If GOD is ‘FOR’ us, then WHO can be ‘AGAINST’ us?
March 7 Bible Reading: Joshua Chapters 10-12
And the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you." Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. So the Lord routed them before Israel, killed them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, chased them along the road that goes to Beth Horon, and struck them down as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword." (Josh. 10:8-11)
The narrative of Joshua chapter 10 should make us aware of a very important spiritual truth: one victory will always lead to more battles to be won! Our enemy (Satan) has declared an all-out war against us with a plan to completely eliminate our faith and trust in God. In the case of the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua, they were now victorious over both Jericho and Ai, and this caused the Gibeonites to enter into a peace treaty of surrender with Israel. Five of the neighboring kings got enraged at the Gibeonites for doing this act (while being fearful of the Israelites as well) that they decided to attack Gibeon with all their mighty armed forces (vv. 1-5).
Fearful of the enemy attack, the Gibeonites pleaded with the Israelites to help them on the basis of their newly-formed alliance (v. 6). The distance from Israel’s camp at Gilgal to Gibeon was about a 20-mile march - a steep ascent all the way. However, Joshua put his faith into action by leading the Israeli soldiers in this overnight march under the cover of darkness. When Joshua and his troops arrived in Gilgal (v. 7), he heard these reassuring from Jehovah God, his Commander-in-Chief; "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand" (v. 8). He had heard these words before their victory at Jericho and before their successful ambush of Ai, and knew that they guaranteed triumph despite the size of the opposition. Thereafter, Israel attacked the enemy forces suddenly and this mighty assault took the enemy by complete surprise (v. 9).
The interesting point to note about this battle was that Israel was not alone, for the battle was predominantly fought by God Himself (v. 10). Assured of victory by God, Joshua engaged the enemy’s forces at Gibeon, causing them to flee. While the Amorites fled before Joshua down the descent of Beth Horon, two miracles occurred in the destruction of the enemy: first, God threw huge hailstones upon the enemy soldiers that killed more men than the Israelites had slain (v. 11); and second, these hailstones were targeted precisely as they killed only the enemy soldiers. This great hailstorm was a conclusive proof, both to the Israelites and to the Amorites that Israel’s victory was only from Jehovah God presented as a gift to Israel.
Actually, God could have told the Israelites, “You got yourself into this, so you can get yourself out!” But instead, He gave His people encouragement (v. 8) and fought for them from heaven (vv. 10–11). In his book ‘Archaeology and Our Old Testament Contemporaries’, James Kelso remarks in this manner, “The crossing of the Jordan at high flood and the cyclonic hailstorm at Ajalon are of special theological significance; for Baal was the great Canaanite storm god who was supposed to control the rain, the hail, the snow and the floods of Palestine. These episodes proved that Baal was as powerless before Yahweh in Palestine as he had been in the episode of the plagues of Egypt.”