This chapter opens with 5 of the kings of Canaan joining forces to attack Gibeon because they had made a peace treaty with the people of Israel. These 5 kings didn't know it, but they were playing right into the hand of Joshua. Now, instead of having to pick them off one at a time, they came together and he was able to defeat them all together. If you remember our last study in this book, the Israelites had been tricked into making a peace treaty with the people of Gibeon. Now, it is time for Israel to make good on their promise to protect the Gibeonites. For Israel it is just another battle in the conquest of the Promised Land, but for us, it is a vivid picture of the Christian life. Battles are a reality in the life of the child of God, but we never have to face them alone!
Heb 13:5b "…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
In the day of battle, we have the promise of help from One Who is "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble", Psa. 46:1. This evening I want to remind you that, as believers, our lives will be filled with battles. These battles are spiritual battles, but do not be deceived, they can have devastating consequences upon our lives. There are many casualties of this ongoing war…many spiritual losses!
The battles are unavoidable, but victory can be ours when we determine to rely upon God to bring us through. Let's learn how to have victory with God.
I. A Lesson About Our Almighty God v6-15
A. Joshua and Israel will honor the peace treaty they have made with the Gibeonites.
1. They are going to keep their word and help these people fight those kings that have risen up against them.
2. As they prepare for battle, the Lord comes to with the promise of help and of victory. God is about to fight for His people!
3. This section represents the supernatural aspect of our battles.
4. There are times when the Lord just comes to your aid and fights the battle for you. There are times when He moves in power and miracles are worked in your life. Such a time is pictured here.
B. There are three important truths revealed here about our Savior in the day of battle.
1. He Gave His Peace v8
a. God's challenge to His people was for them not to fear the enemy.
b. God was just reminding Joshua that He was still in control of the situation!
c. May I remind you this evening that He is still in control?
d. He is still on the throne and He is still the Prince of Peace.
e. For those who will walk by faith and not by sight, the Lord still gives peace that passeth understanding.
f. The secret to walking in peace is to walk in faith!
g. The Lord didn't save us so we could be agitated and worried.
h. He doesn't mean for us to tremble in fear when the enemies of the Lord approach.
i. When the day of battle comes in our life, the Lord will give us peace, if we will lean on Him.
Pr 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
2. He Gave His Promise v8
a. The Lord didn't stop with just a word of encouragement, He also gave them the promise of absolute victory!
b. The Lord never saved us so we could be defeated!
c. When He saved us, He did so with the promise that we could walk in His victory!
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
d. That doesn't mean that every situation in life will work out the way we want it to, but it does mean that God will enable us to live above our circumstances and gain the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil!
3. He Gave His Power v9-14
a. In these verses, we see the a mighty demonstration of the power of the Lord in the life of Israel!
b. God moved in a great manifestation of supernatural power and gave His children the victory.
c. He moved in 2 ways.
1) In The Hail v11
Job 38:22-23 "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?"
2) In The Heavens v12-14
a) Here we see the Lord perform the greatest miracle ever recorded in regard to the physical world.
b) Often referred to as the 'Long day of Joshua' but Joshua didn't have a lot to do with it!
c) God stopped the sun in the heavens and extended the daylight hours for Joshua and his army to finish the battle.
d. What does this mean for us?
1) There are times when the Lord will supernaturally intervene in our life and He will fight our battles for us.
2) All of us have heard of people healed of disease.
3) We have seen drunks saved and sobered immediately by the power of God.
4) We have seen drug addicts immediately released from the power of drugs and made clean.
5) We have seen lives changed in miraculous ways by the supernatural intervention of God.
6) That is our God! Does He always work in such a miraculous way? No!
7) But that does not diminish His power one bit!
II. A Lesson About His People v16-27
God gave them a great victory through His mighty power, but there was still more of the battle to be fought. In these next verses, we see Israel, not the Lord, engaged in the battle!
A. We Must Control Our Enemy v16-18
1. Notice that these five kings tried to hide themselves in a cave.
2. When they were discovered, Joshua ordered the cave to be sealed up, thus preventing the kings from escaping.
3. This is a picture of control.
4. When we got saved God changed us, but our old, sinful nature is still alive and well!
5. Just like these kings, our enemy, the flesh, hides itself within us and runs out into the open from time to time to cause us trouble.
a. It may be a problem with the tongue that will come out from time to time.
b. It may be anger, hatred, prejudice, lust, or depravity.
c. Whatever the sin is in our life, it must be controlled, or it will eventually come to control us.
d. It is important to note that part of the Fruit of the Spirit is "temperance" or "self-control".
e. As a child of God, we have no right to do as we please!
f. One proof of walking in the Spirit is self-control! How are we doing in this area?
B. We Must Confront Our Enemy v22-25
1. After the battle had been won, Joshua came back to that cave and brought these kings out and humiliated them by having his princes place their feet upon their necks.
2. He confronted them openly and publicly pronounced the victory over them.
3. Spiritually speaking, we need to do the same thing.
4. Every one of us here this evening knows what kings hide in our life.
5. We know about the secret sins and those problems we have with the flesh.
6. The only way for us to get absolute, permanent victory over these things is to confront them.
7. We need to drag them out of their hiding place and lay them out before the Lord, place our foot on their necks in the name of Jesus and proclaim the victory over them.
8. We will never have victory as a child of God until our sins are handled God's way!
Pr 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
C. We Must Conquer Our Enemy v26-27
1. Joshua takes a step that ensures the victory over these 5 kings.
2. He puts them to death!
3. The only way for us to walk in victory before the Lord is to put the flesh to death!
4. It must die daily, or it will keep us from walking in power and victory.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Ga 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
III. A Lesson About Daily Battles. v28-43
A. The rest of these verses relate the account of remaining battles fought.
B. The clear indication is that every day we will be faced with another battle.
C. But we are guaranteed the victory!
We are only fooling ourselves if we think that we will never have to deal with the enemy. We must face the battles daily in the power of the Lord. Our God is great and mighty! He has enabled us to have victory if we will but yield to Him and His Word. Are we walking in His power tonight? I invite you to come this evening and find the victory that only comes from a daily walk of faith with the Lord.
Perhaps you do not have a personal relationship with Him tonight. Come now. Maybe you are bruised and battered by the enemy. Come now and let the Lord minister refreshment to you. Whatever the need, Come.