God performed miracles when he brought the Israelites into the promised land. He stopped the flow of the Jordan River so they could enter the land.
So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest),the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
He made the walls of Jericho fall down.
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.
He even caused the sun to stand still.
At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,
“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.
Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel.
Then a surprising thing happened.
And the Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain because they had chariots of iron.
God stopped the Jordan from flowing, destroyed the wall of Jericho, and even stopped the sun from moving. Surely he had the power to overcome a few iron chariots.
Judah wasn’t the only tribe that failed to take possession of the land God had given them.
Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages, for the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely.
And Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.
Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them, but became subject to forced labor.
Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob, so the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, for they did not drive them out.
Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, so they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them.
The Angel of the LORD appeared to the Israelites to tell them the reason for their failure.
Now the angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”
The reason Judah couldn’t drive out the inhabitants of the plain wasn’t because they had iron chariots but because Judah failed to fully obey God. Judges 4 describes a war against invaders who had iron chariots. This time the Israelites obeyed God and it turned out that the chariots were not an obstacle to victory.
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.
Sisera called out all his chariots, 900 chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the river Kishon. And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has given Sisera into your hand. Does not the Lord go out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with 10,000 men following him. And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak by the edge of the sword. And Sisera got down from his chariot and fled away on foot.
Judges 4:1-3, 13-15
We live in a culture which denies the Bible’s account of creation and thinks life evolved. The Bible’s standards of sex and marriage are rejected and same sex marriage and couples living together without being married are regarded as acceptable behavior. Many see nothing wrong with aborting babies. In many parts of the world Christians are persecuted by Muslims. In addition to these common enemies, believers face personal obstacles that make it hard for them to serve God. Christians have many enemies and it seems as if they all have iron chariots. They are too strong for us to overcome by our own strength. If we want to have victory we must obey God.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
If we first submit to God we are guaranteed victory over Satan. If we try to oppose him without first submitting to God we are sure to be defeated.
Posted on February 18, 2017, in Bible study, practical lessons and tagged iron chariots, obedience, spiritual warfare, submission to God, warfare. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Iron chariots.