“So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled.” Joshua 21:43-45
For seven years they were an unstoppable juggernaut winning 20 battles, conquering 7 kings and reclaiming 25,000 square miles of choice property! Under Joshua, the Hebrews crossed the Jordan and at long last entered the land God had promised to their Fathers centuries before and for seven glorious years were outnumbered but never overpowered! They were under-equipped but never over-matched. And they became the unquestioned conquerors of some of the most barbaric armies that ever marched.
If this had been a prize fight the referee would have probably stopped it in the first round. These were the Glory Days!
Make no mistake the Hebrew people hadn’t always be this formidable. For 400 years they were living bondage to Pharaoh in Egypt and for the last 40 years they had been in bondage to fear in the wilderness after blowing a chance to enter Canaan.
The Bible is brutally honest about the shortcomings of the Founders and Fathers of our Faith.
· Abraham had too many wives
· Jacob told too many lies.
· Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soul
· Jacob’s sons sold their brother Joseph into slavery.
· They squandered Canaan after they finally conquered it.
· They built two glorious temples but lost them both.
· They were entrusted with the Ark of the Covenant but lost that, too.
· Because they lost influence for good pagan cultures gain strength and wrought havoc on the innocents of the world – such as the Babylonians, the Philistines, the Syrians, the Greeks and the Romans.
So, shining from the pages of the Old Testament are seven glorious years between long periods of darkness.
What accounts for such a dramatic difference?
Under the leadership of Joshua God’s people finally employed His power to cross over Jordan and enter the Promised Land at long last!
They employed God’s power because they enjoyed His presence! Because Joshua listened to God and the people listened to Joshua, God was able to have favor on them blessed them with His presence.
When you employ His power while you enjoy His presence you are able to enter into His possession! After hundreds of years Joshua did what Moses and all the other Patriarchs were not able to do, he entered the Promised Land and brought God’s people with him!
The Book of Joshua is in the Bible to serve as a reminder that no matter where you find yourself in life God offers you His Glory Days! God is a God of second chances. God never loses hope in you even when you lose hope in Him.
This morning you have the same offer God gave Joshua. You can enjoy His presence! You can employ His power! You can possess all the blessings He has to offer you!