Then we asked who our enemy is today, given the kingdom of God inaugurated by Jesus centuries after Moses and Joshua. That enemy is less tangible today - pure satanic evil. And the command straight from Jesus via Paul (see Ephesians 6) is to put on our "armor of God" - truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith that extinguishes the flaming arrows of the evil one, salvation, the sword of the Spirit which is the Bible, and prayer, prayer, prayer!
In Joshua 8-12, we find that the answer to defeating Joshua's tangible enemy was total victory in unity with God. Any remnants allowed to remain within the territory of Israel would be disobedience, leading to a cancer that could destroy Israel’s relationship with God.
Let me ask you a question: if God tells you 25 times that he is with you, that you should be strong and courageous, and that he will hand the enemy to you solely by his power, would you do exactly as he tells you to do? In these five chapters, that is what happens between Joshua and God – 25 direct interventions by God leading Israel to total victory.
This question is important, because if you are like me, reading about Joshua’s total destruction of his enemy is hard. There are 39 references in these chapters to total destruction of men, women, children, and even animals, literally “anything that breathed.” What a bloody mess!
Answer to the question: follow God’s specific commands to the letter, as Joshua did, no matter how personally uncomfortable.
This begs another question: what are God’s specific commands for us today in our battle against spiritual evil? Or better yet, what are the commands of Jesus, since he is the Commander in Chief of the Kingdom of God?
We know the answer. It is written in one form by the Apostle Paul, who knew just a bit about the transforming power of Jesus, in Ephesians 6 as noted in the second paragraph above, and in other forms in all his letters in the New Testament. And it is written stage center in bright lights in the Four Gospels of Jesus Christ. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. Be brought to perfect unity in the same way as God, Jesus, and the Spirit are One.
Are we as eager to obey the commands of Jesus in our era as Joshua was to obey God’s in his?
We know where the cycle is heading for Israel after the perfect dedication of Joshua. That path was not good.
Where is the Cycle heading for us?
Will we choose to march in perfect unity around the Jericho of Evil and shout until its walls fall down?
Will we leave no survivors of the spirit of evil through our unity?
Or will we cower in fear of impossible odds and disobey our Commander?
Jesus’s command is for total victory, leaving no breath of evil in each of our lives!