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“Joshua took Makkedah, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword.”—Joshua 10:28 (NKJV)
By now we know that the Book of Joshua chronicles the nation of Israel’s possession of the land God had promised to them. As we come to this portion of the book, it helps to imagine the land divided into three sections: north, central, and south. Up to this point, Israel has possessed the central portion of the Promised Land.
However, the next several verses detail how Israel swings south to claim that territory. Throughout this account, we can’t help but notice a reoccurring phrase. In the verse above, and in five following verses, we see the expression, “the edge of the sword” used in connection with Israel’s victory (Joshua 10:30, 32, 35, 37, 39)!
Such deliberate repetition like this demands our careful consideration, especially since the events in Joshua depict the spiritual dynamics of the Christian life. So, what can we take from Israel’s victory by “the edge of the sword”?
In the Ephesians 6:17, Paul refers to God’s Word as the “sword of the Spirit”; and in Hebrews 4:12, we’re told that the Word of God is actually sharper than any material sword because it has the power to cut in the immaterial realm of the soul and spirit. Clearly, there’s a scriptural connection between the sword and God’s Word.
As the natural sword was used to defend against and subdue the enemy in Joshua’s day, God’s Word has the same purpose for the believer in Christ. When we are attacked by our spiritual adversary (Satan and his demonic forces), it’s the power of God’s Word that repels the attack and gives us victory.
He conspires to play on our insecurities, but God’s Word tells us we’re fully loved and accepted in Christ (Ephesians 1:5). He attempts to fill us with fear, but the Word of God reminds us that we have nothing to fear by belonging to Jesus (2 Timothy 1:7). He tries to deceive us into feeling abandoned by God, but the Word assures us that the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
For every satanic assault, there’s a counter-assault in the Word of God, which is why it must be central to our lives. Great spiritual victory is to be found by the edge of the sword.
DIG: What phrase stands out in this area of Scripture?
DISCOVER: What’s the spiritual significance for us?
DO: How can you integrate God’s Word more fully into your life? Write down ways you can do this.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.