Joshua 11:16 – 12:24 – Remembering the Faithfulness of God

Life can seem so ordinary so much of the time, can’t it? Nothing terribly significant seems to be happening. We are wrapped up in the details of our lives, important as they no doubt are. The days pass, the months, and then the years, but we are not conscious, or are hardly conscious, of the fact that we are, day by day, taking the Promised Land; that we are drawing closer and closer to the day when it shall be completely ours. We fail to see that this thing that happened, that thing the Lord did for us, this person he brought into our lives, this encounter we had with him or with her, the way we were able to serve him in this way or that, that piece of obedience, that act of repentance, that sacrifice of Christian love, those words of witness, were, as it were, the taking of Debir or of Adullam. Just as the unbelieving world is unaware that their kingdom is being taken from them and that they are inexorably moving ever closer to their final and complete defeat, so we can be all too often unaware that our lives, that every Christian life, is a reproduction of Israel’s conquest of Canaan.

Where lies our failure? What is missing? Well, one thing that is missing, one thing that keeps us from a living sense of what we are doing and where we are going is a lack of such a list as we find here in chapter 12. What we far too often lack, you and I, is a detailed itemization of the Lord’s goodness to us, of the victories that have already been won, of the cities already taken, of the extent to which the Promised Land lies already under our feet.

Well that was what the narrator here, the author of Joshua was doing. He was counting the Lord’s blessings, literally, one by one. The king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, one; the king of Tirzah, one. Joshua 12 is a specimen of counting the blessings of the Lord one by one. And in so doing it is certainly recommending the same practice to us.
If you stopped to think about your life, carefully and with a Bible in your hand, you would realize how many of those promises are fulfilled in your life every single day. But we remain largely unaware because we do not stop to give thanks, because we have not trained ourselves to acknowledge the victories of God in our own lives.

Imagine an Israelite soldier hearing this list read out for the first time. Perhaps he was still recovering from his wounds suffered in one of those battles. Perhaps his father was a soldier in the war of conquest. With what gratitude and pride and happiness he would listen as one city after another is listed as having fallen to the Israelite army, as he was reminded of how the Lord kept his Word and gave his people the land he had promised their ancestor Abraham.

Well so with us. We can so easily see and feel our troubles — the weariness of those many battles — but to hear the roll call of conquered cities should lift our spirits wonderfully. These victories in Canaan foreshadow the daily victories of the ordinary Christian life and the ultimate victory of all Christians and the Christian church when the kingdom of God has vanquished all its opposition in this world. Brothers and sisters, let us be grateful; let us aspire to be much more grateful than we are for the innumerable blessings that are lavished on us twenty-four hours a day and every day of the week as we participate in this conquest of the Promised Land.

Robert Rayburn

Read Joshua 11:16-12:24 and notice God’s faithfulness to bring his people in and to give them the land. In what ways are you tempted to forget God’s faithfulness? Take some time now to remember a few of his gracious gifts to you and how he has been faithful to keep his promises.

Hallelujah, What A Savior by Aaron Ivey

Posted on: August 30, 2019 - 11:33PM

Comments are closed.