The Life Of Conquest

W. Terry Varner
September 17, 2017

The book of Joshua tells the story of Israel’s conquest and conquering of the land that became known as Israel. Joshua 1:1-11 is called the “Coronation Chapter” as it is used at the crowning of each British sovereign. The land of Canaan was a conquest by God’s chosen people, Israel. It was much like our conquest on the road to Heaven—it was filled with trials, obstacles, setbacks, and great victories.

Joshua was the leader and conqueror of Israel. God was with him (Joshua 1:5) and God is with the Christian (Heb. 13:5). Joshua was to observe and do God’s commandments (Joshua 1:7). Christians, likewise, are to observe and keep God’s commandments (1 John 5:3). Jesus said, “He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life” (John 5:24).

The Divine Call to the Life of Conquest. God called Joshua to be “strong and of good courage: for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them and I will be with you” (Deut. 31:14). Joshua was called to be a conqueror who led Israel in defeating the Canaanites. He did so with God’s help (Joshua 1:5-7, 9). The people of Canaan were idolaters, immoral, and sacrificed their children to their god Baal. In 1904, an archaeological expedition unearthed a house in which children had been sacrificed and their bodies cemented into a wall. It is doubtful that any civilization ever existed that reached this state of immorality and filth. This is one reason God wanted the Canaanites destroyed.

Men today are to call on God in order to be saved (Acts 2:21) after they hear the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). Christians are called to go forth as soldiers (2 Tim. 2:3-4); therefore, we are on active duty to do the work of Him who called us through His word. While we are not fighting the Canaanites, we are fighting a type of Canaanites when we oppose any type of sin, wickedness, ungodliness (Eph. 6:12; 1 Peter 5:8). Our fight, is, as was Joshua’s fight, with God’s help.

Joshua Had Specific Boundaries to Conquer. God told Joshua that he was to conquer “from the wilderness and this Lebanon even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast” (Joshua 1:4).

While the Christian has liberty in Christ (Gal. 5:1), he also has boundaries. We can allow our “wilderness ” to represent our personal limitations. Our “Lebanon” can represent the boundary of personal study and application of God’s will. The “great river” suggests the rights of others, which and when violated is sinful. The “great sea” represents each man’s personal diligence in achievement.

Joshua Had Encouragement. God told Joshua “there shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life” (Joshua 1:5). This means that with God’s help no enemy could stand before him and prevent him from leading Israel to victory. He was victorious because he did what God commanded and God was with him.

Romans 8:35 asks, “who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” and lists seven enemies of the Christian. 1) “Tribulation ” is hard, vexing, pressing. 2) “Distress” when we know not where to turn. 3) “Persecution” it is a most trying experience to be hounded as a rabbit before a dog, 4) “Famine” the denial of ALL things tangible to life. 5) “Nakedness ” stripped of every possession. 6) “Peril” any danger or hazard. 7) “Sword” governmental persecution and opposition. These are truly formidable foes. The question is “Can any of these separate us from Christ?” In spite of all, God is with us!