I’m sure when the day started for those five kings, they never imagined they’d be huddled in a cave, running for their lives. Just when you think there is safety in numbers, God shows up and defeats even royalty. Those kings were not seeking after God or his will. In fact, they were set on destroying the Israelites. It was not going to end well for them.
“After that, no one dared to speak even a word against Israel.” Not only were the kings doomed, but the majority of their armies were also eliminated. To me, all of this killing is a little ruthless. I have a hard time reading the words because I know that lives were lost that day. Am I supposed to feel victorious because that is what God orchestrated?
It’s passages like this that sometimes turn people away from reading the Bible. If this was the only passage that you were ever to read in the Bible, it would be hard to want to read more, wouldn’t it? Yet we see how God is empowering Joshua for his leadership. We see how Joshua is encouraging his men. “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.”
We may not have fought such battles, but we can certainly think of some enemies that we’ve encountered during our lives. Those enemies could be in the form of bullies on the playground, two-faced friends who say one thing to you and another behind your back, or people with opposing viewpoints that aren’t able to love you despite your differences.
God has the final judgment against us and our foes. We don’t have to be the ones to seek revenge (unless God instructs us like he did Joshua). We know that God’s truth will prevail. It’s our job to seek that for our lives and leave vengeance to God.
Here are some great passages of God’s provisions so we can just focus on loving him.
2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 says, “And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19 says, “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Don’t get caught up in the bloodshed of this stories. Remember that God is in control, and he loves you more than you can imagine.
Let’s pray … Father, thank you for how you protect me and look out for my best interests. I want to be a good steward of the blessings you have given me. Help me to see your hand at work in my life. Use me to touch the lives of others so they yearn to know you more. In Jesus’ name. Amen.