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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Joshua 11:23 "And the land rested from war"

Joshua 11:23b ...." And the Land rested from war."

Joshua chapter 6-11 is the military campaign of Israel in Cannan land. God had given them the promised land but they were required to go and fight for it. in the wilderness, they had been a people of walking but in the promised land, they were going to be a people of war. So it is with the Christian soldiers, that there are exceeding great and precious promises but the flesh, the Devil, and the world will do their best to disrupt this peace promised to us. As I read through the accounts of these various battles that Israel fought I was reminded of battles I have fought. 

Jericho was a miraculous victory, God gave them a plan, they executed it and the walls fell and they took the city. There have been some battles that God providentially and powerfully gave me victory over. Some sins that would have marred my peace and enjoyment of God's promises just fell before his mighty power, but it has not been the case for every one of my battles. 

Ai was a different story, They ran up to Ai presumptuously, and they found out that they weren't near as capable of defeating the weakest of enemies without the touch of God. It was not tall walls and chariots that defeated them but sin in their camp. They rooted out the sin and thank God in chapter eight they got a second chance at defeating Ai. I was reminded of all those besetting sins that have troubled me over the years. Those things didn't just fall away but had to be rooted out, searched out, and dealt with harshly. Thanks be to God that he gives us second chances and we can overcome those things that have defeated us in the past. 

Chapter nine introduces us to the only successful enemy over the Israelites, the Gibeonites. They were successful because they worked "Willily." They came with old clothes and bread, appealed to the mercy of Joshua and Israel, and conquered them by their trickery. It may not seem like conquering, the Gideonites were made servants, but rest assured it was a victory. Satan has a short game and a long game, if he can't defeat us today he will be content to defeat us years from now. So it was with these groups that Israel never totally put out, in the Book of Judges we find that many times the ones who were servants to Israel begin to Lord over Israel. This reminds me of those "Little sins" that we think we have a grip on. We like to think that they serve us but eventually, we will be serving it. When Strength won't work Satan will employ trickery and that is a far greater danger. "Be sober be vigilant for your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion."

Chapters 10 and 11 are the hottest battles that Israel had to fight, the kings begin to make leagues. Banding together to fight against Israel but no matter their number, their strength, or their tactic they are all defeated. One of my favorite scenes is in chapter 10 when Joshua puts his foot on the necks of those kings, hangs them on a tree throws them in a tomb, and seals it with a stone "Until this day." What a wonderful picture of what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross,  he was "made sin for us." Our sin was hung on a tree in the man Jesus Christ, Our sin was buried in a sealed tomb, in the man Jesus Christ. Jesus came out of that tomb but our enemy is there until this day. Our sin was buried never to be remembered again. That is how Our Heavenly Joshua defeated our enemies, now he charges us to go on conquering the defeated enemy. 

Lastly, we come to the close of this section of the book. I love how it sums up these years of fighting, "And the land rested from war." Mark the words carefully, not that they rest from battles but from war. You will find in the following chapters that there were still Amorites hiding out in the mountains, and there were still pockets of resistance scattered about but the war was over. Dear Christian, I remember the days that I enlisted in the Lord's army. There were Battles that I honestly did not know that I would survive, there have been defeats, sins, wounds, and trickery but the one place that I visit often for refreshing is the cross of Calvary and the empty tomb. These are reminders that the war is over, Our captain has won, we may fight some battles but the war is won, We are on the winning side. Sure there will always be some pockets of resistance, there is never a time when we can let our guard down, but the war is over.

 Mark, also it says the "Land rested from war." It is impossible to farm and war at the same time, It is impossible to survey the land and war at the same time. So it is when we are battling sin in our lives. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians, "1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ." He spends most of his time rebuking sin in that letter, but in other letters, he speaks of spiritual blessings in Christ and more "meaty" subjects. They couldn't move on to the spiritual blessings of being a Christian because they were still battling their carnal nature. As Israel could never survey their inheritance, dig wells, plant crops, or raise cattle until these enemies had been rooted out, so it is with the Christians. So long as you are living in sin and sin in you you will never be able to move on to survey all the blessings of being In Christ. Make war with sin today! Don't rest until victory is given. There is victory in Jesus, don't rest until you have it. Don't settle for a defeated Christian life where you are servants to what you should and can conquer through Christ. Is it an addiction that has defeated you? Is it passion? Pleasures? Power? Love of Money? Are any of these things too hard for our Captain? Of course not, there is rest in Jesus and there is peace but not so long as sin abides. We will always battle sin but we don't have to live in war with it every day. Is your life conquered by sin? Or is your life conquering sin? Take courage, there is victory in Jesus! Onward Christian soldier! Don't rest until the war is over!

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