There are seasons in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges crowding in on us. The requirements are too high, the load too heavy, the task too daunting, the price tag too costly, the emotional toll too draining, and the deadlines far too soon. We cry out for MORE … energy, resources, money, wisdom, health, time …
That is the situation Joshua faced in chapter 10 of his book. Exhausted from an all-night march, he faced the combines forces of five armies. Joshua cries out to God for more time to carry out the task.
Joshua 10 provides us with an example that when we run short on resources, we can ask God for the strength to march—even when we don’t want to (1-15).
The Source of the Conflict (1-5). Led by the king of Jerusalem, five kings in the southern part of Canaan band together to punish the Gibeonites for making a treaty with Israel. Rather than defeat the enemy one city-state at a time, God is using the treaty with Gibeon as an opportunity for Joshua to defeat several enemies at once.
The Secret of Victory (6-15). Even though the peace treaty was made under false pretenses, Joshua chooses to do what is right and he keeps his promise to defend the Gibeonites (6-7). God promised Joshua that he would be victorious and Joshua took him at his word (8). Joshua employed a sound strategy by marching all night long in order to launch a surprise attack (9). Joshua depended on God for assistance. God intervened in a supernatural manner and sent artillery from heaven in the form of hailstones (10-11). Joshua called on God and asked for more time to complete the task (12-15). Since the sun and moon were worshipped by the Canaanites, Joshua’s prayer compels Canaan’s gods to obey the one true God.
Over the years, some have tried to explain away the miracle of the sun and moon standing still by saying it was just a poetic expression of simply a natural phenomenon. Others have tried to find a scientific explanation for how God performed the miracle. According to verse 14, the issue is not how God performed the miracle. The real issue is that God answered the prayer of a man.
When we run short on resources, we can ask God for the strength to engage—even when we are afraid (16-28). Joshua and his men pursue the five armies and defeat them completely. In so doing, they learned a valuable lesson—Press the battle according to God’s plan and leave the miracles to him.
When we run short on resources, we can ask God for the strength to pursue—even when we are tired (16-28). In a series of conflicts, Joshua defeats the southern part of Canaan.
There will be times and seasons when we run short of time, energy, wisdom, and resources. We need to remember that we can call on God to provide the resources we need. He will listen, answer, and fight for us.
This is the synopsis of a message preached at First Central Bible Church in Chicopee, MA, on November 25, 2018. It is part of a series of sermons on the book of Joshua. Please click on the link to download a copy of the sermon notes.