And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.
John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
I love the way God works in today’s Old Testament reading. The people of Gibeon trick Joshua and the Israelites into making a covenant of peace with them. What does God do? He stands by and watches Joshua fail. Did Joshua inquire of God? No.
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live (Joshua 9:14-15).
Failure is often the precursor to success. I think Joshua learned from his failure… because Chapter 10 describes many battles and many victories!
But listen closely… They didn’t win because of their great numbers. They didn’t win because of their experience in battle. They didn’t win for any earthly reason. Rather, they won “because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:42).
This is the way of the Kingdom. God gets the glory when He works through lowly (yet willing) vessels.
Another example of God working through a lowly vessel is found in today’s passage in Luke…
John the Baptist lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel. His dress and diet were typical of a poor desert dweller. His fiery words wouldn’t score him any popularity points! John was not rich in the things of this earth, but he was “strong in SPIRIT”(Luke 1:80).
John the Baptist was no earthly good, yet God used John… MIGHTILY to prepare the people for repentance and faith in Jesus.
Don’t you love the way God works?
This is so typical of God’s Kingdom. The economy is different. Money, power, and fame don’t get you very far in God’s Kingdom. His currency is humility, compassion, and obedience. Which leads me to wonder… How rich are we in the currency of the Kingdom?