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Joshua 11:21-23

SUBJECT:      Joshua


PROPOSITION:  God’s people face various trials which at times can seem “gigantic” but God is with His people.

OBJECTIVE:    Encourage the hearer to face up to the giants in their life.


1.     Read text: (Joshua 11:21-23).

2.     Regarding the text:

        (1)    The time refereed to here in verse 21 is the period covered in the preceding verses (11:17-20).

                 A.    The description of Joshua’s conquest of the southern portion of Israel can be found in the Joshua 10:28-43.

                 B.    The conquest of the Northern territory is described here in chapter 11.  In verse 17 the extreme borders of the territory taken in the conquest is reiterated.

                        a.     To the south this phase of the conquest begins at Mt. Halak and the mountainous area of Seir (top of what will become Judah).

                        b.     To the north the boundary went as far as the Valley of Lebanon or Mt. Hermon.  This would place it at a “longitude”? between Tyre and Sidon.

        (2)    This period of the conquests took place over an extended period of time.  “Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.”

                 A.    The Southern conquests obviously took a substantial amount of time to take (months).

                 B.    The Northern conquests lasted much longer (5-7 years).

                 C.    Only the Hivites of Gibeon made peace with Israel and this act they accomplished deception (Josh. 9:3-15).  Israel was in for the long haul.

        (3)    After the conquest of the Northern territory Joshua turned his attention back to the Southern mountainous region (Josh. 11:21).

                 A.    Hebron (v. 21).

                        a.     Abraham moved here after separating from Lot.

                        b.     Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were buried here.

                        c.     400 years later when Moses sent spies into the promised land they reported that “giants” dwelt here (Num. 13).

                 B.    Debir on the northern border of what is later Judah.

                 C.    The remaining mountainous regions.

        (4)    Doesn’t it seem fitting that one of the final conquest of the promised land was over this enemy?  The Anakims indirectly had some responsibility in the delay of Israel’s taking this land.

                 A.    The Anakim (Josh. 11:21-22) were a race gigantic proportions.

                 B.    Anakim = lit. “the long necked.”  From ANAK we get our word neck.

                 C.    The Anakim were a race of sturdy warriors and it appears that they were extraordinary in their stature or height.  They were worthy opponents, extraordinary opponents, dangerous opponents.

3.     The parallels are apparent:

        (1)    Canaan was a type or shadow of the Christians promised Land (heaven).

        (2)    Israel was a type or shadow of the church which is the kingdom of God.

        (3)    The Anakim were a type or shadow of sin (the enemy) of God’s people and that which can and ultimately will keep His people out of the promised land.

        (4)    Joshua was a type or shadow of Jesus.  He completed the delivery the people, the kingdom of God into the promised land, by destroying the power of the giant just as Jesus Christ completed the delivery of His people by destroying the ultimate power of sin.

        (5)    The Anakim had it seems forever been a terror to the Children of Israel.

4.     As terrifying, as fear-inspiring as they must have been in the minds of the Israelites notice how briefly, succinctly, condensed, abbreviated, how matter of factly the defeat of the Anakim is related in Scripture.  The most dreaded, feared, frightful, awe inspiring task was accomplished with relative ease!

5.     Reference to STP0

DISCUSSION:   There are some apparent lessons.


     1. The 12 Spies did not lie (Num. 13).  There were actual giants in the land!

         (1)  They did not do wrong by reporting falsely.  They did not necessarily overstate the danger or difficulty that lie between the people and the promised land.

         (2)  Their shortfall was in their underestimation of the nation’s power with the help of God to overcome any obstacle!

         (3)  The Israelites were of average size and are now faced with these of great stature blocking their desired entrance.

     2. We will have to fight with giants at sometime or other in our lives.  The question is will we do so with or without a knowledge that God is with us!

         (1)  From time to time we face the giant of doubt!

              A. Confronts us in a variety of ways.

                 a. Does God really exist?

                 b. Did God create us or are we the product of pure random chance?

                 c. Was Jesus Christ really the Son of God?

                 d. Is there a heaven and will God allow me to enter in?

              B. It is not wrong for us to examine the evidence.  It is not wrong for us to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21).  God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

                 a. God exists!  The evidence is overwhelming!  There is, beyond the azure blue a God concealed from Human sight.  He is the God that we should know, who speaks from His inspired word.  There is a God.....He is Him we live and we survive.

                 b. We are created beings! (Cf. Gen. 1:1)  There are only two possibilities!

                 c. Jesus Christ was the Son of God.

                    i.     Peter Said it (Mt. 16:18).

                    ii.    Thomas admitted it (Jn. 20:28).

                    iii.   Those who heard Peter’s sermon on Pentecost realized it (cf. Acts 2:38).

                    iv.    God announced it (Mt. 4; 17).

                 d. I can know about heaven and I can know if I meet God’s standard for admittance.

                    i.     These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (1 Jn. 5:13).

                    ii.    Present tense, active voice, indicative mood, second person plural.  He does not say “will have” or “may have” or “hope we have” John says we now in the present have assurance of eternal life.

        (2)  There are times that we must face the giant of fear!

              A. We develop a habit of asking, “ooooh but what if ___x__ happens?” (x = all sorts of problems)

              B. Children of God ought to be asking “What if those things don’t happen?”  What will I do next?  Act instead of react.

              C. If God be for us then who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)?  And GOD IS FOR US!

                 a. He is my Shepherd (Psa. 23).

                 b. He is our rock or place of refuge.  “In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God” (Psa. 62:7).

                 c. We lean upon everlasting arms!

