The battle was on.
The kings had heard of Joshua’s victory of Ai and of his treaty with Gibeon, and they were worried. They saw Gibeon as a formidable foe by itself; now joined with the army of Israel, nothing would stop them.
So, five kings with their armies joined together as a force to attack. The men of Gibeon called in favor from Joshua for his support in the battle.
Joshua stood true to his word and went to help Gibeon. There would be a battle, but God had assured Joshua of victory.
Joshua 10:8 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.
Several miracles occurred during this battle. Joshua prayed, and God caused the sun to stand still, and God sent hail to batter the armies of the kings as they ran from the battle.
Joshua 10:11 And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
I want to talk about that hail.
Couldn’t God have just skipped the battle and sent down the hail to begin with?
God gave Joshua assurance of victory, but He never released him from the call to fight. Couldn’t He have conquered the land without calling His people into battle?
He could have, but He didn’t.
The battle is on in my life everyday.
I often pray for God to send the hail when He is calling me into battle. I want Him just to fix the problems, but He wants me to engage with and obey His word.
- He calls me to be persistent in prayer.
- He calls me to stand when it seems that everything is wrong.
- He calls me to have courage when I am afraid.
- He calls me to get involved with people when I am not sure how to help.
- He calls me to speak up when I see injustice.
- He calls me to serve when the duty is hard.
- He calls me to have hope when all around are hopeless.
- He calls me to speak grace into suffering.
- He calls me to show up everyday to do the right thing.
My heart does not relish the battle or the suffering. My spirit grows weary in waiting and loses courage in the face of evil, and I wonder why He doesn’t just send down the hail to wipe out the enemy.
God does intervene, and miracles occur, but He never releases me from the battle. In fact, He reminds me to be a good soldier and to fully clothe myself in His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18).
II Timothy 2:2 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
As long as I live there will be battles to fight –
- over pride
- over self-centeredness
- over greed
- over hatred
- over lies
- over apathy
- over self-indulgence
- over injustice
- over unbelief
- over hurt and pain and grief
God has called me just as He called Joshua to ‘be strong and very courageous’ (Joshua 1:7), knowing that He goes before me and with me into every battle. There is no quitting in His army. He has promised victory, and when the time is right, He will send down the hail.
Joshua 10:42 And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.