‘Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them. By this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel as dead men. Then you must cripple their horses and burn their chariots’ (Josh 11:6)
Joshua was attacked by a group of pagan kings under the leadership of Jabin, King of Hazor. These kings and their armies were very well trained and equipped; they had horses and chariots. Their combined army was ‘huge and numerous as the sand on the sea shore.’ But Joshua prayed and God answered, telling him not to be afraid by what he sees. God promises that He will weaken the enemy; that He will hand the thousands of pagan soldiers to Israel ‘as dead men’ and they should kill them all. The horses of the enemy should be ‘hamstrung’ and the chariots burnt with fire. To hamstring a horse means to cripple it by cutting the leg tendons. The result is that the horses will limp and be unable to run. They could use the horses for labor, to pull a plough for example, but never again in war. This command to cripple the horses sounds harsh to us but it is because God wants us to give Him all the glory for every victory in war. Chariots and horses represent the power of the flesh and the boast of pride. That has to die! God is jealous for His glory! God refuses to allow His people to learn the ways of the world and the strategy of religious pride. The kings in Israel were to be known as men of God, reading their Bibles. God forbade them to accumulate great numbers of horses, gold, or wives. They were to symbolize Christ, whose strength was always in His intimate relationship with the Father.
In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God! I am a soldier for Christ! I willingly enrolled in the army of the Living God! I went to war under the banner of Jehovah Nissi and I won the victory! By faith in God; I was weak, but I became strong; I was confused, but I became focused; I was afraid but I became bold; I was foolish but I became wise and prudent; I was shy but I now boldly proclaim His Word and sing His praises! My enemies persecuted, hated, slandered, attacked and tried to destroy my testimony, but they have lost completely! My enemies are now weak, confused, afraid, lonely, foolish, disgraced, crippled and burnt! My trust is not in things, people, money or positions. My trust is in the Lord Almighty! I do not boast in my wisdom, my wealth or my strength, but I boast that I really know God, His name and His Righteousness!
In Jesus’ name,