Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
When I read this verse, I had a bit of a Dirty Harry moment — in all the excitement, I lost count. So I went back and read over the chapter again and found myself with a count of 12 kings and their armies utterly obliterated. And this verse gives the reason for such an extensive run of victory: because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.
I find myself wanting to write at length about this, but the truth is that the concept is simple and its application straightforward. The concept is this: when God fights on my behalf, I win. That is all.
And this generalizes out to every circumstance in life. If I am trying to overcome some entangling sin, I will win free when God fights for me. If I am trying to cultivate a virtue in my life and the battle is against my baser nature, I will win and the virtue be cultivated when God is the One Who fights. When I fight alone, defeat is imminent. When God fights, victory is assured.
This does prompt me to ask myself some searching questions, like “Why do I ever fight unless I am sure that God has told me to?” and “If God wins when He fights, then why would I ever bother to fight at all?” And I do not have good answers for all of those questions. But the principle of certain victory when God fights for me is simple and the application as direct as me determining not to fight unless God bids me, but to invite God to contend on my behalf.
Father, thank You that You are willing to fight for Your children; that You will readily face down every foe on our behalf. Please work this truth in me so that I stand and see what You will do and only fight when You tell me to.