And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” Joshua 10:25 (ESV)
Joshua uses the same words of encouragement he received from Moses and God to encourage the people to be strong and courageous as he speaks to the leaders he has just told to put the their feet on the enemy king’s necks.
We can learn from this that we to should be strong in the Lord and courageous as we battle the enemy know the enemy is under our feet. See Luke 10:19 and Romans 16:20
And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of **Merom** to fight against Israel. Joshua 11:5 (ESV)
The word Merom has the following meaning “heights, (place) on high, being in an elevated position; by extension: pride, haughtiness, arrogance, an improperly high opinion of oneself; exaltation, high in honor and status” (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words).
This helps us see a parallel truth which is that attacks will often come in the form of or from a place of pride, knowing this will help us to defeat the enemy, especially when that enemy is our own prideful flesh. We can win the battle by humbling ourselves. See 1 Peter 5:6
Just as the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses. Joshua 11:15 (ESV)
Joshua like Jesus finished the work he had been sent to do (John 17:4). This gives us a great example of determined faithfulness, we should not procrastinate but wholly follow the Lord and finish the work he has called each of us to do.
Take time today to stop and think about anything the Lord has called you to do which you have left half done, determine in your heart to finish it, pray, make a plan and finish it. See Paul’s resolve in Acts 20:24
For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses. Joshua 11:20 (ESV)
God hardens the heart of these people like he did to Pharaoh to accomplish his purpose, this was not open or random. God was orchestrating these coalitions so they could be judged and destroyed by Joshua.
In the same way in Gods sovereign plan, the hearts of the leaders were hardened against Jesus leading to the cross and ultimate victory. God is so sovereign he even uses the wicked, stubborn and cold in heart to be a part of the wider accomplishment of His plans. See Romans 9:18
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)
The false teachers that had come against Paul in Corinth were doing the work of Satan by seducing the church with a new “false / inadequate” gospel. In the same way that Jesus is the last Adam, the Church is the last Eve.
Like the narrative in the garden we (the church) need to guard ourselves from the the type of seducing deception which lured Eve into apostasy.
Again this is a battle for the minds of the body of Christ, it is the thoughts of the church that Satan seeks to lead astray form single-mindedness in Christ. We must defend the biblical and orthodox interpretation of the scriptures and the Gospel handed down to us form those who went on before.
We should fully embrace the idea of being the bride of Christ and so be faithful in our thoughts and resulting actions to our loving husband Christ.
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV)
Paul was being very clear here. Jesus, Spirit and Gospel are each core elements of our Faith.
The true Jesus Christ who was crucified and rose from the dead. The True Holy Spirit given as a gift from God as the fulfilment of promise and the pledge of inheritance. The real Gospel of forgiveness and reconciliation in Christ.
Paul knew that these three elements stand or fall together. “Another Jesus” would mean a “different Spirit,” since the Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9 and Philippians. 1:19), and a “different gospel,” since the gospel is about Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:12 and 9:13).”
In Paul’s time the different Gospel likely focused on health and wealth, possibly along the lines “The more law you keep the more blessed you will be” As these opponents were opposed to Paul’s message of weakness, suffering and servanthood in Christ.
Today we too must guard against false Gospels which distort the message, we deal with this in the WWMF production “The Gospel”
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Psalm 51:4 (ESV)
We must take responsibility for our own sin and recognise we have sinned against God. Our culture subtly teaches us that it is never ultimately our fault… but it is
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (ESV)
As we mentioned earlier, cast pride aside and humbly bow before God