Joshua 11

Overcoming Overwhelming Odds



What do you do when you feel Overwhelmed? Some people eat They Raid the Refrigerator/ Others Bite Finger nails/ 

A)Some Lose Sleep- they toss & turn all night long !!!!  Some people resort to watching TV – Veg tune out Distracted


B) What Should we do ? This Chapter gives us some neat insights into What to do in the Mist of Overcoming Circumstances

1) How to be Overcomers instead of being Overcome – Read whole Chapter


C) Now In our text we read that Joshua is faced with an opponent that was seemingly INNUMERABLE and INVINCIBLE

1) V.4 We are told that the army coming against Israel was like the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude,w/ horses & chariots .


Now Imagine Joshua coming up on a ridge & looking down on the incoming army & it looks like the sand of the Beach –

A)Imagine the temptation to just feel completely over whelmed like – there is no way in the world – that we can defeat them


B) But In the face of such tremendous odds, the Lord ENCOURAGED His servant Joshua. 

1)   This Chapter lays out for us 4 Key Principles for Overcoming overwhelming odds


c) 1.) We need to have the Right PERSPECTIVE 

     2.) We need to believe in God's PROMISE


     3.) Put our Faith into PRACTICE

     4.) Rest in The PEACE that RESULTS




1st Having the Right PERSPECTIVE is crucial

A)As Joshua looks at this situation it is obvious that is first reaction was one of FEAR – Because in v. 6 the Lord tells him – don’t be afraid


B) This encourages me – that although – Joshua is this man of Faith – In Ch. 10 He speaks to the Sun – Stand still –

1)   But He is still a man Subject to fear & Discouragement – Here is the case


C) I have found often in the Christian life – Pray seek the Lord for something – get an answer – Peace – you step out – Next day peace is gone

1) Happened to me –Monday leadership got together – week & a ½ Fasting and praying – came together  - what is the Lord saying – Unity/ peace


D) Tues morning I woke up – No peace completely overwhelmed – turned to the word – God was quit to speak – Peace back

1) But we go thru those times – where our faith can falter – Discouragement can set in


In fact one of Satan's best tools is discouragement./Once discouragement sets in, you begin to lose hope & confidence in God.

A)From that point you are open to walk away from the Lord & do anything.


B) Even Seen people overwhelmed by discouragement – quit the ministry / some who even have given up on the Lord -


C) Now: Satan loves to do 2 things as a means of discouragement

1)   1st Get our eyes OFF of the Lord and onto our problem /

2)   The 2nd way Satan tries to get us discouraged is by getting us to

     Measure the problem against our strength and resources       


D) That is exactly what is happening here w/ Joshua – He looks at this army and right away – He is thinking – No way

1) Listen We can be discouraged when we measure the battle against ourselves...... We NEED to have a right PERSPECTIVE/ Factor in God

CHECK THIS OUT: The middle verse in the Bible is Psalm 118:8

A)Ps. 118:8   It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.


B)The very next verse is interesting: Ps. 118:9   It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.

1) History proves God to be true


ILLUSTRATION: The king of Italy and the king of Bohemia promised John Huss safe transport and safe custody. They broke their promises, and Huss was martyred. Thomas Wentworth carried a document signed by King Charles I which read: "Upon the word of a king you shall not suffer in life, honour, or fortune." Shortly afterwards, however, his death warrant was signed by the same monarch. "Put not your trust in princes"  were Wentworth's last words. It IS better to trust in the Lord     than in anyone or anything else. 


C) If Satan can get you to put your confidence in man, he KNOWS that you will be discouraged and soon defeated.


That  is why the Lord was so quick to ENCOURAGE Joshua by                   getting him to see where his confidence needed to be.

A)In the natural, there was plenty of reason for Joshua to be afraid BECAUSE OF THEM


B)But the Lord told Him that He DID NOT have to be afraid -

6 But the LORD said to Joshua,"Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses [Cripple them by cutting their Hamstrings] and burn their chariots with fire."


C)The Point was The battle was not going to FOUGHT nor WON on the basis of          Joshua's strength.

1)   The battle would be FOUGHT for them by the Lord and WON for                them by the Lord.


D) Now there would have been some who would argue why  - destroy the horses & the Chariots  we can use those things  WHY this command?

Psalm 20:7-8 Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.


Isa. 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the LORD!


The temptation would have been for Israel to start  trusting in modern military techniques

A)God says: "BURN the technologies and trust Me"


Jer 17:5-8 5 Thus says the LORD:

"Cursed is the man who trusts in man  And makes flesh his strength,

Whose heart departs from the LORD.  6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.

7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.   8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,

Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought,  Nor will cease from yielding fruit.


B) Trust in the man / trust in the Arm of the Flesh – be like a shrub in the desert – No beauty –  barely hanging on Life marked by Parchedness


C) But He who trust in the Lord whose Hope is in the Lord – will be like a tree – which that is planted by the river – roots drawing nourishment

1)   Whose leave shall be green – Not anxious in the year of drought – Nor cease from yielding fruit


D)That is what I want to be as a Man / as a Church – Hard times could be coming – Trust in the Lord – not cease from yielding fruit

Listen Jesus DOES NOT want you to be DISCOURAGED as you face the Overwhelming Odds .

