No claims of absolute originality are made for this material. As one man said, "I milk a lot of cows, but I churn my own butter." Please use these sermons as the Lord leads, but nothing on this site may be used for profit without my expressed, written permission!
LESSONS FOR THE DAY OF BATTLE
Intro: Chapter 10 opens with five of the Canaanite kings joining forces to attack the Gibeonites because they had made a peace treaty with the people of Israel. Explain the background and the aftermath of Joshua 9.
These Canaanite kings didn’t know it, but they were playing right into the hand of Joshua. Instead of having to fight them one by one in five battles, they all came together in one place, and Joshua was able to defeat them at one time.
In chapter 9, the Gibeonites had tricked the Israelites into making a peace treaty with them. This was a direct violation of the Lord’s command to Israel in Deut. 7:1-6. Apparently, the Gibeonites knew about the Lord’s command to Israel in Deut. 20:10-18 as well.
Regardless of what the Gibeonites knew about the commandments of the Lord to Israel, they tricked Israel into making a covenant with them. Now, Israel is bound to the Gibeonites by an oath, and it is time for them to make good on their promise to protect the Gibeonites.
For Israel this will be just another battle in their conquest of the Promised Land. For us, this battle is a vivid picture of the Christian life.
Battles are a daily reality in the life of the child of God. While that is true, we can thank God, that we never have to face our battles 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. Ill. “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee,” Isa. 43:2.
My mission, in preaching Joshua chapters 10 and 11, is to remind you that our lives will be filled with battles. Most often, our battles will not be physical in nature, nor will they be battles with other people. Our battles may manifest themselves in that manner, but in reality, nearly every battle we will fight in our Christian life will be spiritual in nature.
Paul writes: “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.” Eph 6:12. If our battles are spiritual battles, then our weapons must be spiritual as well. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)” 2 Cor. 10:4.
This passage has some precious help for us when we are called upon the face the battles of life. It reveals to us the weapons we are to use, and the Ally we have in every battle we may face in life. As we observe Joshua and the armies of Israel continue to fight for their inheritance in Canaan; there is help for us as we fight our own battles. As we observe them in their day of battle, there are some precious lessons that will help us when we face our days of battle. Allow me to share these lessons with you as we think about Lessons For The Day Of Battle.
I. V. 6-15 A LESSON ABOUT THE SAVIOR
As they prepare for battle, the Lord comes to them with His promise of help and of victory. God is about to go to war for His people!
These verses speak to the supernatural aspect of our battles. When the battles of life come your way, the Lord comes to your aid and fights for you. There are times when He moves in power and works great miracles in your life. Such a time is pictured here. There are three precious truths that are reveal much about our Savior in the day of battle.
A. V. 8 He Grants His People 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 reminding Joshua that He was still in control of the situation!
God 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. 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
He has His own brand of peace that keeps and comforts the hearts of His children. “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,” John 14:27. The secret to walking in peace is to walk in faith, knowing that the Lord is in absolute control of all of life.
The Lord did not save you for you to be agitated, worried, and filled with fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Tim. 1:7. He does not intend for you to tremble in fear when the enemies of life come near.
When the day of battle comes, the Lord will give you peace, if you will lean on Him. “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,” 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 Grants His People His Promise - The Lord didn’t stop with just a word of encouragement, He also gave them the promise of absolute victory!
I would just like to remind you that the Lord did not save you for you to be defeated! When He saved you, He did so with the promise that you could walk in His victory.
This does not mean that every situation in life will work out the way you want it to, but it does mean that God can 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 Grants His People 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 two amazing ways.
1. V. 11 God Moved In The Hail - By sending the hail, God showed Israel and the people of Canaan that Hadad and Baal, the storm gods of the Canaanites, were powerless. More people were killed by hailstones than by the sword. A hailstone weighing 1.7 pounds fell in Kansas in 1970. Such a stone would have been traveling well over 100 miles per hour when it struck the ground. The book of Revelation tells us that hailstones will fall weighing about 100 pounds each, Rev. 16:21. However large this hail may have been, it devastated Israel’s enemies.
Here is the greater miracle: The Hail destroyed the Canaanites, but God's people were not killed by the stones. “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 God Moved 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 the record of this miracle 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.
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. Many ancient cultures record the existence of an unusual 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 July 22. However, if we count backward, using our system of reckoning days, we will find that this event happened on July 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, “But preacher, 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? There are times when the Lord will supernaturally intervene in your life and He will fight your battles for you. Consider Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Daniel, the Widow of Zarephath, the disciples in the storm, feeding the 5,000, walking on the water, healing a leper, raising the dead, etc.
