Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part X: Overcoming An Apparent Shortage Of Resources To Perform God's Will
(Joshua 10:1-43)
  1. Introduction
    1. So often, missionaries, churches, and even individual Christian family units seem to be too short of finances, workers, time or other resources to accomplish what God has led them to perform!
    2. Joshua 10 is an amazing encouragement and instruction on facing such divine assignment shortages:
  2. Overcoming An Apparent Shortage Of Resources To Perform God's Will, Joshua 10:1-43.
    1. Joshua and all Israel were thrust into an awkward challenge of being obligated to do something they had no sufficient resources to accomplish, Joshua 10:1-6:
      1. When Israel defeated Ai along with Jericho, and after the Gibeonites had made a league of protection with Israel, 5 other kings of southern Canaan around the city of Gibeon became alarmed and joined to defeat Gibeon to provide a united front against Israel, Jos. 10:1-5.
      2. True to the treaty, the people of Gibeon cried unto Israel for help from their invaders, Jos. 10:6.
      3. This put Israel into an incredible overextension of her human resources:
        1. Joshua was obliged to honor the Gibeonite treaty as it was made in God's name, cf. Jos. 9:19.
        2. However, to defend Gibeon, he needed to fight with five city states at once, something demanding much more time than a single day which was often needed to complete a victory before nightfall changed the battle plan and left the soldiers in the open field vulnerable to all sorts of disasters!
        3. Besides, Gibeon was 4,000 feet uphill and over 25 miles away, so the men of Israel would need to march all night and get weary to have time to conquer the enemy the next day, B.K.C., O.T., p. 350.
        4. However, Joshua knew that fighting these kings in a city-by-city campaign would have extended the war where overcoming them out in the open field as they surrounded Gibeon was advantageous for Israel; militarily, it was smart to try to conquer them all at once in the field, Ibid.
        5. Thus, there wasn't enough daylight, there wasn't enough manpower and there wasn't enough time to accomplish the task from a human perspective, but there was no choice but to attack to obey God's Word in honoring the league with the Gib eonites!
    2. However, God gave His Word to Joshua that he would win the battle and take every man who had set himself in opposition to the Gibeonites, Jos. 10:8.
    3. Accordingly, banking on God's Word, Joshua did his human best and relied on God to do the rest:
      1. To maximize what daylight hours he could for a complete, tidy operation, Joshua marched his men all night under cover of darkness to attack at dawn, Jos. 10:7,9.
      2. God routed the enemy before Joshua, bringing on a hail storm to slay more of the enemy by the storm's precipitation than Israel could slay by the sword, Jos. 10:10-11.
      3. Since God would intervene to make up the difference for human lack, Joshua asked God to give him more daylight hours supernaturally to finish the operation that had to be done by day, 10:12. God obliged, slowing the rotation of the earth down to half of its normal speed to give an additional 24 hours of time to the day, Jos. 10:13. One can only imagine the huge number and size of the additional miracles that God had to perform to keep tidal waves and objects on earth from crashing about with this enormous shift in velocity of the earth!
      4. Joshua was able to capture and execute the 5 kings for the encouragement of his soldiers, 10:15-27.
      5. The Canaanites worshipped the heavenly bodies, so their subjection to Joshua's wishes to advance Israel's cause was disheartening to their enemies, making the struggle help Israel the more, Ibid., p. 351!
      6. This attack and victory at Gibeon led to Israel's quick defeat of the other southern Canaanite strongholds in the region so that Israel came to possess all of Southern Canaan, Jos. 10:28-43!
Lesson: (1) If God leads us into a task, then God must provide the solutions to the human resource lacks we may have, whether it be deficiencies in human strength, time, daylight hours, finances, etc. that are needed to achieve God's will. As Hudson Taylor, missionary to China once put it, "The grace of God will keep you where the will of God has led you!" (2) The way to achieve in such times is by using our natural resources as best we ca n as did Joshua and leave the shortages for God to handle!