A)He wants you to KNOW that HE WILL fight for you - Don't be discourage BECAUSE OF THEM


B)Who would that be in your life?/ What would that be in your life?

     THEY might be bigger than you or any human help available to      you.

1) But they ARE NOT bigger than the Lord.


C) Maintain right PERSPECTIVE- It is the Lord who PROMISES to fight for you.


NOTE: Because they listened to the Lord and kept things in perspective, by verse 21 they had even conquered the ANAKIM. V.21-22

A)The ANAKIM were Israel's worst nightmare.


B) These were the guys that 10 of the 12 spies sent by Moses were totally freaked out over We are like Grasshoppers in Comparison to them -

1) and as a result They voted against Israel going up into the land.


C) But this time around it is a different story  As they began to LISTEN to the Word of God and measure their adversaries against the Lord,

1) God actually brought them to a place of victory over their greatest fear.


D) We too can overcome our greatest fears when – we have the Right perspective – Eyes are on the Lord / Everything seen in light of who He is


Lets consider the second Principle in our text, which is God's PROMISE of victory

A) Verse 6 for tomorrow about this time will I deliver them up


B) Here we see God PROMISES deliverance for His people and it WILL come at an appointed time.


C)No matter what your trial is God has an appointed TOMORROW for you in which He will accomplish that which He promises.   


D) In 2 Chronicles Ch. 20 – During the time that Jehosphat was king in Judah another great Army was coming against them

1)   When King Jehosphat first hears of this impending attack – His First reaction was one of Fear –


But instead of allowing himself to be overcome by fear – he seeks the Lord – called for the people to pray & to fast { God answered

the Lord said to the People don’t be afraid of by dismayed because of this great Multitude - for the battle is not yours, but God's. Tomorrow go  down against them..... You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, & stand  still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you,

 Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his       prophets, so shall ye prosper.


A)There is always a TOMMORROW IN God’s Economy & Time Table

1)Things might look Bleak to you – But He says just wait until Tomorrow


B) Jesus told His disciples to WAIT in Jerusalem for the promise of the H.S. & that NOT MANY DAYS HENCE they would be baptized w/ the H.S.

1)    Which was what they needed to be empowered to serve / Empowered to reach the World


C) Their Tomorrow came on the day of Pentecost – Spirit fell & they were FOREVER CHANGED – so was the world – turned upside down !!!


D) You might be sitting there today – thinking that your situation looks bleak – it looks very Perplexing –

1) But the Lord would say to you today – Just HANG IN THERE – your Tomorrow is Coming !!!!


Now the next Principle to note is that the Israelites had to  put their faith into PRACTICE     RD v . 7-8

VERSES 7-8   So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them. And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them ….. throughout the region - until they left them none remaining.


A)Here we see that God gives the battle but they had to step out & fight.


STORY: A discouraged minister once dreamed that he was standing on the top of a great granite rock, trying to break it with a pickaxe. Hour after hour he worked with no result. At last he said: "It is useless, I will stop".


Suddenly a man stood by him and asked: " Were you not allotted this task? and if so, why are you going to abandon it?"      "My work is in vain: I can't even make a dent in this granite." was the minister's reply. Then the stranger solemnly replied: "That is nothing to you: your duty is to pick whether the rock yields or not. The work is yours, the results are in other hands, work on."

In his dream the minister saw himself setting out anew on his labor and at his first blow the rock flew into hundreds of pieces.


B) Satan wants you to get your eye on the greatness of the rock and in so doing bring your faith to a grinding halt.

   1)"Nothings happening... You're getting nowhere so quit"


C)But God says: "I didn't ask you to be concerned with the results... I      asked you to TRUST me and DO what I set before you"

1) Their going to battle was the proving of their faith in God.- It was a LIVING faith!!    It was a faith that WORKED!!


D) Faith and obedience go hand in hand

    1) God told them to look AT HIM and NOT the enemy


E) God told them that tomorrow at this time  they would win                   the battle


4th Principle we see the  PEACE that RESULTS

VERSE 23   So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And THE LAND RESTED FROM WAR


A)Now one of the things that we have noted in our study of the book of Joshua is that the book is a Picture of the Christian life

1)    Life of Resting in the Finished work of Christ for our Salvation ….nothing we need to do to earn our salvation – Jesus brings us in


B) It is also a Picture of the Spirit filled life A life of resting in the Continual work of the HS in our hearts to bring us into the fullness of God !!!

1) This is an Active Rest of Yielding to  the Leading of the HS in our lives


C) Their Joshua had conquered the land for them and gave it to them as an inheritance.

1)Now it was up to each individual tribe and each individual family within each tribe and each individual man and woman to partake of what was won for them and given to them.


Our Joshua..... Jesus Christ.... has taken the whole land.

A)All that is required of us is that we is that we should take our                    share of the victory of the cross./ Now walk in the Spirit


B) We must actively receive ALL that God has for Us – there is NO reason for any of us to live as a spiritual pauper.    Redpath




As you approach God on the basis of these things you can be sure       that tomorrow at this time  God will give the victory to you