Melted in Fear

Joshua 5:1

1Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

First Job Interview

Try to remember your first job interview. Can you recall your feelings? Were you nervous or relaxed? What caused you nervous? What caused you relaxed?
Did you feel nervous because you were not sure of your answers to questions? Did you feel relax because you were comfortable with the interviewer or whatever the outcome would be. Job interviews may challenge our composure and character.
Some people pretend to be confident when they are in a group. True character appears when threatened. The Canaanites heard the miracles of God in the life of the Israelites. Their hearts melted in fear. Did God made them fear the Israelites?

1. Fear

1aNow when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear…

The plan of the Lord for the Israelites happened just as Joshua told the Israelites. After Joshua set up the 12 stones that the Israelites carried from the middle of the Jordan River, he told the Israelites that those 12 stones were a monument. It was an exhibit of what the Lord had done when He stopped the flow of the water so that they crossed on dry ground the Jordan River which was at flood stage.
Joshua summarized why the Lord miraculously had the Israelites crossed on dry ground the Jordan River which was on flood stage. He said in Joshua 4:24, 24He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful…

The kings of the Amorites and all the Canaanites kings were very scared, why? How did they know what happened? We can speculate that they sent spies to observe how the Israelites crossed the River at flood stage. The spies reported to their kings.
Fear of what might happen to them overwhelmed their hearts. They learned that the Israelites came to Canaan to conquer the land. When the Lord had the Canaanites melted in fear, how could we relate that to our faith in Him?

The Lord planned to give the land of Canaan to Israel. The Canaanites who were still living in the land posed a challenge for Israel to realize the plan of God. Similarly, many believers would claim the Lord’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11, 11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Do you think this passage is applicable to you? If you heard the Lord clearly and you have firm conviction that He has a plan to prosper you, then go ahead claim, seek, pursue, and go after the hope and future God has prepared for you. But where to start?
Proverbs 3: 5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

But how can I know what God’s will is? How do I know if I apply a job or go to school?
How can I know if would start a business or remain in my job or join fulltime ministry? Trust in the Lord would convince you that God would give you the right step. Pray that God would lead you to decide according to His will not according to worldly lifestyle.
Romans 12:2 says, 2Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

My Testimony

While studying in the seminary, I wanted to be sure that God has really called to fulltime ministry. I joined politics not once but twice and I never win. I started two businesses but I did not have any eagerness to promote them. I have concluded that politics and business are not God’s will for me.

Did I feel bad that I lost in politics? Did I feel bad when my businesses did not prosper? I have joy and peace. God confirmed more clearly that I am at the center of His will. Failures and trials may be inconvenience to you. The Lord is redirecting you. He is presenting you a detour to the right direction of His plan for you.

Crossing the Jordan River at flood stage would have been a problem to the Israelites but they did not complain when the Lord told them to proceed and cross the river. They were not also scared when they camped near their enemies.
Similarly, if you have job interviews, you may feel nervous, which is normal when facing strangers but you would have the confidence, and peace whatever the results would be if Christ prevails in your heart.
Do you now have an idea why the Canaanites were scared to face the Israelites?

2. Face

1b…and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

Older manuscripts translated word “courage” as “fighting spirit.” When the Canaanites saw when the Lord made it very easy for the Israelites to cross the Jordan at flood stage, they cannot find their fighting spirit anymore, why?
They lived in Canaan all their life. They knew that when the Jordan River was at flood stage, it would be very dangerous. Yet the Israelites, young and old, including their flocks and herd crossed the Jordan at flood stage without hassle, no inconvenience.

What is it that you normally scared of? Some people are scared of ghost. Businessmen and employees are scared recession. Parents are scared about the future of their children. Anyone can be scared of terrorist.
To be scared of the people of God or anointed of God is remarkable.

In Exodus 34:29-35, 29When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. 30When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 31But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. 33When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.

Why were the Israelites afraid when they saw the face of Moses shining? People normally feel afraid when thing are not right. People who gossip about you don’t feel comfortable when you are around. Those who borrowed money from you would try to evade you. If you call them they won’t answer you, ehy?!

When the Canaanites were scared of the Israelites, they predicted that their doom was coming. Their fighting spirit was nowhere to be found. Similarly, non-believers try to deny the coming of Christ. They would hate believers when they hear their destiny.
In contrast, Christians are looking forward to the coming of Christ because they know their joyous destiny. The Holy Spirit gives genuine believers confident conviction that it will be a joyful day when they meet the Lord. With the Spirit of Christ in our life, we receive courage to face all uncertainties of life.

In 2 Corinthians 3:17, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The spirit of fear enslaves a person to be afraid of anything, challenges, trials, problems, life’s concerns, and life threatening situation. If fear dictates our decision, we cannot realize the plan of God for us.
By faith in Christ, we receive freedom from fear. When we receive Christ as Lord, we received His Spirit, the Spirit of power, love and self-discipline.
In 2 Timothy 1:7, 7For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Timidity is the absence of courage. What challenges or trials are you facing these days? Keep asking God to fill and empower you with the Spirit of Christ. The Lord’s empowerment is not limited to physical strength but also gives the ability to perform excellently according to the will of God.
With Christ’s Spirit as Lord of our life, we sure know the plan of God for us.

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