“So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.”
Joshua 10:10-11 NKJV
I have seen the frightful power of God’s wrath. I have seen the care that the Lord shows in the protection of those who are His. I know that our great God is not to be mocked or trifled with. I know that the Lord goes before me to fight the battles, and I do not have to lift a finger.
As followers of Jesus, we have a great warrior on our side, fighting our battles for us, engaging the enemy. In my life as a servant of the most High God, I have gotten glimpses of the consequence of doing evil to His people. Those mere glimpses have given me great pause in my own dealings with those in, and out of the household of faith.
Even facing the most grievous insult, I have chosen to remain silent, knowing that one day the Lord will make all right. In the meantime, I pray for those in offense, that they see the error of their ways and call upon the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.
Reading Joshua chapter ten this morning, I was taken back by the power of God in the affairs of men. Joshua was leading his army into battle in defense of the Gibeonites. The Lord assured Him of victory, affirming that He was with them.
“So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you.””
Joshua 10:7-8 NKJV
God gave Joshua complete victory, as He caused the sun and the moon to stand still, freezing time.
“Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.”
Joshua 10:12-14 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, may we be reminded it is the Lord that brings the victory, and in Him there is total victory. For the follower of Jesus, we face enemies that may appear to be flesh and blood, but are propelled by forces that are of darkness. The evil uses weapons of flesh and blood to attack us, hoping that we strike out and destroy before they have had the chance to respond to the Gospel.
Let us be ever mindful that the we are not doing battle with people, and take up the protection the Lord affords, that we be able to fulfill our ministry of spreading the Gospel.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
May we be confident in that the Lord is coming soon, to bring justice to this fallen world. May we not be afraid of the coming darkness, but see it as opportunity to go and tell others of Jesus. What we are observing are the fore rumblings of the great storm to come. May we be as sirens, warning others to take shelter: in salvation in Christ.
We will be embattled, we will see strife, we will have casualties and deaths, but may we be able to look beyond, to the glory that is to come.
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Or in the words of the sorely missed saint, Bob Burkhart, “keep looking up!” Thanks so much Bernie.