Joshua 9 Ė 21

 

So far in the book of Joshua, Joshua has conquered two cities so far and this has the rest of those in the promise land scared and trying to figure out way to defeat them and their God. However we know that this was just the beginning of the many battles that wouldtake place that ultimately lead to the children of Israel conquering all of the promise land.

 

Joshua 9:1 And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the hills and in the lowland and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon -- the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite -- heard about it,2 that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord.

 

Notice these kings do a wise thing they join forces. They realize they have little chance to win by themselves but united with their fellow kingdoms they thinkthey can surely defeat the children of Israel.But not all of the kingdoms had this confidence and so some decided to use a different tactic to save their lives as we read in.

 

Joshua 9:3 But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended,5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us."7 Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?"8 But they said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you, and where do you come from?"9 So they said to him: "From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt,10 "and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan -- to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth. ash'-ta-roth 11 "Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, 'Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, "We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us." '12 "This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy.13 "And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey."

 

These guys laid it on thick as were trying to pull of their scam. They obviously put a lot of thought into their scam and they didnít miss any details on trying to show they came from a long ways off. To make sure that the children of Israel didnít miss anything they point out their moldy bread their torn wineskins and their worn out clothing and as we are about to find out the children of Israel take the bait.

 

Joshua 9:14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.15 So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.16 And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them.

 

Here was the whole problem of the matter the men of Israel did not ask counsel of the Lord. If they had he would have told them that these men were lying. You see they were not allowing God to direct their at this point and took matters into their own hands and made their own decision and that is why they were fooled. We learn a couple of things from this that we can apply to us today.

 

1. When you have difficult decision to make donít forget to pray and ask God for guidance. We need to remember that he is there for us and if we will allow him he will help us in decision that we have to make.

 

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

 

2. Donít allow others to fool you into entering into agreement or entering into a sin without seeking guidance from Gods Word. That what Paul teaches us in.

 

Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

 

How can make sure that we are not fooled by smooth spoken words? Paul give us the answer in,

 

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

 

If we donít put on whole armor of God by growing in knowledge of Godís Word we will be battling with a broken sword and it will be easy for us to fooled by those who are crafty.

 

3. The third thingwe learn is that we must keep our commitments once we make them just a Joshua had to keep his word to these that fooled him. As continue through the rest of the chapter you see Joshua and his men go to these con-artists city and he keeps his word he doesnít destroy them. However, he make them keep there end of the bargain and makes them slaves as stated in verse,

 

Joshua 9:27 And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, in the place which He would choose, even to this day.

 

Now lets look at chapter 10.

Joshua 10:1 Now it came to pass when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it -- as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king -- and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them,2 that they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty.3 Therefore Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth <jar'-muth>, Japhia <ja-fi'-a> king of Lachish <la'-kish>, and Debir <de'-ber>king of Eglon, saying,4 "Come up to me and help me, that we may attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel."5 Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth <jar'-muth>, the king of Lachish, <la'-kish> and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they and all their armies, and camped before Gibeon and made war against it.6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp at Gilgal, saying, "Do not forsake your servants; come up to us quickly, save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the mountains have gathered together against us."7 So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor.

 

These 5 kings gather together in the hopes to defeat Gibeon and the children of Israel. Notice how quickly the people of Gideon accept their roles as servants and use this fact to call up on Joshua to defend them. That exactly what Joshua decides to do.

 

Joshua 10:8 And the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand; not a man of them shall stand before you."

 

This is the third time we have seen Godtell Joshua this and thishad to be encouraging to him because every time God has said this he has easily defeated his enemy.Sure enough he went into Gibeon and slaughtered a great number of these men and they had to chase them down as the fled. But we can also see God taking part in this battle in verse

 

Joshua 10:11 And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah <a-ze'-ka>, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.

 

Notice God killed more of these men that the children of Israel did again showing that this was Gods battle and without him this defeat would not be possible. Next we see a great miracle that take place that made it possible for the children of Israel to defeat their enemy before the sun went down.

 

Joshua 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: "Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon."13 So the sun stood still, And the moon stopped, Till the people had revenge Upon their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.14 And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.15 Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

 

Some have doubted that its possible for God to have kept the sun in the same place for additional day. But, there should be no doubt. If God had the ability to create the universe and everything in it and he certainly could prolong the sun to be their for additional 24 hours. Some astronomers believe they have found proof of a missing day by comparing the cosmos to that of what was recorded in ancient Egypt time. Weather we find overwhelming proof or not I have no doubt that it happened just as the Bible described. We also learn from this event the great amount of faith that Joshua had. He felt that he asked for it he would receive and he did. We could all do well as Christians today to have the same confidence that God will take care of and answer our prayers. I am reminded of what James says.

