Russell and Duenes

So That He Might Destroy Them Totally

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In Joshua 11, no less than 10 armies came out to gang up on Israel in battle. The text says: “They came out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.” Yet, as God typically had done for Joshua and the people, He promised to “deliver all of them slain before Israel.” This was only possible if God is a sovereign God, able to stem the overwhelming force of the enemy armies. And indeed, “[t]he Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, so that they defeated them, and pursued them . . . and they struck them until no survivor was left to them.”

Joshua and the Israelites went on to conquer all of the various territories of Israel, destroying all the cities they encountered. How had this happened? God’s sovereign promise: “[I]t was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.” God ruled over the Canaanites’ hearts to draw them out into a losing battle.

“I, the Lord, do not change,” the Scripture tells us. If God sovereignly subdued God’s enemies in Joshua, He will do the same for His people today. We must keep in mind that the Israelites had to fight. God did not just blow on all the Canaanites and have them fall over dead. God’s people had to struggle and fight battles. But God was behind them all the way, giving them the victory, as he does with us, by His sovereign might.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

April 27, 2015 at 4:05 am

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