From about 1500BC to about 1050BC Israel struggled with the JEBUSITES, until David defeated them. David actually turned Jebus, the capital of the JEBUSITES, into the capital of Israel! Jebus is Jerusalem.
During the days of Conquest (Joshua 15:63):
"Now as for the JEBUSITES, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the JEBUSITES live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day."
During the entire period of Judges (Judges 3:5)
"The sons of Israel lived among the… JEBUSITES."
At the time of Israel's United Kingdom (2 Samuel 5:6-10):
"Now the king [David] and his men went to Jerusalem against the JEBUSITES, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, 'You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away'; thinking, 'David cannot enter here.' Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David.…So David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. David became greater and greater, for the LORD God of hosts was with him."
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
"But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance;
the LORD, the God of Israel, is their inheritance,
as He had promised to them."
How would you feel if Joshua gave farms to all your friends,
but to you he said, "You are getting God instead of a farm."?
How you feel about your inheritance depends upon how you feel about your God.
"From men of the world, whose portion is in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your treasure;
They are satisfied with children,
And leave their abundance to their babes.
As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake."
For Levi, for David and for ______ the Lord is more than enough!
God's Command in Joshua 11:6 (also similarly in Deuteronomy):
"Then the LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow at this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.'"
Joshua's complete obedience in Joshua 11:9:
"Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him; he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire."
David's partial obedience in 2 Samuel 8:4:
"David captured from him 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers; and David hamstrung the chariot horses, but reserved enough of them for 100 chariots."
Solomon's total disobedience in 1 Kings 4:26:
"Solomon had 40,000 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen."
God's Commentary in Psalms 33:17:
"A horse is a false hope for victory;
Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength."
Are you trusting in the Lord or in your own strength?
"The LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.'"
Joshua 10 records the victories of Israel over the southern half of Canaan.
Earlier Jericho and Ai were defeated using God's specific strategies, one march around the city until the walls fall, and the other a decoy and ambush. There was so little of the servant in Jericho and Ai. The victories were all of God.
God seemed to be working for his servants.
In contrast, the south was won by the strenuous extended labor of God's servants. It was a battle of brute force. It was a swift sustained battle over several days. The miracle of God in the south was to extend the servants' work day and strengthen them, so that the servants could complete their task.
God seemed to be working with His servants.
Joshua 10:14; "The LORD fought for Israel." It was the Lord who gave success. Sometimes the Lord gives victories, and very little is seen of His servants. Sometimes the Lord gives victories through the blood of His servants. In both cases, it is the Lord who fights for us. It is the Lord who gives the victory.
Work as if the battle depends upon you.
Trust as if the battle depends on God alone.
It is God alone who gives the victory.
Prayer: Lord God, strengthen my hands and lengthen my day to do the work that is before me. Do the work for me that must be done that I cannot do. I will thank you, because the victory is from you alone.
"Now behold, we [Gibeonites] are in your hands; do as it seems good and right in your sight to do to us."
I'm on their side! I'm with Gibeon. They lied their way into the mercy of God! Not everyone comes to God in the right way. The Gibeonites knew that they were under a death sentence. They knew they could not win a war with Israel. They were all about to die. They really really needed and wanted God's mercy, but it was not offered to them. They were all dead men, women and children before God. They tricked Israel into giving them mercy. Good job!
Maybe if you saw you were a dead man, woman or child, you would run to God for mercy. The Bible says without Jesus, you are dead, and you are about to be even deader. After your body dies, God has another death for your resurrection body, your soul and your spirit--the whole you separated from God forever.
The good news is that today God's mercy is not hidden. God opened a door for you to the mercy of God. Jesus is the door to all of God's mercy. If you come to Jesus today, God will not punish you. That is mercy. If you come to Jesus today, God will give you mercy and grace. Grace is giving you all the riches of God. He will make you a son or daughter of God, and give you all the riches that God can give a son or daughter.
The Gibeonites only received mercy. God never made a Gibeonite a son of God. They received mercy but not grace. Today, God offers you both mercy and grace when you come to the living Lord Jesus.
Why are you waiting?
"There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before ALL THE ASSEMBLY of Israel with the women and the LITTLE ONES and the strangers who were living among them."
1 Thessalonians 5:27
"I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to ALL THE BRETHREN."
What did the "little ones" understand when the Law was read by Joshua? Precious little. How still and attentive were the little ones? Not very. Did they have a children's Bible? No, they gave the children the same words that the children would be hearing when they became adults. The principle was that the children, not the words of Scripture must change.
2 Timothy 3:15
"FROM CHILDHOOD YOU HAVE KNOWN THE SACRED WRITINGS which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."
