So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war. -Joshua 11:23 (NKJV)
Following decades of a grumbling, complaining, unfaithful nation of Israelites making an already tough journey even more painful (“Are we there yet? Why did we ever leave where we were?”), God was steadfast and unfailing in His love. His people made and worshiped graven idols, intermingled with unbelievers, and more…but God loved them unconditionally.
After Moses started off his people’s conquests with the astonishing defeat of Kings Sihon and Og, God had him retire and step down to make way for Joshua, who would lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. Then, Joshua led the Israelites to positively steamroll the region…thirty one kings and their peoples were utterly annihilated! It didn’t matter that some of them teamed up to beat the Israelites, or that there were even literal giants among them…they all fell.
I read through the last books of Deuteronomy, and the first twelve or so books of Joshua, with eyes wide and jaw dropped. It wasn’t even a contest. It was as if the Israelites’ enemies had surrendered before the battle even began!
There was one exception: when the walls of Jericho fell–another amazing testament to faith in God’s plans and will–the Israelites did indeed clear the entire town, as they were commanded. But they were also ordered to not take any of the spoils in the town. One man did…and to the Israelites’ shock and discouragement, they lost in their subsequent attack against the city of Ai. It wasn’t till that sin was atoned for (the man and his family were stoned), did the steamrolling continued over Ai and all other cities in the Promised Land.
From all this, we can see what happens when we trust entirely in the Lord and His plans for us. We don’t live and walk by what we see, but by our faith in Him (2 Corinthians 5:7). Because even the slightest misstep in disobedience can stop us dead in our tracks, like slamming on the brakes in the middle of the freeway. But once we quit stopping the flow of His blessings in our lives, and start trusting in His provision and His plans, no matter how the landscape looks, He can do amazing things through us, His people.
Forget how bleak things look. Look past the towering Goliaths of fear and doubt and worry. God is on your side. Be unstoppable as you tread fearlessly in the steps He has laid before you! There is rest He has for you on the other side.