1. Application

The LORD Is Sovereign Even over His Enemies

Joshua 11:16–23 (ESV)

16 So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland

When we think about God’s sovereignty, there is a danger that we make the mistake of limiting his power such that he is only in control of my life. He protects me from the devil. He cares and provides for me. But outside of my relationship with God, I’m not so sure. Does he rule over the rest of society? Is he sovereign over non-Christians? Is he sovereign over the devil? Does he need my faith, prayers, and words in order to be at work in this world? Exactly how far does God’s sovereignty extend?

Joshua 11:20 shows us that the Lord’s sovereignty extends even over his enemies. For the purposes of his glory and to display his power, the Lord hardened the hearts of the Canaanites so that they would come out against Israel in battle (Joshua 11:20). The Lord is sovereign not only over the lives of those who belong to him through faith, but he is sovereign over everyone. He is sovereign even over his enemies.

God’s sovereignty over all people and all creation means that we can really have the confidence that there is no enemy operating outside of God’s power. For the people of Israel, this was vividly shown to them in the destruction of the Anakim. They may have been the biggest and strongest warriors of the day, but because the Lord is sovereign even over his enemies, they are defeated and destroyed (Joshua 11:21–22).

But since God is sovereign even over his enemies, the Anakim fall in battle. They are defeated, they are destroyed.