         (3)  We face the giant of persecution (or fear of it).

              A. 2 Tim. 3:12.

              B. Persecution = to chase or hunt.

              C. When we avoid the truth and or fellowship denominational error and falsehoods we will not have too many troubles.


              D. Jesus said, “Woe unto you when all men speak well of you.  For so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Lk. 6:26).

              E. If we take the unique nature of N.T. Christianity seriously...  If we take the exclusive nature of the body of Christ seriously...And we feel compelled to stand uncompromisingly upon Bible truth regarding the service and worship of the N.T. church  ... And we find the desired balance of speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15)  we will upset some people by our actions.

                 a. Some will be important people.

                 b. Some will be popular people.

                 c. Some may be powerful people.

                 d. Some may be dangerous people.

                 e. Some may be mean, spiteful, persecuting type people.


NOTICE GAL. 1:6-10

         (4)  Some must fact the giant of grief (loved ones, loss of years, health, etc...)

              A. This is an emotional area.

              B. There is nothing wrong with experiencing emotion.  God gave us emotion.  We must not deny them.

              C. God gave us emotion.  We must acknowledge them and move on forward.  (Isn’t that what repentance is about?)

              D. Rather than being paralyzed with these emotions we need to seek to be empowered by them.

                 a. Instead of asking “Why me?” ask “why not me?  I will bring good from this!

                 b. You are the perfect person to help someone who is just now encountering what you have dealt with for years.

                 c. Mt. 7:12

         (5)  We face giants like  -- temptations, loneliness, depression, anger, greed, jealousy.”

     3. There are giants that we have to face.

         (1)  Wherever the conquest is hard enough without them you can be sure they will be there to make it even harder (Scattered over the land).

         (2)  The battle may try your nerve and your resolve to win.

         (3)  Israel could not possess the land until she conquered the giants.

         (4)  You will have to conquer your giants!  Be of good cheer!  You have defeated Giants in the past.  You will do so future.


     1. Fear is not all bad.

         (1)  Some things are worth being afraid of.

         (2)  Young people need to acknowledge their fears.

         (3)  Fear forces us into a learning curve.

     2. We admit the existence of giants.  Some fear is good!

         (1)  Joseph feared the sin of adultery and its consequence.  He fled.

         (2)  Fear, “within bounds” helps us prepare our energies yet doubt our self sufficiency.  We will prepare to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but we dare not go without God.

     3. Fear is a good servant but a terrible master.

         (1)  It is o.k. to allow fear to suggest precaution against large foes, but we must not allow the balance to swing so far that it leaves no room for faith or trust in God, man or self.

         (2)  The Israelites were right to be cautious or fearful in approaching the Anakim (cf. Num. 13).  They went wrong when they allowed fear to replace completely their faith and trust in God.

         (3)  Examples.

              A. In our personal lives we might suffer a terrible loss or tragedy.

              B. In the work of the church dealing with sin is a serious business.  Some people may not understand, may be offended by, might get mad, some might quit... if and when sin is dealt with.

              C. We have no choice (Cf. Acts 4 & 5).

         (4) Many accidents could be avoided or situations kept from getting worse if we are not paralyzed by our fear and anxiety.

     4. The future may hold some anxieties and emotions as we battle our giants.  We have control. 

         (1)  We can pray. 

         (2)  We can follow the path set forth by Jesus. 

         (3)  We can overcome by the power, grace and providence of God.



     1. Israel waited so much longer than necessary to enter the promised land.

     2. The greatest power these “giants” had was their power over the minds and imaginations of their enemies.

         (1)  They had no real power over the children of Israel!!!

              a. The land belonged to God.

              b. The land was promised by God.

              c. The land was a gift from God.

         (2)  The Anakim had power but not power equal to the fear in the hearts of the Israelites.

              a. Sometimes the best thing we can do is meet our fears head on.

         (3)  Goliath terrorized all the Israelites except one (David)!  It was by David’s that Goliath (giant) fell.

     3. The Anakim must have been in the Israelites minds during the conquest period, but they finally fell.

         (1)  So much wasted time.

         (2)  So much emotion wasted.

     4. Our worst nightmares usually never happen.

         (1)  “They threaten us, alarm us, agitate us, and after all that they turn off in some other direction, and do not come to us.” (French Proverb).

         (2)  Such is the case with our GIANTS.

              A. Some will never try leading others.  Afraid of the giant.

              B. Some will never try loving others.  Afraid of what if.

              C. Some will never try letting others.  Afraid of the giant.

              D. Some of you will never teach a Bible class.  Never know the privilege and personal blessing.  Afraid of giants.

              E. Some will compromise truth (even deny).  Fear giants.

              F. Some will never obey the gospel.  Afraid of giants.


1.      It is fitting that the fall of these giants (Anakim) proved the truth of Joshua’s and Caleb’s report made so long ago).

2.      Giants kill us by frightening us to death.

3.      Giants frighten us by powers they borrow from our own imagination!

4.      There are giants in the land, but let us be of good courage and fear not, because the worst part about them is the fear or terror they inspire.

          (1)      The Anakim fell.

          (2)      Goliath fell.

          (3)      Your giants will fall if you walk with the Lord.-

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