The Strength To Win

Bible Book: Joshua  9
Subject: Strength to Win; Power of God in Life; Maximum Living

Joshua 9 - 10

We have learned that living life to the max involves many things.

  • It involves faith.
  • It involves courage.
  • It involves battles.

What we have learned as well is this life doesn't just happen. God does his part. We must do ours. There are some things that we absolutely need if we are going to win the battles that are associated with living life to the max. We find these things in Joshua chapters 9-10. I want to read Joshua 9: 1-9. We will look at both chapters including an issue of science that has been debated for years. What we will learn will help us to win the battles we will face as we seek to live to the max.

I. Discernment

We have seen previous battles that are representative of the ones we face.

Jericho represents our battle with the world.

Ai represents our battle with the flesh.

The Gibeonites represent our battles with spiritual forces that seek to deceive us.

There is the problem of deception we must deal with. The Gibeonites used trickery to deceive the Israelites. They disguised themselves to look as if they lived a long ways away from Israel. They feared them after hearing reports from Jericho and Ai. Your  greatest vulnerability is when you have enjoyed success. There are proven principles that make us more discerning.

A. Wisdom

Understand that our greatest attacks may not be frontal in nature but subtle. At times Satan comes as a roaring lion, but other times he comes as a subtle serpent. Jesus said in Matthew 10:16 "Behold I send you forth as sheep amidst wolves, be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." When there is a check in our spirits we better check out the reason it is there.

B. Counsel

Verse 14 tells us they did not seek the counsel of the Lord. To whom you turn for counsel says everything about you. The Lord is the primary person we turn to for counsel. Where does He give us His counsel? Primarily His word.

II. Determination

Joshua 9:16-20

We, like Israel, are going to make mistakes. How we handle them will determine how we live our lives. We have to learn to live with the consequences of our mistakes.

A. We Can't Undo Them

There are consequences for our actions. Joshua and the other leaders, when they learned the truth, refused to go back on their word. They refused to make a second mistake to cover the first.

B. We Can Learn From Them

Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. We need the determination to learn from our mistakes and to move on in life.

III. Defense

We need a defense. Look at Joshua 10. God provides us the defense we need to do battle in two ways.

A. Display Of The Supernatural

We see both in this passage. It is like the Gulf War and the War on Terrorism. The Gulf War was fought quickly and miraculously. The War on Terrorism is a daily battle being fought through a daily strategy of strength.

See the display of the supernatural. in Joshua 10:9-19. This passage has come under great attack by skeptics through the years. There is the scientific side of this story. The sun standing still? We know the earth revolves around the sun. We also use common language like the sunrise and sunset. Also, we know now that the planets and sun and all the Universe is in constant motion. The sun stands still in the midst of heaven. The sun was at its zenith. This is very specific language.

The Sun stood over Gibeon and the moon over the Valley of Aijalon. Scientists tell us we can pinpoint these two locations. Gibeon is in latitude 31 degrees and 51 minutes north. The Valley of Aijalon is 17 degrees northwest from Gibeon. On the basis of solar and lunar eclipses scientists can tell us exactly what the day was when this occured. The Chaldeans recorded time this way. This tells us the date was July 22. Modern astronomy, through the same eclipse data also pinpoints this date at July 22. Through these calculations scientists have discovered a missing day. A. Toten, professor from Yale, and believer in the Lord, had noted this missing day and was discussing it with another professor who was an unbeliever. He challenged him to check the accuracy of what he was saying. The man came back to say, "The Bible isn't reliable. When I ran my figures back to the day when this activity supposedly happened my figures showed it wasn't a 24 hour day but rather it was 23 hours and 20 minutes." Toten told him to keep on reading for in 2 Kings 20:11 there is the account of God telling Hezekiah he was going to die. Hezekiah pled with the Lord to let him live. The Lord granted his desire, but Hezekiah asked for proof. God said, "I'll turn the sundial back 40 minutes." When the professor read this in his Bible he fell on his knees and was saved. You say that is against the laws of nature. There are no laws of nature. There are laws of God that govern nature. At times God delivers you supernaturally. The story of Martha Britt is a story of just such truth.

B. Deployment Of Daily Strength

At times God delivers by daily strength. Look at Joshua 10:16-27. This is the account of five enemy kings hiding in a cave. They had to be conquered. Does this sound familiar to you? The picture for us is our lives. There are things hidden in the inner most part of our lives that need to be conquered in order for us to live to the max. It may be that problem with the tongue. I may be that problem with lust. It may be that hidden anger or resentment. It has to be exposed to the Lord and dealt with before we will have victory. God will give  to us the daily strength to deal with these problems.