One More Time

One More Time

Joshua 10:6-14

“One more time” is the cry of every child that was having fun and didn’t want to stop.  “May I jump in the pool one more time?” “May I ride my bike down the hill one more time?”  “May I play a video game one more time?” “May I watch my favorite show one more time?” “May I go down the slide one more time?” 

The children of Israel had seen God do many amazing things, as they began claiming the Land God had promised them.  The victories over Jericho and Ai were fresh in their memories when approached by the Gibeonites.  The Gibeonites came dressed in worn and dirty clothes, carrying old wineskins and hardened chunks of bread.  “We are from a great distance away and have heard of your tremendous victories.  We want to become your ally and agree we will fight for each other, but never against you.  “It sounded like a great idea, and the Gibeonites lived so far away from the Promised Land, what could it hurt?  Without asking God, the children of Israel made the hasty decision to enter an agreement with the Gibeonites.

It is not by chance that Israel and Christians are referred to as children.  How often we impulsively do something without asking our Heavenly Father’s advice. Like the small child who got their head stuck between the rails on the porch, we begin crying for help, when our decision has placed us into an impossible situation.  Israel soon discovered the Gibeonites had deceived them.  Gibeon was not a distant city, but close neighbors of Israel.  The town was not small, but bigger than mighty Ai.  Gibeon was filled with mighty warriors, not peaceful citizens.  And when the surrounding five kings found out Gibeon had sided with Israel, they united to attack Gibeon.  “And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants, come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together again us.  So, Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour.” (Joshua 10: 6-7) The children of Israel had made a rash decision, and now they were in the middle of a battle, God never intended to fight.

Honestly, Israel had it’s “head stuck between the rails on the porch,” and it was their fault.  God could have said, “You made this mess.  You will have to figure some way to get out of it yourself.”.  They deserved for God to turn his back and walk away from them.   

Have you ever found your “head stuck between the rails on the porch”?  You have made a dumb mistake.  Or you mule headedly went ahead with ill-advised plans?  Have you impulsively made a stupid decision?  When you went ahead without asking God, you too deserve him to turn his back and walk away from you.

God steps into his children’s mess and in grace, does what you do not deserve, simply for His glory.  “And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand, there shall not a man of them stand before thee.” God chooses despite Israel’s failure, to step in and give them the victory.  “…and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Axekah, and unto came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Behthoron, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children slew with the sword. “ 

Joshua had been there when God had shown the children of Israel the Promised Land.  Joshua had led the children of Israel when God parted the Jordan River.  Joshua had led the Israelites as they marched around Jericho.  Joshua had seen God do the impossible time and time again.  So, he stands and asks God “One More Time!”.  “Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves up their enemies.”  It begins to get dark, and Israel was not done with the battle, so Joshua asks God to stop the sun until the battle was over.  And God does it!

When you find yourself in a mess that you created because you left God out, remember God forgives, and you don’t have to stay stuck in the situation you created.  He is the God of second chances.  He wants to show you what he can do when you follow Him.

“Father, please forgive me and use me, “one more time.”