Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.
When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, “You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. “
This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites: from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite (the territory of the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron–that of the Avvites); from the south, all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek, the region of the Amorites, the area of the Gebalites; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
“As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”
– Joshua 13:1-7
In 2004, the New York Yankees led the Boston Red Sox three games to zero in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Historically, a 3-0 lead in a four game series was a death sentence to the trailing ball club. It was looking like the end of the road for the Red Sox, especially as they entered the ninth inning of game four behind 4-3 to New York.
Boston went on a tear, not only winning game four, but beat the Yankees in four straight games to move on to face the Cardinals in the Word Series. The Red Sox swept the Cardinals and won their first World Series in 86 years.
The lesson? It’s not over till it’s over. This lesson is often repeated in the sports world. In Scripture, however, God often declares victory before the contest is complete.
In this passage, we see that Joshua has not led the people to take over all of the Promised Land just yet. There is still more conquest to be done.
However, God tells Joshua to divide the land among the people of Israel as if it had already been done. God tells Joshua, “I myself will drive them out before the Israelites.”
God promises to complete His end of the bargain provided that Israel could simply trust and obey Him during the process.
God is commanding Israel to behave as if the battle has already been won because He was going to ensure that the task would be completed. In other words, “It’s not over, but it’s over.”
There are times that God calls us to trust in Him for the final victory. We are called to follow Him even when we are unable to see the end result ourselves.
The ironic truth in Scripture, however, is that even though God is the only One completely worthy of our trust, we often have the most trouble putting our trust in Him. Perhaps it is because the level of trust that He calls us to is so deep, or because we are often unable to see how He will accomplish what He promises to accomplish.
Regardless of why we have trouble trusting in Him, He is worthy of our trust and will always come through when we trust and obey.
The Big Question
Is there an area of your life where you need to trust in God for victory?
Are you living as if the result has not been decided?
How can you change your outlook, attitude, and actions, to better reflect the fact that God has declared a victory for you over sin and death?
Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.