When you trust Christ, your troubles are God’s troubles even when your troubles are your fault! Reading Joshua 10 reminds me of a vehicle I bought against my father’s sage advice. It was a S10 Zr2 Blazer, coolest car I have ever had, at least I thought so, as long as you ignored the inoperable windshield wipers and short that drained the battery and oh yeah, broken 4 wheel drive, it was amazing! Before I purchased it, my dad told me not to because it was a lemon. I did not listen and conned my mom into cosigning for me and committed myself through contract for paying for this vehicle for the next several years with all of its mechanical problems. As I read this chapter I pictured in my mind my dad standing in my yard with the fuel tank on the ground to change out the fuel pump on my blazer because it too had stopped working, or changing out the actuator that engaged the four wheel drive. Even though I had made foolish commitment against his sound advice my father continued to help me with my troubles that I brought upon myself, he took my troubles on himself as his troubles, even though they were my fault. This is what is happening inJoshua 10.
The Gibeonites had tricked Joshua into signing a treaty that obligated them to defend them if they were ever attacked. It looks as though the very next event that happened is the rest of the kings in the land joined together to destroy the Gibeonites, before they were able to join forces with Israel, who they feared. So the Gibeonites call in their new allies to help them defeat these kings. Joshua and the people have made this treaty and must honor it or they will be found as liars and unfaithful to their word, foolish or not, their commitment has to be fulfilled.
Joshua and Israel go out to fight for Gibeon and save them from these kings that are coming to destroy them. As they do God tells Joshua, “do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands,” (Joshua 10:8). God is telling Joshua, your troubles are my troubles, even if you caused them yourself. The battle went on so long that Joshua needed more time to finish off these armies, so he appeals to the Lord to cause the sun stand still and God, “heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel,” (Joshua 10:14). The Lord caused the world to stop spinning for His people on the day that He dealt with the troubles they had caused their own selves!
Think on that today, your good, good Father does not stop being your dad when you get yourself into trouble. In fact that is when you see Him doing the most for you. God is in the mess cleaning up business. Even when you have created a mess of things and acted foolishly, He still loves you and is there watching over and caring for you.
Do not be afraid to take your troubles to Him today, even if they are troubles you got yourself into, be honest before your God, own up to your mistakes and ask Him for His gracious intervention. Joshua did not blink when he asked God to do something that God had never done. Even though, Joshua was in that situation because he had failed to ask God’s counsel to begin with. And God did not say, well if you would have listened to start with, you would not be in this shape, no the Father simply took care of His children’s troubles.
This is what the Gospel teaches us and what Paul is trying to explain in
Romans 8:31-39, as you have worries today, I encourage you to revisit these words and thank your Good Father for taking care of you no matter what:
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31–39, NLT)