As we continue on our journey to cross the Jordon and take the land, Joshua tells us Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Paul tell us in Romans 8:31 “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Just as Moses said to the Israelites when Pharaoh and his army came after them. Exodus 14:13 “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” “Not one of them survived.” Exodus 15:1 “Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. 2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name.” Last week we read from Zechariah. The shepherds who were supposed to be leading lead the people astray so God said, Zechariah 10:3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.”
Because God goes before us, all we have to do is suit up and do as commanded. 2 Corinthians 10:4 “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Psalm 144:1 “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.” As we come out of captivity and return to the Promised Land we do not have to fear because God goes before us. Look at Israel when they came out of Egypt. Exodus 13:18 “So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.” Proverbs 21:31 “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” As they moved Numbers 22:2 “Balak son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites, 3 and Moab was terrified because there were so many people. Indeed, Moab was filled with dread because of the Israelites. “This horde is going to lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” They then hired Balaam to curse them but that backfired as he blessed them instead. Numbers 23:18 “Then he spoke his message: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. 19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? 20 I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. 21 “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The LORD their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. 22 God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. 23 There is no divination against Jacob, no evil omens against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ 24 The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till it devours its prey and drinks the blood of its victims.” “Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I brought you to curse my enemies, but you have done nothing but bless them!” And then again Numbers 24:8 “God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them. 9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse them? “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed.”
When the spies went to Jericho Rahab said Joshua 2:9 “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 10 We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. 11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
We do not have to fear anything when we take the land as God is before us. When Israel was finally going to cross the Jordon. Joshua 4:10 “the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war. 14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.”
Then later we see mighty warriors come and join David who were armed and ready for battle. 1 Chronicles 12:8 “8 Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. 13 They were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains. 14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred, and the greatest for a thousand. 15 It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west.” 1 Chronicles 12:22 “Day after day men came to help David, until he had a great army, like the army of God. 23 These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him, as the Lord had said.” Then there is a description of these mighty warriors armed for battle –armed, ready, brave, loyal, men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do, prepared for battle with every type of weapon.
David describes what it means to be a warrior ready for battle. 2 Samuel 22:38 “I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 39 I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 40 You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. 41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. 42 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the Lord, but he did not answer. 43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.” So you may be thinking how do I become a warrior. First you wait. If you don’t wait you won’t have power and you will be defeated. Luke 24:49 “I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” We must be clothed with power and we must put on the armor of light. Paul said in Romans 13:11 “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” He also said in Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
When we are armed with the power of God, no man will stand before us and everywhere we set our feet will be ours. Deuteronomy 28:7 “The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” Leviticus 26:7 “You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.”