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Chinese8/12/2005English
經文:約書亞記十一至十二章
鑰節:「這樣,約書亞照著耶和華所吩咐摩西的一切話奪了那全地,就按著以色列支派的宗族將地分給他們為業,於是國中太平,沒有爭戰了。」(11:23)
提要

        伯和崙之役(日頭為以色列人停住的那一次)是一場決定性的戰役,擊潰南地諸王的力量,使該地區落入以色列人手中。當以色列人大勝的消息傳到北邊加利利一帶,那堻\多不同邦國的國王立刻組成強大的軍事聯盟,要與以色列人對抗。以色列人在米倫的這場大捷也使他們囊括了迦南地北部諸域。

        在米倫之戰中,上帝再次鼓勵約書亞:「不要懼怕」,也再次應許他:「我必將他們交付以色列人」。上帝也明確的指示約書亞:「要砍斷他們馬的蹄筋,用火焚燒他們的車輛」(11:6)。砍斷馬的蹄筋是使馬毫無用處,這是個奇怪的指示,但有其用意。上帝先前曾藉著摩西吩咐以色列人不可加添馬匹和馬車,因為這樣可能會導致他們悖逆,為了買賣和加添馬匹而回埃及去(申17:16)。以色列人要知道,他們在戰場上的力量是出於上帝的能力,而不是因為馬匹、戰車的數目;他們要惟獨信賴上帝(詩20:7)。

        迦南地罪惡之邦的百姓心堶韏w、不願悔改,恨惡以色列的上帝和上帝的子民,只有基遍的希未人試著與以色列人講和。約書亞解釋說,這是上帝審判的計畫:「要使他們……來與以色列人爭戰,好叫他們盡被殺滅」(11:20)。迦南人是被咒詛的,注定要滅亡。

        約書亞成功的完成了上帝要潔淨罪惡之地的命令:「凡耶和華所吩咐摩西的,約書亞沒有一件懈怠不行的」(11:15)。意指約書亞不只毀滅了迦南地罪惡的百姓,他和以色列人的軍隊也摧毀所有迦南人的偶像和祭壇。迦南地現在相當的平靜,因為以色列人已經打贏了主要的戰役,除去地上的偶像,使該地分別為聖歸給上帝。安居的時刻終於來到,上帝的百姓可以享受應許之地的地業(11:23)。上帝也再次容許以色列人拿取戰爭中的擄物,以增加他們的財產,大部分的城池都原封不動的賜給以色列人,他們只要搬進去就可以居住,不必做許多整修的工作。每件事情都照著上帝所應許的,為他們做好了(24:13;申6:10~11)。

        第二十章簡短的概述了以色列在進入迦南一段時間內(11:18,約七年,14:7~10)所經歷的許多戰爭。從三十一個被他們擊敗之國王的名單可看出戰爭所分佈的地區之廣。但我們也看到仍有部分的土地和居民逃過了約書亞的征伐(13:1)。繼續完成潔淨迦南地的工作是以色列各支派的責任,為此之故,他們需要勇氣和毅力。

        正如摩西和約書亞贏得大勝,使上帝的兒女得自由和產業,我們的主耶穌基督也在十字架上為我們打贏了偉大的一仗,使我們從罪中得救贖、得自由。不過我們也像以色列的各支派一樣,必須堅毅的繼續與罪爭戰,並要「打那美好的仗」,奪回撒但盤據的領土,帶領人從黑暗的國度進入光明,使他們也能在耶穌基督堙u得蒙赦罪,和一切成聖的人同得基業」(徒26:18)。

禱告

        主啊,您是征服者。求您透過我們主耶穌基督的十架向我們施恩,使我們能征服、擊潰我們中心的欺騙、罪惡。我們要完全降服於您。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read Joshua 11 & 12
Key Verse:“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel… Then the land rested from war.”(Joshua 11:23)
Overview

        The battle of Beth Horon (when the sun stood still) was the decisive battle that broke the power of the kings in the southern territory and gave Israel control in that region. When news of this great victory spread northward into the region of the Galilee, the kings representing the various nationalities and locations in that area immediately formed a strong united league. This second great victory at Merom gave Israel control over the northern territory as well.

        In this battle, the Lord had once again encouraged Joshua, “do not be afraid”; and once again God gave him a promise: “I will deliver all of them slain before Israel.” The Lord also gave specific instructions: “hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire” (11:6). To hamstring a horse is to sever the tendons above the ankle, thus making the horse useless. This is a curious instruction. But it has significance. The Lord had previously commanded, through Moses, that Israel was not to amass horses and chariots, for this could lead them into disobedience by traveling back to Egypt for trading and breeding the horses (Deut.17:16). Israel was also to know that their strength in war was due to the power of God, not to their number of horses and chariots; they were to trust only in the Lord (Ps.20:7).

        The hearts of the wicked nations were hard, unrepentant, and hateful toward the God of Israel and His people, so much so that none but the Hivites of Gibeon tried to make peace with Israel. Joshua explained that this was the plan of God’s judgment: “that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them” (11:20). They were under the ban and doomed to total destruction.

        Joshua successfully fulfilled the divine mandate to purge the land of evil. “He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (11:15). This means that, as well as destroying the wicked inhabitants, he and the Israelite army broke down all their idolatrous places and idols. Therefore, the land was relatively peaceful, since the main battles had been won, and the land was also purged of idolatry and consecrated to God. Now the moment of settlement could finally arrive and the people of God could enjoy the Promised Land of their inheritance (11:23). Once again, God allowed Israel to enrich themselves with the spoil of war, and most of the cities were left intact so that the Israelites could simply move in and take up residence without having to do much work. Everything was already done for them as had been prophesied (cf. 24:13; Drut.6:10-11).

        Chapter twelve briefly summarizes the various battles that took place over an extended period of time (11:18; about seven years, 14:7-10). The list of the thirty-one defeated kings from scattered locations within Canaan shows how extensive the conquest had been for the children of Israel. Yet we read that there were still portions of the land and inhabitants that had escaped Joshua’s conquest (13:1). It was the responsibility of the tribes to continue the work of purging the land; for this they needed courage and perseverance.

        Just as Moses and Joshua won the great battles which gave the children of God their freedom and inheritance, so our Lord Jesus Christ won the great battle for us on the cross, giving us redemption and freedom from sin. Yet, we, like the tribes, have to persevere and continue in the ongoing battle against sin and “fight the good fight”, claiming territory from Satan, bringing people from the kingdom of darkness to light that they also might “receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith” in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18).

Prayer

        You are a conquering God, O Lord. Grant us favor in Your sight through the cross of our Lord Jesus so that we may conquer and rout the deceit and wickedness of our human hearts. We desire to live in full surrender to You.


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