The Power, Presence, and Promises of God (Joshua 11:21–23) - Radical

The Power, Presence, and Promises of God (Joshua 11:21–23)

“And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel, only in Gaza and Gath and then Ashdod did some remain. So Joshua took the whole land according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel, according to their tribal allotments, and the land had rest from war.”
-Joshua 11:21–23

What a summary of what has happened through 11 chapters in Joshua, as God’s people have taken the promised land. But I want you to notice specifically in these verses, Joshua came at that time, verse 21 says, and cut off the Anakim. The Anakim. And you pause there and you think about, “Wait a minute, where have we seen the descendants of Anak?” And you remember back in Numbers chapter 13 and 14, when the spies went into the promised land to scout it out and they came back and they said, “Apart from Caleb and Joshua,” the group of spies said, “there’s no way we can take this land because the descendants of Anak are there, and they’re so big. We’re like grasshoppers in their eyes. There’s no way we could take them.” And Joshua and Caleb had stood up and said, “Yes, we can because God has promised to help us.” And yet the other spies and the people of God said, “No, we can’t go.” They basically said, we don’t trust God to help us take this land.

Help us to walk faithfully with you, amidst the challenges before us, and help us to trust in your power, presence, and promises every step of the way.

And you know the story, an entire generation died in the wilderness because they didn’t trust God. And now here in Joshua, chapter 11, it’s happening. And it’s happening because of the power and the promises of God. Not because the army is any mightier. It’s because they believe God and because Joshua is leading the people of God to do what God had called them to do.

So we pray based on this picture of Joshua chapter 11, amidst all kinds of challenges we might be facing in each of our lives. So picture different challenges you’re facing, you’re walking through, and look to heaven and let’s pray based on Joshua chapter 11.

God, we trust in you. We trust in you. We pray that you would help us not to be afraid, not to be afraid of what lies ahead, because we know you are with us. We know your presence is with us. We know your promises are for us. We know your power is with those who trust in you, who walk with you, who align with your word, and walk and step with your spirit. And so we pray that you would help us to do all that you are calling us to do. Help us to walk faithfully with you, amidst the challenges before us, and help us to trust in your power and your presence and your promises every step of the way.

God, help us to learn from the history of your people in the Old Testament. Help us to learn not to be afraid or be dismayed, to shrink back from what you are calling us to do. God help us to walk fully in obedience to you. And as we do, to trust in you every step of the way. God, we praise you for your faithfulness to your promises, to show your power on behalf of your people, with your presence in Joshua. God, we pray the same for our own lives today.

God, would you show yourself faithful with all your power, to all your promises that you’ve given to us today as your people, as we walk through all kinds of different challenges before us and around us, in our lives and our families, work and churches? God, please, please help us to walk by faith, to obey you by faith today.

God, I pray based on verse 23, specifically saying the land had rest from war. God, we pray with longing for the day when the war will be no more when the battles will be no more when the challenges and the sorrow and the suffering that go with them will be no more. God, we praise you that the ultimate battle has already been won and there’s coming a day when you will wipe every tear from our eyes.

All glory, be to your name, Lord Jesus. You are the victor. You are our savior. You are our Lord. We love you. We trust you. And we pray that you would help us to faithfully walk with you, obey you until the war is over until battles with sin and evil and suffering are over and we are with you in your presence face to face. Come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly, we pray. We pray all of this based on Joshua chapter 11, verses 21 through 23. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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