April 29 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 11: 21-23
Updated: Apr 30
Jos 11:21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. :22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained. :23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.
We noticed yesterday that God had given them victory over all their enemies, and all though that was the last big battle there were still going to be pockets of resistance and enemies hiding out in the corners and mountains of Canaan Land. This enemy mentioned in our verses today, the Anakims, are a group of people that have cause much debate in the bible communities. There are to many theories as to origin of these people but what is certain is that they were the sons of Anak. These were a race of giants. Notice verse 22, Gath is mentioned. Gath, hmmm, does that ring a bell? That's right, Goliath of GATH. These were the ancestors of that most famous enemy of God, Goliath. Another thing that is certain is that these were the giants that caused Israels faith to fail the 1st time they spied out the land in the book of Deuteronomy. Do you remember the report given? Deu 1:28 Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Another certainty is that in your bible you'll never find a good giant. Their always the enemy of God, I believe the reason for this is their origin which I will save for another time. When considering these giants we know that they would be the most formidable opponents also that they would be the ones that could cause the most fear and intimidation. They were no longer fighting against mere men with swords and horses and chariots but against something more than a natural man. Imagine fighting a army of Goliaths. To make it worse that weren't doing battle in open fields but rather in the mountains and caves of Israel. This, I believe, is the reason why this was one of there fights at the end of their military campaign. You wouldn't expect to send a bunch of soldiers directly out of boot camp(Gilgal) into the hardest and most difficult battle. By this time they had gained not only experience in warfare but also strength and most importantly faith in God.
Now lets try to apply this to ourselves. Even when our biggest battles are over with, there will always be pockets of resistance and enemies that we'll have to fight along the way. There are those that believe that Christians reach a level of sinless perfection before they die. This simply is not true. From the time of our second birth to the time of our physical death there will be sin, self, and satan all along the way, but let's look at the progression of battles that took place. Gilgal wasn't a battle against the enemy but a place where they had to deal with self. Then the series of battles are against the cities and kings of Canaan land, while these were hard battles they were natural men, then in our verses the enemy is even greater and not even natural men. Do you see how as their journey progresses their enemies become more formidable? This is the case in our journey as a Christian. You'll first have to deal with your own flesh. Remember what Jesus said: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Then we begin our battle with the sins that doth so easily beset us. We begin to see that those sins no longer have the right to sit on the thrones of our Canaan land. Let me pause here and say that often times young Christians make a misstep here. Instead of dealing with self first they want to tackle the sins first. You'll not be prepared to tackle sin until you've tackled self first. Then you get to a place where God has given you victory over those sins that did so easily beset you in the past and there is a danger of relaxing and thinking that the battle is over, not so. Our enemies become bigger than before, more hid out than before and more dreadful than before. I Heard a preacher say this one time: " New levels, New Devils". Our Canaan will never be free from battles and enemies until Christ sits on the throne of this earth. You know Israel never had complete peace until David was on the throne. I believe that this earth will not have peace until Christ( The root of David) sits on the throne of this earth in the millennial reign, but until then there will be battles there will be fights, there will be enemy. Lastly we'll notice that it wasn't Joshua's victories that are commemorated in chapter 12. It is his obedience to follow what God had told Moses. His obedience was celebrated more than his victory because it was the source of his victory. Notice again our verse: So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses.... It was by obedience that Joshua won the victory over Canaan. It was by obedience that Christ won the victory over death, hell and the grave and it will be by obedience that we will conquer our Canaan. Notice the last part of the verse now: Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war. Joshua didn't only win the war for his self but for all of Israel. He gave what he had to his brothers and sisters. Christ didn't defeat death. hell and the grave for only His self but he shares it with his brothers and sisters(me and you) We are joint heirs with Christ according to Romans 8. God doesn't help us to overcome a battle with sin only for our sake or a battle with self or a battle with satan. When we've been through something it often times allows us to pass our experience on to another brother or sister who need instruction and encouragement in their own conquest of Canaan. The take away is this: 1. There will always be battles in your conquest of Canaan. When the battles become smaller the enemies will some time become bigger. Their enemies at the beginning were small but the battles were large, but by the time we get to the end of chapter 12 the battles aren't as big but the enemy is much bigger. 2. Obedience is the key to victory in your christian life. Joshua defeated the large enemies as easily as the small ones and it started with his obedience in Deuteronomy when he and Caleb said this is a good land which The Lord does give us and in Chapter 12 his obedience has brought victory after victory and it's not the victories that are celebrated but his obedience. 3. Share your victories(and you failures) with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Joshua didn't hoard the spoils and land won but he shared them with Israel. Christ didn't win the victory for himself only but he shares it with His people. God expects you to tell your story, give your testimony. Don't hoard the victories God has given you to yourself. Tell others that there is victory in Jesus!! Trust and obey for there is no other way!! Onward Christian Soldiers!!