VALUABLE LESSONS FOR THE DAY OF BATTLE Joshua 10:6-14
Chapter 10 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.
You see, battles are a reality in the life of the child of God, but we never have to face them alone, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. In the day of battle, we have the promise of help from One Who is “an ever present help in a time of need“, Psa. 46:1. My duty this morning, as we consider chapters 10 and 11 of Joshua, is to remind you that our lives will be filled with battles. However, these battles are not really physical battles, neither are they battles with other people. Our battles are spiritual battles, Eph 6:12. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Therefore, our weapons must be spiritual as well. 2 Cor 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; “ With that in mind, let’s join Joshua and the armies of Israel as they fight the good fight of faith. As we observe them in their day of battle, there are some very special lessons that we can learn that will help us when we face the day of battle. Allow me to share these thoughts with you as we preach for a while on Lessons For The Day Of Battle.
I. V. 6-15 A LESSON ABOUT THE SAVIOR
Israel is about to honor the peace treaty they have made with the Gibeonites. They are going to keep their word and help these people fight those kings that have risen up against them. 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!
Deuteronomy 1:30 “The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you,”
This represents the supernatural aspect of our battles. 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. There are three precious truths that are revealed here about our Savior in the day of battle.
A. V. 8 He Gave His Peace – Notice the words in verse 8, “Fear them not!” God’s challenge to His people was for them not to fear the enemy. God was just reminding Joshua that He was still in control of the situation!
He is still in control. He is still on the throne and He is still the Prince of Peace. For those who will walk by faith and not by sight, the Lord still gives peace that passeth understanding, Phil. 4:7. He still His own brand of peace that keeps and comforts the hearts of His children, John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The secret to walking in peace is to walk in faith!
Remember that the Lord didn’t save you for you to be agitated and worried. He doesn’t mean for you to tremble in fear when the enemies of the Lord approach. When the day of battle comes in your life, the Lord will give you peace, if you will lean on Him, Pro. 3:5-6. As God’s children, we need to remember that everything that happens in our lives had to pass first over God’s desk and it received His stamp of approval, Rom. 8:28.
B. V. 8 He Gave His Promise – The Lord didn’t stop with just a word of encouragement, He also gave them the promise of absolute victory! The Lord never saved you for you to be defeated! When He saved you, He did so with the promise that you could walk in His victory – 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:37 “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”. That doesn’t mean that every situation in life will work out the way you want it to, but it does mean that God will enable you to live above your circumstances and share in His victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.
C. V. 9-14 He Gave His Power – In these verses, we see the a mighty demonstration of the power of the Lord in the life of Israel! God moved in a great manifestation of supernatural power and gave His children the victory. He moved in 2 ways.
1. V. 11 In The Hail – “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?” Job 38:22-23
2. V. 12-14 In The Heavens – Here we see the Lord perform the greatest miracle ever recorded in regard to the physical world. God stopped the sun in the heavens and extended the daylight hours for Joshua and his army to finish the battle.
(Ill. This passage has brought much ridicule upon the Bible. Some believe that this proves the Bible is uninspired, because science has long since proven that the earth rotates around the sun and that the sun doesn’t move. However, I would like to just make a few statements about this miracle that, for me at least, settle the issue.
A. This is the language of observation. (We all speak of the sunrise and the sunset. We do not use technical, scientific language to describe the things we observe all around us.) Very literally, the sun hung at the zenith of the sky for about a whole day!
B. Ancient history supports this claim. (The Chinese, the Babylonians, The Incas, the Aztecs, the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and other ancient cultures all record the existence of a long day, which occurred about this time.)
C. The calendar supports it. Using an ancient Chaldean calendar system, which was built around lunar and solar eclipses, it is possible to count forward to this day and find that this day fell on Tuesday June 22. However, if we count backward, using our system of reckoning days, we will find that this event happened on June 22, a Wednesday. Is there a problem? No, just the fact that an entire day is missing either way you go. Verse 13 tells us where that missing day went!
D. Some will surely counter, “this violates all the laws of nature!” I want to remind you that there are no laws of nature! There are only the laws of God which govern nature! We need to remember Who made this world. If He can create it, then surely He can control it!
E. The bottom line is this, God intervened supernaturally on the behalf of Israel. God gave them all the daylight they needed to get the job done!)
What does this mean for us? Well, there are times when the Lord will supernaturally intervene in your life and He will fight your battles for you. I have seen people healed of disease. I have seen drunks saved and sobered immediately by the power of God. I have seen drug addicts immediately released from the power of drugs and made clean. I have seen lives changed in miraculous ways by the supernatural intervention of God. I have seen the Lord move in response to the need of His child and move any mountain that needed to be moved to get them what they needed. That is our God!
