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Joshua 11:1-12:24 | "He Left Nothing Undone"

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Sunday, October 11, 2020. Joshua 11:1-12:24 | "He Left Nothing Undone" If today should be our last day, could it be said of us that we left nothing undone? This message offers Gospel hope to every Christian in need of assurance that God will leave nothing undone in you, in Jesus!


I. Reading of Scripture

Joshua 11:15 ESV
15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.
This is God’s Word, Amen!

II. Introduction

A. Introduction to Theme

God’s Word says this of Joshua: that “He left nothing undone” of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.
Nothing was left unfinished. Nothing was left incomplete. Joshua did not turn aside from the LORD’s commands. He left nothing undone.
Joshua has experienced victories. Joshua has experienced failures. But at this juncture of Scripture, it is said of him that he did not disobey (LXX).
I wonder, if today should be our last day on earth, or the last day that we have strength and ability, could it be said of us that we left nothing undone? That we obeyed fully what God commanded of us?
We don’t need to look back to yesterday for the answer, for God has given us today!
God’s Word doesn’t stay in the past. It doesn’t stay in yesterday. God’s Word and God’s work always carries forward, always moves toward completion, and compels us to obey today!
What has God commanded us to do today? Right now? Are we submitting to God’s will?
Or are we leaving God’s will undone because of our hard-hearted disobedience?
Delayed obedience is disobedience. And God offers us a gift right now — it is the grace of today, in which we need not leave God’s command in this moment undone. We may show our love and worship for God right now, by obeying His Word!
If today should be our last day on earth, or the last day that we have strength and ability, would we have regrets?
Would we have the regret of all regrets, by not knowing the salvation of God through Jesus the Lord that he offers right now for all who will confess him as Lord?
Would we regret not telling someone else about the love of God and his saving grace?
What about the work that occupies our time and attention in these days? If our projects and tasks were left unfinished by us, would someone else be able to pick them up and carry them forward and carry on the work? Or will those projects and tasks simply remain undone as monuments to wasted time or even disobedience?
We leave work undone for many reasons.
One reason is because the work we are endeavoring to complete is work of our own making, that is not of God.
How many projects do we start without ever first consulting God? To ask if this project aligns with God’s will for us in His Word? To ask the all-knowing Creator if this is how He would have us to use the time and strength and resources that He has given to us? To ask if this work will carry on when we are no longer able to perform it?
Israel knows this! Joshua learned this lesson! They made peace with the Gibeonites without ever asking or consulting with the LORD!
We leave work undone because some work is difficult. Some is work is hard!
When we grow tired and weary we are tempted to take the easy way out. To compromise. And by not persevering in faithful obedience we fail to know the joy of inhabiting God’s promises.
It would be easy for Israel not to destroy the inhabitants of Canaan. It would be easy for Israel to avoid the battles, and to co-exist with their enemies in the land. But the LORD warned them that if they did that, they would turn from Him to the idols of the land and would be destroyed.
Jesus said:
Matthew 7:13–14 ESV
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
There is nothing easy about taking up a cross and following Jesus. There is nothing easy about denying yourself. There is nothing easy about the way that leads to life.
And God forgive us if we have sent that message to the world — that life is easy when following Jesus. That if you come to Jesus for an easier and better life you’ll find it. That you’ll never face opposition or persecution or trials or tribulations. That your faith will never be tested. That life will always go your way!
That’s not true. The way is hard. What do you think God meant when he told Joshua to “be strong and courageous?” The way forward will be difficult!
But the way leads to life for the few who find it. And the way is Jesus.
Joshua has consistently given this testimony: that God’s people witness God’s power when God’s people put feet to their faith. When God’s people live out what they say they believe (KM).
And the good news for today is that God never leaves what He starts “undone.” What God promises, God fulfills. And we will find success in obeying God’s commands.

B. Introduction to Text

Joshua chapters 11-12 end the second major section of the book of Joshua.
The first section was Israel CLAIMING the land God had given to them. They claimed the land as they crossed over the Jordan into the Promised Land.
Just because God had given Israel the land as an inheritance, did not mean they did not have to claim it.
This second section tells of Israel CONQUERING the land God had given to them.
Just because God had given it to them, did not mean they did not have to conquer it.
This section of Joshua 11:1-15 begins and ends with a city named Hazor (11:1,13).
Hazor was a large, connected, strategically located city (KM).
And with Hazor at the head, coordinating the efforts, the adversaries of Israel and Israel’s God unite together in battle.

