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March 22 – The victory that overcomes the world

“And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.” – Joshua 10:10

Scripture reading: Joshua 10:6-11

The Holy Spirit opens our eyes here to the way things are in the conflict between the church and the world. The bottom line, if you want to say it that way, is that though the world attacks us because we are not of the world, the war is actually between God and the world.

That’s reflected in the way the Spirit describes the battle. On the one hand, He says Joshua and the army marched all night and came upon the Amorite armies suddenly. At the same time, He says the LORD threw the Amorite armies into a panic. That means that the LORD used what we might call the powers of nature, to terrify the Amorites. (see also e.g. I Samuel 7:10-11, Psalm 77:13-20)

And then it says that Israel struck the Amorites with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by way of the ascent of Beth-Horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. But the footnote says that we could also translate this way: He – the LORD – Who struck them and chased them all the way to Azekah and Makkedah.

It seems like two contradictory accounts: the LORD did it and Israel did it. But both are true. Israel had to fight, but the LORD was fighting for them. The battle belongs to the LORD, but we must put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), and overcome the world by faith (I John 5:5-6).

Suggestions for prayer: Pray that the Holy Spirit will make you fully confident that the battle belongs to the LORD and that He will enable you to fight against the devil, the world and your own flesh in that confidence.

Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.

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