I. A Lesson About The Savior
II. V. 16-27 A LESSON ABOUT THE SAINTS
If the first section pictures the supernatural aspect of our battles, then this section portrays the personal aspect of the battles we must fight in life. You see, God gave them a great victory through His mighty power, but there was still more of the battle to be fought. In these verses, we see Israel, not the Lord, engaged in the battle! There is a lesson here for the saints of God!
A. V. 16-18 We Must Control Our Enemy – Notice that these five kings tried to hide themselves in a cave. When they were discovered, Joshua ordered the cave to be sealed up, thus preventing the kings from escaping. This is a picture of control.
(When you got saved God changed you! However, your old, sinful nature is still alive and well! That’s right, that part of you that loves sin and the world is still active. If you don’t believe, just stick around a few more days and you will see! 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. It may be a problem with the tongue that will come out from time to time. It may be anger, hatred, prejudice, lust, depravity, etc. Whatever that thing may be in your life, it must be controlled, or it will eventually come to control you.
It is important to note that part of the Fruit of the Spirit is “temperance”, Gal. 5:23. This word literally means “self-control”. It refers to that person who is the master of himself. As a child of God, you have no right to do as you please! In fact, if you are saved and allowing sin to reign in your life, you are doing so with stolen property! You are the Lord’s and you have no business using His body, His mind, His anything for sin and wickedness. One proof of walking in the Spirit is self-control. 1 Cor. 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
B. V. 22-25 We Must Confront Our Enemy – Notice that 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. He confronted them openly and publicly pronounced the victory over them.
Spiritually speaking, we need to do the same thing. Every person in this room knows what kings hide in your life. You know about your secret sins and those problems you have with the flesh. The only way for you to get absolute, permanent victory over these things is for you to confront them. I mean, you need to drag them out of their hiding place and lay them out before the Lord, place your foot on their necks in the name of Jesus and proclaim the victory over them this morning! You will never prosper as a child of God until your sins are handled God’s way:
Pro. 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.“
C. V. 26-27 We Must Conquer Our Enemy – In these verses, we see Joshua take a step that ensures the victory of these 5 kings. He puts them to death!
Remember that your flesh is good for nothing! Your old sinful nature and your fleshly lusts are good for nothing other than the fires of judgment and hell. The only way for you to walk in victory before the Lord is to put you flesh to death! John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” It must die daily, or it will keep you from walking in power and victory.
Paul’s attitude toward life, Gal 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.”
I. A Lesson About The Savior
II. A Lesson About The Saints
III. 28-11:23 A LESSON ABOUT STEADFASTNESS
The latter part of chapter 10 and all of chapter 11, we see Israel completing the central campaign and we see them fighting both the southern and the northern campaigns as well. We have looked the supernatural aspects of our battles as well as the personal aspect of our battles. In these verses, we will see the temporal aspect of our battles. By that I mean that they must be fought, but they will not last forever. Just as Israel obtained a state of rest, we too will rest from the battles of life. But, until then, allow me to encourage you to steadfastness in the fight! Three truths here.
A. V. 28, 35 We Must Fight Daily – Please note that the battles Israel fought seemed to come day by day. Theirs was a life of battles!
The same is true for the child of God. Our battles will confront us daily. Therefore, we must arise each day with the willingness to fight our battles faithfully for the glory of God!
Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
B. 11:18 We Must Fight With Determination – This verse tells us that Joshua fought his battles for a long time. This tells me that this man had determination!
That is a quality that needs to be developed by all the children of the Lord! Too many are quitting in our day! Too many are throwing in the towel and giving up the fight. We need some people who will vow before the Lord this morning that come what may, they will stand for Him and will be in His service all the way until the end. That is the command we have from Paul, 1 Cor 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
Don’t quit! Some of you are so close to dropping out on God that it isn’t even funny. I beg you to come to Him this morning and let Him fan the dying embers back into a raging flame for His glory! Your life does not have to become shipwrecked,
1 Tim 1:19 ”Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:”
C. 40;11:12,15,23 We Must Fight With Devotion – If you will look at what Joshua was doing it is apparent that he was just doing what the Lord had told him to do.
Our duty is to be devoted to the Lord! Notice these verses that bear this out:
Micah 6:8, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Eccl 12:13, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
It all boils down to who’s will has the priority in your life: your’s or God’s.
2 Cor 10:5” Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”