III. Exposition

A. Adversaries unite.

Joshua 11:1–5 ESV
1 When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. 5 And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.
Why all of these kings? Why all of these names?
Because these were the inhabitants of the land God said he would drive out!
Jabin, king of Hazor, heard how Israel had conquered the southern lands. And now he amasses the largest army Israel has yet to face. A final attempt, a final battle of desperation to defeat this smaller army of Israel.
And these armies unite. Unity is a wonderful thing - but unity in itself is not enough if united in error and opposition.
Notice, verse 4, how the size of this army is described: “a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore.”
That’s the same language God used in His promise to Abraham. To describe the number of Abraham’s offspring.
So in facing this massive army meant to do them harm, Israel has a reminder in what they see of God’s promise. Their mind recalls God’s Word.
Will God allow us to face more than we can handle?
Will God allow us to face more than He can handle?
And so in verse 6:

B. The LORD speaks.

Joshua 11:6 ESV
6 And the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”
Israel has faced armies before. And they went facing those armies under the same command of the Lord before: “Do not be afraid.”
When we obey God’s commands, we exercise faith. When we exercise faith in obedience, faith grows and strengthens to the point that we are prepared to meet larger obstacles with a greater faith in God!
If we ever pray, “Lord, give us greater faith,” we should not expect God to simply bestow upon us greater faith.
Instead, we should expect God to lead us into conflict. To face opposition and obstacles. And in trusting God through those difficulties and valleys, God strengthens our faith.
We have such little faith when we never use it.
It like weight training. When you use muscles, training them with weights, the muscles recover and grow allowing your body to lift even heavier weight.
Some of us are trusting God with the same faith we had 20 years ago. The faith of 20 years ago is not sufficient for the faith needed today.
The faith Joshua and Israel had to face Hazor and this massive army was developed in Joshua 1-10. Facing the Jordan, Jericho, Ai...
Joshua didn’t need a strategy this time. He only needed the Word of the LORD! Because it was God’s Word that sustained him in all of his past conflicts. The strategies changed regularly.
When we obey God’s commands, we exercise faith. When we disobey God’s commands, our faith muscles atrophy. They waste away. And when our faith fails to grow, we learn and know less about God.
Joshua had exercised his faith to the point that when God said “Do not be afraid,” Joshua could be strong and courageous and not be afraid.
So —

C. Joshua attacks.

Joshua 11:7–11 ESV
7 So Joshua and all his warriors came suddenly against them by the waters of Merom and fell upon them. 8 And the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining. 9 And Joshua did to them just as the Lord said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire. 10 And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms. 11 And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire.
Joshua attacks, and God gives his enemies into his hand. God is the primary actor!
This is the first time Joshua faces chariots. Only the powerful armies had chariots (KM).
Rather than keeping the horses and the chariots to build up his own army, Joshua obeys God and hamstrung the horses, making them incapable of running, and burned the chariots with fire.
He didn’t need them! Why save chariots when the Living God fights for you?
We speak often of giving unto the Lord in tithes and offerings. Did you know that we don’t need tithes and offerings to do what God leads us to do? Why do we need tithes and offerings when the Living God provides for our every need?
But hear this — if we do not exercise the faith in giving, each one of us of tithes and offerings, then collectively as a church we will not have the faith needed to trust God’s provision to do what God leads us to do!
Joshua obeyed before this battle. And because of his PRIOR obedience, Joshua was able to obey completely in this PRESENT major conflict!
Prior faith fuels future faith!
And that great city of Hazor, and only Hazor, Joshua burned with fire, completely cutting it off, devoting it to destruction unto the Lord.

D. Summary

Joshua 11:12–15 ESV
12 And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned. 14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every person they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed. 15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.

IV. Conclusion

This final sentence is the summary point. It is what the Scriptures would have us understand.
Notice the word found at the beginning, middle and ending of verse 15 (Commanded):
Joshua 11:15 ESV
15 Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses.
Success with God is defined as obedience to what the LORD COMMANDS! Leaving nothing undone of what God commands.
God’s Word says Joshua “left nothing undone.”
God’s Word also tells us that JESUS “left nothing undone.”
Joshua points us to Jesus, who said:
Matthew 5:17–18 ESV
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Joshua points us to Jesus, who:
Philippians 2:6–8 ESV
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Joshua points us to Jesus, who on the cross —
John 19:28–30 ESV
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Jesus left nothing undone of all God commanded.

A. Gospel Proclamation

This is the Good News of the Gospel!
If Jesus had stayed dead, even though he was obedient unto death, we would have been left undone!
Our sins would have been atoned for, but we would have no everlasting life, no way to the Father! No intercessor! No mediator! No work of transformation in us!
The Good News in Jesus is that Jesus died, and God raised Jesus from the dead in power!
And being raised, Jesus lives and is able to save completely those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives to intercede on their behalf (Heb 7:25).
Being raised, Jesus dwells in our hearts by faith, in the person of the Holy Spirit. Transforming us into His likeness! Making us holy! Giving us faith, and empowering us to obey!
The Gospel Message in Jesus is that as Joshua left nothing undone, as Jesus left nothing undone, God will not leave us undone!
Philippians 1:6 ESV
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
We have a future in Jesus. And our enemy does too — the enemy of all enemies is already defeated. And there is a day coming when like Hazor, he too will be burned.
But so too will everyone enemy of God.
Revelation 21:8 ESV
8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Jesus came to make us friends with God, if we will trust him!
Romans 8:37 ESV
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

B. Application

God may have something specific for you to obey.
Like trusting in Jesus. Serving Him as a member of His Church. Making disciples in all the world by going, baptizing, and teaching.
But God also gives us ways we can obey today and every day — to do His will.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ESV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not neglect these too.
We all have something we can obey God in today, and thereby grow our faith for the future to come.
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