Clash of Kings
A Clash of Kings Joshua 10:16-43 The pivot point, the turning point, the victory lap. It is all downhill. When these five kings are captured and executed, all the rest of Israel just starts falling. They put their feet on the necks of the kings of men. 25 And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” We are in a holy war. Do not be afraid or dismayed… be strong and courageous. God wins. The Best of Times, the Worst of Times Interview where I felt like an idiot. Interview where I felt like a Rockstar! Sometimes I am humbled. Sometimes I am the KING. Joshua 10:1-5 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction,[a] doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, 2 he[b] 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 warriors. 3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 “Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel.” 5 Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. The King The King of Jerusalem – king among men, king among kings. Priest and king. The Day turns around. Fear and hailstorm. A twenty mile chase where the army is getting slaughtered by Israelites behind and hailstones from above. And either the sun and moon are poetically “standing still” in awe of the miracle of God’s deliverance, or quite possibly, certainly within God’s power, they are literally commanded by God to stand still in the sky. … and the King of Jerusalem. King of men, leader of kings… he has to be asking himself… what happened? How did it all come crashing down? Joshua 10:16 16 These five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17 And it was told to Joshua, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah.” 18 And Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave and set men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves. Pursue your enemies; attack their rear guard. Do not let them enter their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand.” 20 When Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished striking them with a great blow until they were wiped out, and when the remnant that remained of them had entered into the fortified cities, 21 then all the people returned safe to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. Not a man moved his tongue against any of the people of Israel. Total defeat. Are they really kings now? There army is destroyed. Their cities are about to be. And Joshua makes the humiliation complete. 22 Then Joshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me from the cave.” 23 And they did so, and brought those five kings out to him from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 24 And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. This is “humiliation galore!” This is a cultural sign of subjugation… but I think it carries. Demonstrate putting my foot on someone’s neck as they kneel before me. This is a low point in their life. From King of their known world, leader of men, leader of Kings to utter humiliation. And Joshua echoes the theme note of Joshua as God has fulfilled it yet again in a POWERFUL way. 25 And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” 26 And afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees. And they hung on the trees until evening. Again, they saw hanging on a tree as a most shameful way to die. Humiliation and death. 27 But at the time of the going down of the sun, Joshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and they set large stones against the mouth of the cave, which remain to this very day. Then he destroys their cities. 28 As for Makkedah, Joshua captured it on that day and struck it, and its king, with the edge of the sword. He devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho. … and to Libnah Conquest of Southern Canaan 29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. 30 And the Lord gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel. And he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it; he left none remaining in it. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. And to Lachish 31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish and laid siege to it and fought against it. 32 And the Lord gave Lachish into the hand of Israel, and he captured it on the second day and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah. … and to Horam 33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish. And Joshua struck him and his people, until he left none remaining. … and to Eglon 34 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon. And they laid siege to it and fought against it. 35 And they captured it on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword. And he devoted every person in it to destruction that day, as he had done to Lachish. … and to Hebron 36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron. And they fought against it 37 and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword, and its king and its towns, and every person in it. He left none remaining, as he had done to Eglon, and devoted it to destruction and every person in it. Utter humiliation. We have examined this from the perspective of the people of Israel. How great is our God! What a miracle that he hears us. There is a sobering note here. And it is this. God wins. That is triumphant for everything and everyone that is on God’s side. … but it is terrifying for everything and anyone that is not. This pattern continues. Those who think they are “Kings of the World”. God brings them down. James 4:6 “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Your Clash of Kings This was a battle among kings. I submit to you that you have your own battle of kings within. In some areas of your life you are already humbled and submitted to God. But we have dimensions of life where we strive to be King. We are holding on to that throne. Humble yourselves… or you will be humbled. God wins. Always. And so only those who are on God’s side win too. Only that within that has been submitted to Him wins through. By His grace, He leads us on that journey of submission. Often He is working up to the hardest things for us to submit. WE can hold on to pride in the strangest of ways. But here is the truth. Any Kingdom out here in the world that isn’t His Kingdom is going to fail. Because God always wins. He wins in the end. He truly wins in the now. Politics can be a scary mess. But ultimately God wins. Be on his side. And any Kingdom within us that isn’t His Kingdom is going to fall. Is going to be humiliated (by His grace, because He loves, he will dismantle that Kingdom within us). Give grace the humble… and if necessary, humble me with grace. God wins there. God wins here. May everything within me join Him in His victory. That the King would rule all of me.