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Unexpected Battles

Words of Faith Final

Unexpected Battles

Words of Faith 9-16-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 10

    Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyed it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and were living near them. [2] He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. [3] So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. [4] "Come up and help me attack Gibeon," he said, "because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites."

    [5] Then the five kings of the Amorites--the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon--joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.

    [6] The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us."

    [7] So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. [8] The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you."


       Panic was now sweeping the region of southern Canaan.  Israel had defeated two heavily fortified cities at Ai and Jericho.  Gibeon had made a deceptive treaty with Israel that protected them but gave Israel an arc of cities from which to attack.  The region was shaken by fear of the Israelite forces.  The other five kings in the region feared that soon the whole area would be surrendering to Israelites.  They determined to punish Gibeon to prevent others from surrendering to Israel.

       When the attack came, the Gibeonite king sent an urgent message to Joshua pleading for help. After all, the Gibeonites had a treaty with Joshua, even if it was gained by deception.  Joshua responded without contemplation.  For Joshua, a covenant was a covenant.  He was willing to risk everything because of integrity.  For Joshua, his word was worth dying for.

        But Joshua would not be alone.  After the Israelite forces marched up to Gilgal, the Lord reassured Joshua. "Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you." 

         This was not a battle that Joshua had expected-- fighting to defend what had been an enemy city.  It was a battle borne out of an alliance that had been a "mistake."  Yet the Lord was clearly involved and using this situation.  From the military strategy perspective, this battle allowed Joshua to defeat the kings of four major cities without attacking their fortified cities!  The four kings' armies were drawn out of safety, and the Lord would deliver the victory.

        Have you ever noticed that life moves along rather unexpectedly?  The battles before us are often not the ones we anticipated.  Try as you may to plan out your day, month, or week, some things come at you that you did not anticipate.  But the truth is that nothing is a surprise to God!  The battles we encounter are not off His radar.  Our days, weeks, and months are quite within His knowledge and planning. God uses these unexpected detours to win victories we did not even know about. 

        The truth is that we can learn a great deal from Joshua.  We can learn that there is nothing that surprises God.  We can learn that walking with the Lord with integrity will take us down the right paths.  We learn that God can even turn our "mistakes" into positive strategies and great victories.  And the unexpected battles can often be a place of great victory.

        Have you been struggling with unexpected battles?  Surrender to the Lord.  He is guiding your path.  His plan is before us.  Walk with integrity, and He will be with you to bring the victory. 


        Father God, I surrender to You.  Nothing surprises You.  Keep my paths straight in Your name.  Give me all that I need for this day.  Give me strength for the challenges expected and unexpected. In Jesus' name. 


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.