 

James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

 

So when pray or put self in Godís hands do not doubt and God will supply you with what you need.

 

In verse 16 and following we learn that 5 kings have hidden in a cave. Joshua tells them to seal the cave andthey will deal with them latter after they finish destroying their enemies. That exactly what they do notice what is done to the 5 cowardly kings.

 

Joshua 10:24 So it was, when they brought out those kings to Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the captains of the men of war who went with him, "Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings." And they drew near and put their feet on their necks.25 Then Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight."26 And afterward Joshua struck them and killed them, and hanged them on five trees; and they were hanging on the trees until evening.27 So it was at the time of the going down of the sun that Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, cast them into the cave where they had been hidden, and laid large stones against the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.

 

Noticehow Joshua uses the defeat of these kings to boost the moral of his people and to show themtruly God is with them helping them. Now inverse 28 and following Joshua begins southern campaign. Once again we see the same story repeated. His enemies do there best to withstand the children of Israel but the fail horribly as the Children of Israel make their way through city after city. This southern conquest is summarized starting in,

 

Joshua 10:40 So Joshua conquered all the land: the mountain country and the South and the lowland and the wilderness slopes, and all their kings; he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel had commanded.41 And Joshua conquered them from Kadesh Barnea <ka'-desh-bar'-ne-a>as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even as far as Gibeon.42 All these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.43 Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

 

Now in chapter 11 we have the Northern conquest. Now the king of Hazor new that he must destroythe children of Israel. To make sure he would have a good chance to do this he get a number of other kings to join him in battle. According to verse 4 this huge army bigger than the children of Israel has ever faced. But notice what God tells Joshua in

 

Joshua 11:6 But the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire."

 

Thatís all Joshua needed to hear because he knew that it didnít matter how big or strong they were becauseif God said they would be defeated then they would be defeated. Lets read on.

 

Joshua 11:7 So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom <me'-rom>, and they attacked them.8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon <si'-don>, to the Brook Misrephoth <miz-re-foth., and to the Valley of Mizpah <miz'-pa> eastward; they attacked them until they left none of them remaining.9 So Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.10 Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms.11 And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire.12 So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only, which Joshua burned.14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty for themselves; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they left none breathing.15 As the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

From the time Joshua set foot into the promise land and to the end of the northern conquest approximately 5 years have passed and now the children of Israel have take great deal of the promise land under their control. The rest of Chapter 11 summarized Joshuaís conquest and ch. 12 tells all the kings that were defeated by Moses and Joshua.

Now look at Chapter 13.

 

Joshua 13:1 Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: "You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.

 

God is letting Joshua know that the children of Israelís job is not over yet because there is still a lot of land that needs to be conquered. God continues on telling Joshua exactly what land remains. He then tells him to start dividing the land up between the tribes.

 

Joshua 13:7 "Now therefore, divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh."

 

Now we need toremember that thereason why the land is being divided up with only9 and half tribes is because 2 and half tribes have take their land on the other side of the Jordan. As the tribes divide up into their different sections of land they would conquer the remaining land that God spoke of. You can read about all the details about the dividing of the land and conquering of the rest of the land from the end of Chapter 13 to Chapter 19. Now one thingI do what to point out is some additional information we find out about Caleb in Chapter 14:6-15.

Joshua 14:7 "I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart.

Joshua 14:10 "And now, behold, the LORD has kept me alive, as He said, these forty-five years, ever since the LORD spoke this word to Moses while Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, here I am this day, eighty-five years old.

 

Not only do we learn how old Caleb was at these different points this is alsowhere we can see by doing simple math that all of these conquest that Joshua had done tookabout 7 years. He was 40 when the wandering in the wilderness began and we know that this 40 years started from the time crossed the red sea. Approximately 2 years went by before they spied the promise land out the first time. So this means they would wander 38 more years Deut. 2:14 putting Caleb entering into the promise land at the age of 78 and since he is 85 now this gives us our 7 year time span.

 

In chapter 20 they set up cities of refuge and in chapter 21 the Levities are given 48 cities in all in which to dwell in since they did not receive land inheritance. This brings us to our final verses for this evening.

 

Joshua 21:43 So the LORD gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it.44 The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

 

Notice all came to pass the land promise God made to Abraham has now been fulfilled and God word has not failed. We need to remember these verse and show them to those who teach that God is going fulfill the land promise sometime in the future because the Bible clearly state that is fulfilled during Joshuaís time.