bible in the margins. Someone asked, "What does the little 't' and 'p' mean that I see so often in your Bible?" ''Oh,'' she explained, "Those are verses that I have tried and proven."
The Word of God does not mean much to any Christian unless it has become personal. In making it ours we "try" and "prove" many verses and portions by application in daily life. I am reminded of the song, "Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." In the practical daily reading and obeying of God's Word we learn to trust and obey. It is by this means that God's Word becomes tried and proven in our lives. Paul reminds us that we "must prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God"
Now let's see how God's Word was tested and proven in this portion of the book of Joshua. Also, many other wonderful lessons for us today are seen in what may first appear to be dull reading.
I. Jabin and His Confederacy Prepare. 11:1-5
A. We see another alliance forms.
1. Jabin had heard about what had taken place with the alliance of the five kings of the Amorites.
2. He heard how God intervened and caused the Sun to stand still until the battle was Israel's.
3. He had heard…but he hadn't learned anything, because he assembled another alliance to come against Israel.
4. The enemies of God are obviously not too bright…they assumed that God's people could be defeated by a larger alliance.
5. Note: v4 'And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.'
1Sa 14:6b "…There is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few."
B. As believers, we also face a variety of enemies.
1. The world, the flesh, and the devil.
2. Any one or a combination of our enemies could defeat us if we fail to rely upon God.
3. The same was true for Israel…their only hope was to continue to trust in the One who had brought them victory in the past.
II. God Encourages and Gives Victory. 11:6-14
A. God's encouragement. v6a
1. 'Be not afraid of them…'
2. Fear will defeat us, but, like Joshua we have God's encouragement to overcome the fear.
2Ti 1:7a For God hath not given us the spirit of fear…
Joh 14:27b …Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Heb 13:6b …I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
B. God's promises. v6b
1. "…I will deliver…"
2. Their horses would be 'hamstrung' and their chariots burned.
3. God knows how to take care of our enemies!
Ps 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
4. God promises victory to us as well.
Ro 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
2Co 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
C. God's victory experienced. v7-14
1. Utter extermination was literally carried out.
2. The victory was complete… "he utterly destroyed them…neither left they any to breathe".
3. God's victory for Israel was His judgment upon the ungodly nations of Canaan.
III. Continued Conflict and Complete Victory 11:15-23
A. Continued conflict.
1. As Joshua was victorious over the enemies of God, there would arise new conflicts.
2. Life for God is a continual battle.
3. One day the conflict will be settled forever, but until then we face daily battles with our enemies.
4. But we do so with the promise of victory!
B. Complete victory comes with complete obedience.
1. Joshua was acting in obedience to God's will.
2. Note a repeated phrase.
a. "…And Joshua did unto them as the Lord bade him:" v9
b. "And he utterly destroyed them, as Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded." v12
c. "As the Lord commanded Moses, his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses." v15
d. "So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord said unto Moses…" v23
3. Complete victory is directly dependent upon complete obedience.
4. As a result, in v23 we are told that the land rested from war!
Chapter twelve recounts the victories over the various kingdoms. It serves as a reminder to us that God keeps His promises! His Word is precious to us when it is tried and proven! Are we walking in victory or are we living defeated lives? The difference is in our obedience to His Word. We are told to…