“Along with those the Israelites put to death, they also killed the diviner, Balaam son of Beor, with the sword.”
Joshua 13:22 HCSB
I find this interesting – Balaam did as the Lord directed him, but he was still put to death by the Israelites. At first I was not sure of the reason for this, then I did some research and came across the following:
‘“Yet they are the ones who, at Balaam’s advice, incited the Israelites to unfaithfulness against the Lord in the Peor incident, so that the plague came against the Lord ’s community. ‘
Further, I found this:
‘While Israel was staying in the Acacia Grove, the people began to have sexual relations with the women of Moab. The women invited them to the sacrifices for their gods, and the people ate and bowed in worship to their gods. So Israel aligned itself with Baal of Peor, and the Lord ’s anger burned against Israel. ‘
So now I understand that while Balaam followed the Lord’s word and did as commanded, he obviously also cause the people to sin by introducing other women to the people of Israel and causing them to chase after their Gods.
“the total number of all kings: 31”
Joshua 12:24b HCSB
This is the end of the summary of the Israelites’ battles as they took possession of the promised land. I read it and am blown away by the shear number of conquests!!! The Lord was truly with them.
“No city made peace with the Israelites except the Hivites who inhabited Gibeon; all of them were taken in battle. For it was the Lord’s intention to harden their hearts, so that they would engage Israel in battle, be completely destroyed without mercy, and be annihilated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”
Joshua 11:19-20 HCSB
The Lord hardened the hearts of the people so they would make war. His ways are truly a mystery to me, but it was His intent to annihilate all the inhabitants from the Promised Land, and this is how He did so without putting guilt on the Israelites.
“And the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the nation took vengeance on its enemies. Isn’t this written in the Book of Jashar? So the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed its setting almost a full day. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man, because the Lord fought for Israel.”
Joshua 10:13-14 HCSB
The Lord fought the Israelite’s battle for them, this isn’t new, and the miracle He performed was pretty awesome, but He had done some pretty awesome miracles and signs before this as well. What struck me is that this verse says that the Lord listened to the voice of a man. I think this is pretty awesome because He listens constantly to us now, thanks to Jesus. Before Jesus, the Lord listening to a man was so noteworthy that it went into the Bible. Now it happens constantly with me! All because of the love of Jesus.
“Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but did not seek the Lord’s counsel.”
Joshua 9:14 HCSB
The Lord instructed the Israelites to conquer and destroy all the inhabitants of the land, but the Gibeonites were deceptive. What I find interesting is that the Israelites, including Joshua, did not inquire of the Lord. It is easy for me to say this was a mistake, and how could they be so foolish, but then I look at myself and know that I have no room to judge. I do not inquire of the Lord unless things get dire – and that is usually because I didn’t seek after Him in the first place.
Another thing I found interesting about this is that He did not hold them accountable for this. I expected the Lord to say they sinned by not coming to Him, but the sin would have been had they known these were their neighbors and they had gone against the Lord’s will deliberately. They were foolish to make a treaty without consulting the Lord, but sometimes foolishness and sin are two different things.
“Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten back by them and fled toward the wilderness.”
Joshua 8:15 HCSB
The Lord fights for us, but just as Joshua has a battle plan, we have to plan ahead as well. The Lord could have just as easily engulfed the entire city in fire, or swallowed it whole, but He wanted Joshua to have part of the victory. The same is true for us. The Lord fights our battles, and as long as He is on our side, we have nothing to fear, but that doesn’t mean we do nothing.
“The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up! Why are you on the ground? Israel has sinned. They have violated My covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put the things with their own belongings. This is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what is set apart.”
Joshua 7:10-12 HCSB
Joshua is humbled before the Lord because of a great loss He has levied against the Israelites. However, the Lord tells him to stand up, not because it isn’t his sin, though it isn’t, but because He expects Joshua to do something about it.
“At that time Joshua imposed this curse: The man who undertakes the rebuilding of this city, Jericho, is cursed before the Lord. He will lay its foundation at the cost of his firstborn; he will set up its gates at the cost of his youngest. And the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.”
Joshua 6:26-27 HCSB
I read this and think the Lord is with us if we love what He loves and hate what He hates. Joshua laid waste to Jericho, then cursed it to never be rebuilt. Then the Lord made his name great.
“When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies? ” “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as commander of the Lord’s army.” Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, “What does my Lord want to say to His servant? ””
Joshua 5:13-14 HCSB
I have always found this verse fascinating, probably because the commander of the Lord’s army doesn’t say He is there for Joshua, though the Lord makes it clear He will fight for them. As I think on this, I believe He is simply saying He fights for the Lord and His cause. The Israelites are who the Lord is going to fight for, so the commander of His army will fight for Joshua.
“This is so that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord’s hand is mighty, and so that you may always fear the Lord your God.””
Joshua 4:24 HCSB
This is proof to me that the Lord does miracles for His purposes, and His glory. Not for us necessarily. He loves us, but at the end of the day He performs His miracles to make His Great Name known.