God Cares About Efficiency

As the Israelites move about, conquering the nations around them, I noticed that God greatly increased the efficiency of their campaign.  Rather than have the Israelites defeat their enemies one by one, God sees to it that the nations attempt to band together in order to defeat God’s chosen people.  But this has a different result than what they intended.  Instead of bringing about victory for the surrounding nations, it simply brings them all together in one place, for a minimum number of battles, thus reducing greatly the number of battles that the Israelites must fight.  In Joshua 10, we see the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon defeated all at once.  In the next chapter, it is Hazor, Madon, Shimron, Acshaph, along with a large number of other kings and nations.  The full list – all thirty one kings that were defeated – is found in Joshua 12.

Though teaming up seems like sound military strategy, it simply increased the speed and efficiency with which the Israelites were able to conquer other nations and return to their homes.  Can we doubt that this was God’s intent?  See this verse:

“Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time. Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle.  For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.” Joshua 11:18-20

God was there, and was watching over every aspect of His people’s lives.

Note:  The picture above is a photo of some of the ruins at Hazor, still there to this day.


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