Someone printed a children's Bible. Someone printed a teen Bible. Someone printed a young mothers' Bible. There is a Bible for alcoholics, soldiers, fathers and husbands. Why doesn't someone just invent a Bible for everyone?! Wouldn't that be easier?
No, it would not be easier to have the same Bible for everyone. A Bible for everyone would never really fit anyone. The burden for change would be shifted from the Bible to the Reader. It would make every age group and interest group uncomfortable. It would be like looking into a mirror and not liking the image. It would require dictionaries and study tools. It would require long patient and sometimes unfruitful explanations to children on the part of parents. Children would be forced to ask adults questions. Adults would have to invest precious adult time trying to teach children. No one at any age would ever feel like they arrived at a place where change was unnecessary.
In the words of one uncomfortable Bible reader, "Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)"
Big city, big army. Little city, little army! It makes sense.
Man said -- Joshua 7:3
"They returned to Joshua and said to him, 'DO NOT LET ALL THE PEOPLE go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few.'"
God said -- Joshua 8:1
"Now the LORD said to Joshua, 'Do not fear or be dismayed. TAKE ALL THE PEOPLE of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.'"
Ai was a small city. Why send a large army to small city? It seemed right. It was common sense. It was wrong!
There is nothing wrong with common sense. BUT common sense is limited by human sense. Human sense can only judge based on what it sees, hears, feels, smells and tastes. It is only as smart as its own limited history.
God's wisdom is not limited by anything human. God sees, but God sees the heart of men. He saw Achan stealing in Jericho. God sees every deed of man. God sees the past perfectly, and God sees the future completely.
How do you know? You don't know, but God knows. God has opened a throne of grace for us to receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. God teaches us to ask Him when we lack wisdom, when we need to make a decision, and he will not be angry. He will give a generous answer if we surrender our common sense to God.
Life was so much easier before I crossed this river!
"Joshua said, 'Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan!'"
Life was good in Moab at 90%. Things went well before we crossed the river. Now that we have gone 100% for God, everything has gone bad! Why did we every cross the river into Canaan?! Moab was the fun side!
When you crossed the river from Moab to Canaan, from 90% to 100%, what did you expect would happen? The standard has been raised. If you want Canaan at 100%, you give 100% and God expects 100%. On the Canaan side of the river, God does not give you an allowance of 10% for self. The Moab side of the Jordan is where "righteous Lot" was comfortable with his 10% of self. On the Canaan side, one piece of cloth from Babylon spoils the whole garment. A few coins from God's treasury to mine brings the auditor to my door. One insignificant battle without taking counsel from God costs many lives.
"From everyone who has been given much, much will be required;
and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."
In Israel everyone crossed the Red Sea, but not everyone crossed the Jordan.
"Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in."
Jericho's walls shut in the wicked for judgment. God's walls shut in the righteous for salvation. They are walls of salvation, walls of peace, walls of love, walls of protection; and the Shepherd Himself keeps the door.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
May they prosper who love you.
May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, "May peace be within you."
In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
"We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks.
Joshua 5:5 Circumcision
For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
Joshua 5:10 Passover
While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho.
If you had to go back to the basics what would it be? For the Jews, circumcision and Passover were the basics. For Christians it would be baptism and the breaking of bread, the Lord's Supper. The four ceremonies are not the same, but they are comparable. Baptism is a public statement that God has taken a believer out of death and placed him in Christ; he is saved. Circumcision is a statement that a child has been removed from the Gentiles and placed in the body of Judaism with its covenants and privileges. The Lord's Supper with the bread and wine remembers the Lamb and His work on the cross. The Passover remembers the work of the lamb and looks forward to the work of the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. They are not the same, but they are comparable.
They are the same in one important way. They are the basics for Christianity and the basics of Judaism. Even a casual reading of the Old Testament and a casual reading of the New Testament would lead you to this conclusion.
Judaism tried to be Judaism while ignoring the basics, no circumcision in 40 years and apparently no Passover in 38 years. They celebrated on Passover during their first two years at Sinai.
Christianity for the better part of 2000 years has tried to be Christianity while ignoring the basics. Baptism had been repackaged as a way of salvation for some and a ceremony for babies for others. Baptism as the Bible teaches it has been lost to Christianity. It is the basics, and it is clearly understandable from the Bible. The church has simply ignored the Book. The Lord's Supper for the largest denomination of Christianity has been defiled and degraded into a magical pagain ceremony. The biblical symbol has become pagan superstition. For the minority of the church, the Lord's Supper is a once a month or quarter soulless ceremony for what was once the complete occupation of believers each Sunday.
How can you lose the basics when they are so "basic"? It happens every time you ignore the Book.
For me to live is Christ.