When great kings fall

Joshua 12:4 And the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaites, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei.

Today’s chapter was pretty lean when it comes to principles and wisdom that we can take away.  Our tendency might be to skim over a chapter like this and wonder why in the world it was in there.  However, when we read the Word of God, we should ask the Holy Spirit for insight.  We should ask Him to make it come alive to us.  As I was reading today, verse 4 jumped out at me and made me wonder who this Og guy was.  And what was Bashan?   So rather than just skipping over it, I thought I would find out.

What I found was what I suspected: Og was a giant.  The Rephaites were all giants.  These were huge people!  Remember when Joshua and Caleb spied out the land and came back with huge grapes?  Remember how the other spies told Moses that the people in the land were too big for them to beat?  I suspect they were talking about the Rephaites.  The Israelites beat those giants and took their amazingly fertile land.  Bashan was a land with fertile soil.  The produce was amazing and the trees were towers.  It’s like saying “everything is bigger in Texas.”  Well, everything was bigger in Bashan.  So let’s not forget that the short little Israelites took these monsters on and won!

Now, why is this list of kings even in the Bible?   I believe that this chapter in the Bible has purpose.  God does not give us His Word and then give us a bunch of useless parts.  This chapter is a record.  It details the names of defeated kings during the conquest of Israel to enter their promised land.  It is to serve as a reminder to the people.  And while it seems like a list of dead guys to us, it was way more than that to Israel.  We so often remember our failures and forget our victories. We hold onto pain while letting celebration and joy slip away.  We write down our miseries in a journal, but what about our praises?  What about the victories?

I wonder what would happen to our faith if we wrote down every victory God gave us.  Maybe we can call it a victory journal.  We could list the names of the things that God has given us.  We could mention the victories that we have had in Him.  We might even write down the names of the kings that God has conquered in our lives.  Remember the time when He conquered the king of pride?  Remember when He conquered the king of fear?  Remember when He conquered the king of insecurity?  If we just had a record like the Israelites did, we might be encouraged.  We might just remember that we once had giants in the land and that God brought them down.  We might remember that God is on our side and no one can stand against us.

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