In Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor amasses enormous armies to take over middle earth and spread hate and evil. Peter Jackson’s films capture the scope and scale of these armies like never before, illuminated on the big screen. Numerous times, it appears as if the enemy is too great for Gandalf, Aragorn, and the rest of the Fellowship. However, because of their unwavering hope and courage, they consistently prevail as victors.
Joshua and the Israelites were outnumbered and outmatched. Yet, with God’s help, they would be victorious. After defeating the southern villages, Joshua turned his attention to the Northern kings who had formed a massive alliance. The coalition was “as numerous as the sand on the seashore” (11:4). This was the largest army Joshua and the Israelites had ever faced. If this were an action film, the dramatic music would begin to play with an enormous army of soldiers marching toward Joshua. What were they to do? Could this be the end of Joshua and the Israelites?
The northern cities were not fighting merely Joshua’s army, but the Lord’s army. Yahweh promised Joshua, “By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel” (11:6). When Joshua saw the countless number of soldiers he faced, doubt may have crept into his mind. The insecurities he once had as young leader might have returned. But like before, the Lord commanded him, “Do not be afraid” (11:6). As the narrative continues, Joshua mustered the courage needed for his quest. The Lord would prevail. He always does.
>> Fear has the ability to paralyze us. Fear of failure. Fear of the future. Fear of loss. Whatever it may be, fear can grip us and never let go. Like Joshua, we often need to be reminded to be strong and courageous. Allow the Lord to fight your battles. Regardless of how big the enemy may seem, in the end, the Lord prevails.