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 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!
Please understand, He doesn’t always move like that. I have seen drunks delivered, but I have seen others who still struggled with that sin even after they were saved. I have seen saints healed, but I have seen others die with their disease. I am just saying that there are times when the Lord will move in supernatural power to meet the need of His child!
I. A Lesson About The Savior
II. V. 16-27 A LESSON ABOUT THE SAINTS
The first part of this passage pictures the supernatural aspect of our battles. This section portrays the personal aspect of the battles we must fight. 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 The 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 God saved you, He changed you! Yet, your old, sinful nature is still alive and well! That part of you that loves sin and the world is still active, Eph. 4:22; Gal. 5:16. If you don’t believe that, just stick around a few more days and you will see!
Just like those five kings, our enemy, the flesh, hides away 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, 1 Cor. 6:19-20. One proof of walking in the Spirit is self-control! How are you doing in this area?
B. V. 22-25 We Must Confront The Enemy - Notice that after the battle had been won, Joshua came back to the cave and brought those 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 here 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. 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! You will never prosper as a child of God until your sins are handled God’s way.
C. V. 26-27 We Must Conquer The Enemy - In these verses, we see Joshua take a step that ensures the victory over these five kings forever. He puts them to death!
I would remind you that your flesh is good for nothing, Rom. 7:18! Your old sinful nature and its lusts are good for nothing but the fires of hell. The only way for you to walk in victory is to “reckon” or consider the flesh to be dead, Rom. 6:11!
The flesh must die daily, or it will keep you from walking in power and victory, Ill. Gal. 5:16-17. Ill. Col. 3:5, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:”
Note with me Paul’s attitude toward life, “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.” Gal 2:20.
I. A Lesson About The Savior
II. A Lesson About The Saints
III. 10:28-11:23 A LESSON ABOUT STEADFASTNESS
As we move into the latter part of chapter 10 and on into chapter 11, we see Israel completing their conquest of the central portion of Canaan. Then, 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 the battles must be fought, but the battles will not last forever. Just as Israel obtained a state of rest, we too will rest from the battles of life. Until that blessed day comes, allow me to encourage you to be steadfastness in the fight!
A. V. 28, 35 We Must Fight Daily - Please note that the battles Israel fought seemed to come day by day. Their’s 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!
Let me say this to those who may be waiting on easier times to begin serving the Lord: you may never have an easier time! We are not promised one more day upon this earth. The only day I have to fight my battles is today. Tomorrow may never come for me!
Tomorrow may never dawn on you! That is why James 4:17 says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
There are some in this room who have never been saved. If you were to die, you would go to Hell. Your life does not have to end that way! God made a way for you to be saved. All you need do is come to God, confess yourself a sinner, and believe the Gospel. I would challenge you not to wait until tomorrow to do that. You are not promised another day. Pro. 27:1 says, “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” According to 2 Cor. 6:2, “today is the day of salvation.” Isaiah tells you to “Call upon the Lord while He is near”, Isa. 55:6.
God lengthened the day for Joshua, but He will not lengthen your days. When the time comes for you to leave this world, you will either leave it saved or lost.
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! Too many are throwing in the towel and giving up the fight. We need people who will stand for God, and serve Him until the end. That is God’s will for every one of His children, “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.” 1 Cor. 15:58.
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 today and let Him fan the dying embers back into a raging flame for His glory! Your life does not have to become a shipwreck, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:” 1 Tim. 1:19.
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.
That is a wonderful way for a person to live life. We have no one to please today but the Lord! Our duty is to love Him, to walk in His Word and serve Him faithfully all the days we live. Our duty is to be devoted to the Lord! Notice these verses that bear this out.
It all boils down to whose will has the priority in your life: your’s or God’s. Which is it for you? How does one do this? “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;” 2 Cor. 10:5.
Conc: Eventually, the battles of life will end, the long day will be finished and we who are saved will go home to Heaven to rest in His glorious presence. In the meantime, there are enemies to face and battles to fight.
We can either fight them with our own weapons and lose, or we can fight them the way the Lord has shown us and win. Which would you rather have: defeat or victory?
I don’t know what you are fighting today, but I know Who can help you with that battle. Bring that battle to Jesus and let Him get you safely through the fight.
If you are lost, you are fighting the greatest battle of them all. I invite you to come to Jesus Christ for salvation. Surrender to the Lord and let Him show you what a life of true victory is all about!