Joshua 23 - Judges 1
It took Israel seven or eight years before they experienced rest.
They gratefully sent the Eastern tribes home, back to the land they possessed.
Joshua by now was growing old and soon he would experience death.
In an all-tribe assembly he retold about how they began this quest.
All of Israel affirmed their pledge to follow God that day.
They would forsake the heathen gods and continue on the way.
So after this meeting Joshua died at the age of one hundred ten.
He was faithful to fulfill his call just as Moses had been.
Even though they conquered more and more, not all the country was won.
They must continue to fight this war until all the work had been done.
The question was placed before the Lord, “Who should go up and fight?”
The Lord replied, “Send Judah forth to conquer the Canaanites.”
Together with the Simeonites, they won by the grace of the Lord.
They captured the king, cut off his thumbs; he could no longer hold a sword.
They also cut off his two big toes. It was hard to stand upright.
Minus these four appendages, this king had fought his last fight.
Over and over we see this account as the Israelites steadily advanced.
As they believed and trusted God their skills were greatly enhanced.
Remember Caleb, that grand old man? He advanced to Hebron by faith.
Because of his courage and trust in God, even the giants were chased. *
But Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher—all of these tribes failed.
When faced with fierce resistance, they didn’t completely prevail.
Some of the enemy became their slaves but failed to leave the land.
Oh that Israel had driven them out according to God’s clear plan!
What can we learn from the Word of God as we study their failed deeds?
We see clearly how trouble comes when instruction we fail to heed.
Whatever the task to which you are called, press on and see it through.
Be strong like Caleb, trust in the Lord; be blessed in all that you do.
* The sons of Anak fathered the giants in Canaan known as the Anakim
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