Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 26, 2015

“Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.”

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 10.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+10&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, “Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.”  7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors.  8 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.”  9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.  11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died;  there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is it not written in the book of Jashar?  And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.

22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring these five kings out to me from the cave.”  23 They did so, and brought these five kings out to him from the cave:  the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon.  24 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.”  So they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua then said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed!  Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.”  26 So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees;  and they hung on the trees until evening.”  Joshua Chapter 10:  Verses 6-14 and 22-26.

——————–

We remember the vivid promise of the LORD to Israel such as in Exodus 23:20-28 and other places of Scripture. 

“20 “Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Be on your guard before him and obey his voice;  do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him.  22 But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.  23 For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites;  and I will completely destroy them.  24 You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds;  but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces.  25 But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.  26 There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.  27 I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you.  28 I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you.”     Exodus 23:20-28.

And, even in today’s Scripture, we see the repetition of encouragement and promises, some by the LORD directly and a reminder by Joshua.  “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.” Verse 8.  “Joshua then said to them, “Do not fear or be dismayed!  Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.”  Verse 25.

We also see the vivid action of the LORD as partial fulfillment of His promise:  “… the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died;  there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.”  Verse 11.

And, what could be a more vivid action by the LORD than holding up the sun so it did not set for about a whole day?!  Verses 13 and 14.  This was vivid in two senses.  First, how could anyone deny that it was a miracle?!  Second, the extra light showed forth all the LORD was doing in fighting for Israel.

We also see vivid action by Joshua when he commanded:  “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings”.  Verse 24.

The lesson for us today is that we will read Scripture that both gives promises and encouragement and we will also see the hand of the LORD in partial fulfillment of His promises.  Let us take heed and go forth this Monday and every day, trusting God’s promises, seeing God partially fulfill His promises, and following His advice to be strong and courageous.  

Let us also be more observant about how God helps us.  God may not throw hailstones on our enemies, but He will surely help us in ways that He will make us notice and in ways that He will assure our hearts.  Let us treasure these “helps” even when they are small.  Let us remember them.

Write down what God did for you.  Sing a song or write a poem like Joshua did when He spoke to the LORD in praise:

“O sun, stand still at Gibeon,
And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.”  Verses 12 and 13.

In conclusion, be glad in the LORD and rejoice! 

“7 You are my hiding place;  You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”  Psalm 32:7-11.


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