Scripture: Joshua 11:1-23
Observation: Joshua successfully defeats enemies throughout Canaan, claiming the land for the Israelites, just as the Lord commanded. After years of war, Joshua and his people had conquered the entire region.
Application: Have you ever been hiking or on a long trail run? There’s something about being in nature, navigating tree roots and dirt piles, climbing hills, and crossing streams, that is so calming…until that moment you realize you have no idea where you are.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow the path that’s laid out in front of you. Suddenly, those little red markers disappeared and everything looks the same and you have no idea whether to go right or left… and then you’re about 90% sure you just heard the growl of a bear and YOU ARE GOING TO DIE OUT HERE ALONE. Cue the hysterics.
Life can sometimes feel like a really long, never-ending trail run that goes from relaxing and therapeutic to confusing and overwhelming. In the midst of it all, you just simply want someone to clear a path for you.
I’m not sure Joshua ever went trail running; it seems like he was pretty busy kicking Canaanite king behind. But I’d guess he knew a thing or two about navigating a difficult, confusing path – and he knew the One who would clear his path.
“As the Lord had commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua. And Joshua did as he was told, carefully obeying all the commands that the Lord had given Moses.” (v. 15)
He followed the path the Lord laid out for him – and when he did, he never lost.
Read this part again: (Oh, and just pretend to know how to pronounce all the words; if you say them confidently, no one will know you’re making it all up.)
“So Joshua conquered the entire region – the hill country, the entire Negev, the whole area around the town of Goshen, the western foothills, the Jordan Valley, the mountains of Israel, and the Galilean foothills. The Israelite territory now extended all the way from Mount Halak, which leads up to Seir in the south, as far north as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the valley of Lebanon.” (v. 16-17)
God cleared his path, and Joshua claimed the victory.
His obedience led to opportunity.
Maybe you’re right in the middle of a hard climb on the longest trail of your life. Your trail is littered with circumstances that trip you up, scrape up your knees, and threaten to take you out. It’s called divorce or cancer or depression or anxiety or eating disorder or brokenness or loneliness or inadequacy.
Your God is bigger.
He cleared a path for Joshua, and he will clear a path for you.
Prayer: God, sometimes life can feel like a long and difficult trail that only leads to suffering. With faith, we pray and believe that you are bigger than every circumstance that threatens to take us out or throw us off from the path you’ve cleared for us. We proclaim that victory is ours through faith in you. Help us be obedient. Amen.