Have you ever felt like the whole world was stacked against you? Maybe even today it seems like everywhere you look, competition… giants… roadblocks… enemies… surround you.
In Joshua 9, this is the case for the Israelites.
They’ve officially entered the Promised Land – a promise given to them straight from God – except there’s one big problem. That promise is already inhabited by someone else.
Hmm… you might be able to relate to that, too.
The land is actually occupied by lots of someone elses – people groups from high in the hills all the way down to the lowlands – and God has commanded the Israelites to drive them out and take possession of the land for themselves.
This gets real messy, real fast.
Not only are there lots of them, but now these inhabitants have come together as one to fight against Joshua and Israel (verse 2).
Yikes. Nothing like standing on the edge of victory, only to realize that it’s just the “tripping edge” into your next big battle.
Now, by this point, God has quite an impressive resume. He’s performed miracle after miracle to get the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land. He’s shown Himself faithful time after time. He’s proven that He’s a covenant-keeping God; One who fulfills His promises to His people. And yet the Israelites still take matters into their own hands. When the Gibeonites deceive them into thinking that they are far-off travelers to escape being destroyed, the Israelites – without consulting the Lord (Joshua 9:14) – fall for it.
Big mistake. Really big mistake.
As you’ve looked to the overwhelming battle in front of you, maybe you, too, have been deceived.
In times like these, it’s easy to become weary in believing. In the natural world, we’re such a forgetful people. Even when we’ve seen God’s power proven in the past, we often press forward on our own strength, taking matters into our own hands instead of seeking the Lord.
And we end up living with the consequences.
There are two quick lessons we can re-learn from the Gibeonite deception in Chapter 9:
- Don’t lean on your own understanding. Trust in the Lord. Lean into God’s strength, believing that His promises are trustworthy, that He’ll make your paths straight, and that He’ll have the final victory (Proverbs 3:5-6). Stop picking back up what you’ve already surrendered in faith.
- Even in our failures, God is a God of redemption. God not only fulfills His promise to Israel, but also opens the eyes of her enemies, causing them to believe in and fear Him (Joshua 9:24). From Genesis to Revelation, God is writing the most beautiful redemptive story, and His name is Jesus.
When you find yourself on the tripping edge, trip forward into God’s grace. Today is a really good day to surrender your will and hand the reins back to Him. It’s a necessary, daily choice to walking in victory.
At His feet,
*Let’s talk: In what circumstance do you need to hand the reins back to your all-sufficient Savior today?
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