The Power of Words
Scripture reading for March 5th: Joshua 9-12
God’s words are powerful. He has given authority to those who are in covenant with Him. This authority involves asking in prayer for needs and speaking in faith to mountains or hindrances. He has told us that we may ask for anything in accordance with His will in prayer and if we know that He hears us, we will have what we ask for. (1st John 5:14-15) He has told us that if we have faith in Him and we can speak to mountains and they will obey. (Mark 11:22-24) Today’s reading has an amazing example of the power of faith-filled words!
Joshua had neglected to inquire of the Lord and made a covenant with one of the tribes that God told him to destroy, the Gibeonites. They had used an elaborate ruse to escape death by lying about where they lived. Joshua made an agreement with them and then found out that they lived close. (Joshua 9:14-15) He made them servants of the Israelites and told them they were under a curse for lying but honored his word to spare their lives. (Joshua 9:20-21) Joshua understood that our words are powerful and carefully accounted for by God. When we make a promise or oath, He expects us to keep it even if it hurts. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6)
The Gibeonites came under attack by other Canaanite neighbors and called to Joshua and the Israelites for help. (Joshua 10:6-7) Because of the covenant, Joshua and his men immediately set out for an all-night march to Gibeon. The Lord spoke to him, encouraging him to be fearless because he would be victorious. A word from God helps us every time because we can count on it!
The next morning Joshua took the enemy by surprise and the Lord threw them into confusion before Israel. Great hailstones fell from the sky and pounded them to death. (Joshua 10:11) The Amorites ran and were being defeated but Joshua could see that for a complete victory, his army would need more time. He spoke to the sun about noon in a prophetic poem. (Joshua 10:12-13) God listened to his words and caused the sun to stand still for about a full day as the Israelites pounded the Amorites. Joshua found the five kings and had his commanders put their feet on their necks as a picture of total conquest. Praise the Lord!