Faithlife Sermons

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Introduction
Believe it or not we’re actually back in the book of Joshua today.
I know some of you have been waiting a really long time for the continuation of the story.
I totally get that… in many ways reading scripture is like an episodic drama on television.
And some of you don’t like it when your stories get interrupted.
Others of you are like, “We’ve been in Joshua forever...”
I promise you that we’re going to cover some serious ground today and you’ll be surprised where we finish up today.
I. God Wins the Battles -
We actually have reached a section of the book without a great deal of detail about the taking of the land.... Battles take place, kings are overthrown, people are killed.
The important thing to take away from this section of scripture (the end of ch 10, 11, and 12) is that God won these battles.
Joshua and Israel were just obedient to God’s command.
Joshua 11:18
And that is literally how this section of scripture reads… “they went over here and captured this place and killed their king and there was nobody left who breathed...” The names change but the result is the same in place after place.
Why? Scripture tells us why...
Joshua 11:19-
And if you’ll think back, you might remember why they deserved no mercy.
Do you remember?
We’ve talked about it ever since we started the book of Joshua.
The time for mercy had passed
God had been trying to redeem the people of Canaan for well over 400 years that we know about in scripture.
The entire time that the Hebrews were captive in Egypt, God had been attempting to draw the Canaanites to Himself so that they might be saved.
But what did they do instead?
They rejected God and followed their false gods.
We are not given the specific details of how this message was given to them, but we can only assume that for well over 400 years God had sent prophets into Canaan to bring them a message of redemption and hope.
But God had decided that the time for mercy had passed.
So Joshua and the Israelites were delivering God’s judgment upon the people of the land of Canaan.
That is the record of .
We are told at the end of Joshua chapter 12 that there were 31 kings deposed, 31 nations destroyed, by the hand of God.
Joshua had completed his part of the conquest of Canaan.
These were the key cities and kingdoms in the land.
However there were a lot of smaller outlying towns and villages that were left untouched.
Joshua completed his part of the conquest of Canaan… Joshua and his army chose key cities and kingdoms throughout the land and destroyed those powers in the region.
But there were a lot of smaller outlying towns and villages that were left untouched.
Once Joshua had control of the land, he began dividing the land for the tribes of Israel.
The remainder of the job of conquering the land of Canaan fell to each tribe as they took their portion of inherited land.
The dividing of the land stretches out for nine chapters, of details about boundaries and borders where each tribe would live.
It is difficult reading with difficult foreign sounding names.
But there are a few important lessons to extract from this section of scripture.
Once Joshua had control of the land, he began dividing the land for the tribes of Israel.
II.
The Land is a Gift -
It’s important to note that Israel was given this land by God and they were allowed to use it.
The people of Israel did not:
win their land through battle
purchase the land in a business transaction
Furthermore, they did not own the land.
It was more like they were given a lease on the land, by the landowner, God.
The rent to be paid was continued worship and obedience.
Do you remember several weeks ago when we stood and read the blessings and the curses?
Remember that Israel agreed to these blessings and curses at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal.
If the nation of Israel could manage to worship and obey the God of Israel, they would earn God’s blessings of productive land and peace with their neighbors.
If you remember, you
If they failed, then they would experience God’s curses.
Now back in the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh had opted to occupy land, which had been taken from Moab, on the eastern side of the Jordan.
These groups had large herds of cattle and saw this land as being fit for raising their cattle.
This group was so convinced that they had found the best possible place that they promised to help the rest of Israel with the battles and they rejected their land inheritance in preference for this land to the east of the Jordan.
They had promised to help the rest of Israel with the battles, they just preferred to live outside of God’s appointed land.
While Moses granted their request, he made it clear that they were basically making the same mistake that Israel made in Kadesh-barnea when they reject God’s first plan to take the Promised Land.
These tribes were basically choosing to live outside of God’s best plan for them.
The choice to remain behind might have been good for their cattle, but it created several problems over the years.
They became vulnerable to attack:
Physical - These tribes provided a buffer between Israel and her enemies.
Spiritual - They got friendly with the Moabite women and began violating God’s laws.
PRINCIPLE - Don’t Be a Borderline Believer
Sometimes we think our plan is better than the plan that God has for us.
We reject our inheritance in Christ and flirt with the enemy.
This removes us from God’s blessing and puts us at risk for a fall.
Blessed saints, never choose to reject God’s inheritance for what looks good in your own eyes.
B. Never Too Old to Follow God -
Caleb, at the age of 85, claimed his inheritance by making a request of Joshua.
He asked Joshua for the most difficult land.
The area that Caleb requested was called Mount Hebron.
Caleb wanted mountains to climb and giants to conquer in his old age.
This area was a mountainous region that was inhabited by a race of giants, called the Anakim.
These same giants were the ones that Caleb had witnessed on his first spying mission into the Promised Land.
He had believed that the Lord would vanquish those giants on their first visit to the area and here again when he was 85 years old, he hadn’t stopped believing in the power of the Lord.
PRINCIPLE - You are never too old to make new conquests of faith in the power of the Lord
III.
Caleb Followed God Fully -
Joshua and Caleb were old men.
They were the only two who had survived the escape from Egypt, endured 40 years in the wilderness, and lived through all the battles in the land of Canaan.
Caleb, at the age of 85, claimed his inheritance by making a request of Joshua.
He asked Joshua for the most difficult land.
The area that Caleb requested was called Mount Hebron.
Caleb wanted mountains to climb and giants to conquer in his old age.
This area was a mountainous region that was inhabited by a race of giants, called the Anakim.
These same giants were the ones that Caleb had witnessed on his first spying mission into the Promised Land.
He had believed that the Lord would vanquish those giants on their first visit to the area and here again when he was 85 years old, he hadn’t stopped believing in the power of the Lord.
PRINCIPLE - You are never too old to make new conquests of faith in the power of the Lord
It was said of Caleb six times in Scripture that “he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.”
(; ; ; ; ) Caleb clearly wanted to capture more victories for God before he counted his strength as being from the Lord rather than being something he found within himself.
Caleb said it of himself...
Moses said it of Caleb...
Even God said it about Caleb...
What would God say about you?
Would He say that you followed Him fully?
Or would He say that you failed to follow Him fully?
In my own case, I might hope to attain a status similar to David by hearing God say “He was a man after my own heart.”
But I know that throughout my life I have let fear keep me from the fulness of what He might have desired or planned.
I have argued way too much with God over things that I feared might come to pass.
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