In Joshua 11, there are two phrases that show us a great example of the power of God through His people. The Northern Armies combine together and form a “vast horde.” Think of that phrase, “vast horde.” It can be understood nicely when you consider “they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore.” Now that is VAST. I would be frightened. It had to have been overwhelming. The people were great in number. They had joined together to combat the Israelites.
As we continue reading, we read that all of these people were “completely destroyed.” The phrase was “every living thing.” There was a “vast horde” but the people that were as numerous as the sand at the shore now were gone. Something that seemed impossible was very possible through God. Something that was frightening became something praiseworthy.
Paul mentioned that we could boast in our weaknesses because Christ’s power could work best. You might be facing a “vast horde.” You might consider it to be impossible. Just remember that with God, that vast horde can be completely destroyed. Don’t look at things through your power. Look to Christ. Our God can do the impossible.
“All these kings came out to fight. Their combined armies formed a vast horde. And with all their horses and chariots, they covered the landscape like the sand on the seashore. The Israelites completely destroyed every living thing in the city, leaving no survivors. Not a single person was spared. And then Joshua burned the city.” – Joshua 11:4, 11 [NLT]
Most people know the phrase “don’t toot your own horn.” When we have some great accomplishment, there is this desire to toot our horn and become boastful. These rams’ horns that the priests were blowing in Joshua 6 were different. Yes, they were tooting horns. Yes they had victory, something that we sometimes brag about in our own lives. But the horns were the same horns used in religious festivals. There was no boastfulness.
These horns reminded them that their victory was from God. Having this reminder kept the people from finding any possible way to give credit to anyone or anything else. Their victory came from God. We need to remember that with every accomplishment, every award, every blessing, it all is from God and He along deserves the glory and praise.
Today thank God for the victories that He has brought in your life. Thank Him as well even if there are situations and battles you are currently facing—the struggles that He will help see you through. Trust that He will see you to the end and the trumpets will sound. You have victory through Christ.
“’Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.’” – Joshua 6:4-5 [NIV]
I went to the local Walmart Supercenter today to pick up some medicine. As I was walking to find an available cashier, I found that the closest cash register that was open was the tobacco aisle. I thought that perhaps I should progress further to another line which was at the far end of the store. I would not want someone I minister to thinking that I smoke; I thought of my moral authority. Truth be told, there was a time span of a few years where I actually did smoke. I was very addicted and very much struggled with attempt after attempt to quit. Patches, prescriptions, gum and lozenges could not help me. When I put it in the hands of God, it was the Holy Spirit who helped me to overcome this addiction without any other aid. Nonetheless, I was feeling this great burden to take my medication to the tobacco aisle checkout.
There was a lady in front of me in line, and there was a gentleman checking out his purchases. He was giving the cashier a lot of grief. The cashier was talking with a pleasant voice and just oozing kindness. The man on the receiving end responded with bitterness and anger. Nothing was right for him. The cashier was getting flustered. After much time, the gentleman was finished and the cashier said, “Merry Christmas” as he was leaving. Then the lady that stood in line in front of me was ready to be served. This customer was demonstrating a lack of interest in the cashier. She just wanted to get out of the store by the look of things. The lady never responded to the cashier; she didn’t seem to want to be bothered. After a negative comment whispered under her breath, the lady began walking off. Once again, the cashier chimed, “Merry Christmas.“ Finally, it was my turn. I noted her name is Dottie. She was smiling despite being on the receiving end of so much grief. She provided excellent customer service. We spoke a little, and before I departed, the cashier, Dottie, was so grateful that she grabbed my hand and said, “Merry Christmas.”
Kindness and love can be shared in the simplest of ways. It is so sad that during the Christmas season, we see so many people out and about being miserable to others. We fight and bump our shopping carts simply trying to get the best deal on gifts to give to celebrate Christmas. We rush around driving and cut people off because we have a list of stores we want to visit to get the best bargains for these Christmas gifts. It seems as if we gather up as much stress as possible during the holiday season, rather than simply celebrate the birth of our Saviour. As we get closer to the big day, Christmas Day, I pray that you are able to feel the joy, the true joy of Christmas— and to spread that joy to others. There are too many bah-humbugs running about. Lets show people Jesus!
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 [NLT]
As I said before, I recently moved. It has been quite an adventure. What I’ve found to be most interesting is the kitchen sink. The sink has a lot of great features. One can adjust the faucet to either run water or to sprinkle the water. There’s also a built in, removable cutting board. The issue I’ve been having involves the sink faucet dripping when I turn it off. I will finish dishes and walk away. Drip, drip, drip. I will get some water for coffee and hear it again. Drip, drip, drip. If I do not get it perfectly right, it drips. I have tried to learn exactly how this is done, but I’ve learned that I won’t always get it right. One has to slowly turn it off and center it just perfectly in the middle of the apparatus.
God is more understanding than my new faucet. He understands that we are not going to always get it right. He knows that we need a little grace, because we are sinners who fall short. The dripping of the faucet is irritating. Hearing it reminds me again and again that I turned the sink off wrong, that I wasn’t good enough. God doesn’t remind us of our faults. He does not tell us months down the road that we messed up while making a decision at work, or that we should have followed His plan instead of thinking we could do things our way.
God doesn’t tell us that we are not good enough. To God, we are the apple of His eye. We are His children, His inheritance, His friend. We are citizens of heaven. We are hidden with Christ in God. We are saints. We are the workmanship of God. We are a temple of God. He looks at us with love, showers us with love, and He wants nothing but the very best for us.
We all have bad habits of not showing ourselves grace. We are taught by society to see the flaws, and people are usually quick to help us notice them by pointing them out. The devil does his best to constantly whisper to us the long list as well. We end up upset, irritated, depressed, tired, rundown, bitter, sad, angry, and hurt all because we are not “good enough.” Today, show yourself some grace. Understand that you are a work in progress and God is with you every step of the way. You are not always going to do it right, but God loves you. The only dripping you will hear is from the devil and society. Keep pressing forward, allowing His Spirit to guide you, and rest in His love, where there is no sound of dripping.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
– Ephesians 2:8-10 [NASB]