Conquering the Land

This week we are looking at Joshua chapters 10-12 as Israel continues to press on to conquer the land that God has given them to possess. When Joshua remembers to consult the Lord, we see that he is victorious. Ongoing warfare in which the Israelites had to engage to secure the land,  required fortitude and persistence. Last week we discussed the part that deception played in causing the Israelites to fail. I want to take this one step further in a deeper understanding of why it is important for us to hear from God and obey Him. Deception slips in when we forget to do so.

Inherent in the definition of the word deceive is that it is multi-faceted.  We can be deceived by believing a lie, or be deceived by simply not paying attention, or perhaps by overlooking what is obvious. The definition of deceive is:

To cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage. 

Deception at its core, operates from a need for self-preservation. Fear is likely deception’s companion helping to add fuel to the fire. Fear opens the door to actions based on emotion and not facts. In the ninth chapter of Joshua, we see this happening. Joshua has led the Israelites into the Promised Land; the land promised by God to them and their newly formed nation. The Jordan River miraculously parted and the Israelites crossed over onto the banks of Gilgal. The first fortified city to conquer was Jericho, and God once again gave His instructions. They were a bit unconventional, and after marching around the wall of Jericho 7 times the city was taken. A great victory!

But the cycle of victory to defeat continues when one man defies God’s commands and steals some of the devoted things– those things that God said not to take from their defeated enemy. The result was their defeat at the battle of Ai.


This is a pattern we all face in our lives. We are most vulnerable when we have had a victory in our lives. Perhaps we get overly confident and forget what God has done or what God has told us to do. Perhaps we let our guard down after victory. The story of the Israelites defeating their enemies and taking possession of the land that God gave them, is indeed a story of back and forth victory and defeat.

And that would be our never ending story too But Jesus, our Savior took on our pattern of sin with its pattern of defeat. Sin entered with Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden. and made us vulnerable to a lifetime of exhausting pattern of victory and then defeat. Jesus came that we might have life abundant and HIS VICTORY on the cross disarmed our enemy sin and placed us in the arms of a Savior giving us entrance to a new way of living

Thanks be to God that while we were yet sinners He sent His only Son… that we who believe will have everlasting life. And that we have victory because of the finished work of the cross. If you are finding yourself on the merry-go-round of victory and defeat, hold on to Jesus. Turn to Him at every crossroads and He will make your path straight.

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