Joshua 10 – Divine intervention

I mentioned a couple of posts ago something I had never noticed about the parable of the sower. I wanted to point out something from Joshua 10 that had also escaped me.

This is the story where God makes the “sun stand still.” The Amorite cities and their rulers hear of what the Israelites have done to Jericho and Ai. They learn that even the more powerful Gibeonites have become the servants of the Hebrews. Five of their kings with their respective armies come to attack the Gibeonites and Joshua comes to their rescue. I always thought that was pretty noble considering they had just decieved the Israelites. But Joshua keeps his word to them.

Anyway, God helps them win the battle by doing four things: 1) confusing the enemy, 2) making the “sun stand still”, 3) sending down “large hailstones” (NIV) to kill the enemy, and 4) I will mention in a minute. We can talk about the problems that come from reading the Bible as a science book all day but that is not the one that jumped out at me. It was the “large hailstones” (Josh. 10:11). These two words literally mean “large rocks.”A few verses later Joshua’s men corner the five kings in a nearby cave and Joshua gives the order, “Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it” (10:18). This phrase for “large rocks” is exactly the same phrase used for “large hailstones” just a few verses earlier. Now I am sure cave entrances come equipped with a handly supply of large rocks laying around but wouldn’t it be interesting if they just took the rocks God dropped down and used them to close up the cave. The fourth way God helps them gain the victory could have been by supplying the rocks to close up the cave to trap these five kings. Coincidence? Israel is a very rocky place. Maybe so. Provision for the victory? Who knows.

I wonder how many times we underestimate the extent God goes through to ensure the victory for us. I wonder how often he is rescuing me from things I didn’t even see or was aware of.

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