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The Northern Campaign

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1) 8-3-08…AM…SBC     2)

“The Northern Campaign”

Joshua 11

Introduction:

1-      The account of the battle against the northern coalition, follows the pattern of that of the battle in Chapter 10, in which the coalition gathered (10:1–5; 11:1–5), the battle was fought (10:6–15; 11:6–9), and the Israelites followed it up by finishing the task (10:16–27; 11:10–15),[1]

2-      The message here is the same as in chap. 10: God was working on his people’s behalf to give them the land of Canaan, no matter the odds or the coalition organizeed against them (cf. Deut 20:1).[2]

3-      In this case, the coalition is much more impressive, seeming to come from all parts of the north (and even from the south), with a carefully designed strategy against Israel. [3]

4-      There is no dramatic miracle of hailstones or a sign involving sun and moon here, but nevertheless it is clear that the battle was the Lord’s[4]

Read Joshua 11

Besides God’s continual presence with Israel, we also see that…


Proposition:  God’s Promises must lead to obedience (modify)

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Ø      The southern Campaign might be over, but there was to be no extended period of recuperation for the armies of Israel[5]

Basic Outline of Chapter 11:

1) The Multi-King Coalition               v1-5

 

            A- Led by Jabin King of Hazor          v1

1-      When Jabin King of Hazor heard “this” he formed a multi-king coalition

a-      “this” is not in the text but inserted in grammatical connection with the vav consecutive

b-      The vav consecutive is an imperfect form giving it a past aspect

c-      The vav consecutive has a logical and chronological aspect to it

d-     Summary – Jabin heard of “this” = the victory over the Southwestern region

2-      The coalition army figuratively numbered the sands on the seashore

a-      The fighting forces were strengthened by their horses and chariotry.[6]

b-      Such a vast force surely would have appeared irresistible![7]

c-      Josephus - the number of the whole army was three hundred thousand armed footmen, and ten thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand chariots[8]

2) The Activity of God           v6

 

A-    There was no dramatic, miraculous intervention by God this time, as there had been at the battle of Gibeon (10:6–14), but God did help his people.[9]

B-    God gave Joshua an exhortation and promise, just as he had in the campaign against the southern coalition earlier[10]   cf: 10:8

C-    God promised to deliver Israel’s enemies into its hands by the next day.[11]

1-      This was especially significant, in light of the impressive numbers arrayed against Israel in vv. 4–5.[12]

Ø      אָנֹכִי (I) before נֹתֵן (give) gives emphasis to the sentence:

God said…

“I will provide for this; by my power, which is immeasurable, as I have shown thee so many times, and by my nod, by which heaven and earth are shaken, shall these things be done”[13]

3) The Battle               v7-23

 

A-    The actual battle is told with almost no details; certainly no extraordinary miracle or sign is reported, as in chap. 10.[14]

B-    Here Israel ambushed the enemy, and the Lord gave them into Israel’s hands just like He said He would[15]

C-    The victory was clearly from God (v. 8). When Israel attacked its enemies, they repelled and chased them in opposite directions.[16]

D-    The route of Israel’s enemies includes victory over the Anakites, or giants, of the land which again symbolized God fulfilling his promise to Israel

Summary:  Even though God did not use a miracle this time around, He proved once again that He was a God who kept His promises to his people

Transition to Application: Once again we want to view this account along two realms of application…

-          What is the activity of God and what does that teach us about God?

-          How do the characters in this drama respond to God’s activity?

We learn first of all in this passage about…

1)      The love of God          v6

A-    All of the encouragement given to Joshua to be courageous can be traced back to God’s love for him

·         Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18, 10:25 all use the word courage or courageous

·         Joshua 8:1, 10:8, 24:14 all talk about fearing God and not fearing men

1-      It was God’s love for Joshua and the people of Israel that caused Him to fight for them

1 John 4:8 – “God is love”

a-      this attribute of God show us that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing and success for others

b-      we have been witnessing in the book of Joshua how the self-giving love of God finds expression in God’s relationship to mankind

1.      love is the structure of His being—He is the unfailing source of all love

2.      love is the primary motive of God – all creation has been formed to love him

c-      Joshua and Israel have been experiencing the manifestation of God’s love ever since chapter 1

Application:  For the believer, the encouragement comes when we realize that no matter how bad the circumstances get, God’s presence and God’s love are a always a reality in our lives.

For the unbeliever, the doctrine of God to be grasped is that while His holiness has condemned you in your sin, it is his love that seeks to save you from those sins.

John 3:16-17                                 1 John 4:10-11                        Romans 5:8-9

-          when God’s holiness demanded a penalty for your sin, God’s love provided a pardon from that penalty

-          the supreme demonstration of holiness and love is expressed in the cross of Christ

-          the penalty that God’s holiness demanded was paid and the pardon God’s love desired was purchased

-          Gospel presentation of “One Yard Short” tract – without Christ you can fall one yard short

 

 

We also learn that the…

2)      The Promises of God always come to be

A-    God’s impressive promises to Joshua that he would be with him just as he was with Moses begins to answer the question whether Joshua would be able to fill Moses’ shoes as a leader [17]

1-      the promises of victory and occupation of the Promised Land reiterate the promises made to Joshua

Ø      the fulfilled promises of God teach us about the faithfulness of his character

B-    the faithfulness of God to the believer is so much more than just one single aspect of his character

1-      the faithfulness of God is the spiritual food which our souls survive on

2-      from characters in Joshua we see people and leaders who motivated by the faithfulness of God

3-      their confident expectation was founded on the faithfulness of God

Ø      Only as we have complete assurance that he is faithful may we live in peace and look forward to life to come

The last factor we will see this morning is…

3)      The obedience of the people              

Ø      Remember that narratives teach us about God and then how people reacted to the truth of who God is

A-    Joshua and Israel saw that God was faithful to His Word and they responded in obedience

·         v7 – Joshua and His warriors came against them suddenly

·         v9 – and Joshua did

·         v15 – Just as the Lord had commanded…Joshua did.  He left nothing undone…

·         v16 – So Joshua took all the land

·         v23 – So Joshua took the whole land according to all that the Lord had spoken

B-    The Christian life is like a three-legged stool. The three legs are: Repentance, Faith, and Obedience.

1-      Each leg connects to the person of Jesus Christ and His work.

2-      All three legs must be in baland in order for the daily Christian life to succeed and proceed.

Ø      a common theological error made is that we only repent once, have faith once and commit to obey once

Ø      the Christian life is not just one act but a series of acts that if obeyed will lead to spiritual maturity

Ø      many do not see their initial conversion repentance as the first in a series of daily repentance, daily exhibits of faith and daily commitments to obedience

-          true repentance turns from sin and to Christ – put off old ways and put on Christ

-          only Christ grants perfect righteousness and holiness through faith in His work on the cross – Eph 2:8-9

-          a Christian’s commitment to obedience is the demonstration of his appreciation for God’s grace

·         because of what Christ has done for us we should not just obey but obey joyfully

·         you will fail repeatedly (Romans 7) yet you grow when you put off sin

·         this tension should drive us to repentance and commitment to faithful obedience

·         the result of this new repentance and faith is that we see the truth of Romans 8:1 – no condemnation

·         that fact of no condemnation must lead to practical obedience through the help of the HS

Quote:                                     “Sin always manifests itself in a the universal language of disobedience to God”

Dick Mayhue – Prof at Master’s College and Seminary

Conclusion:

1-      In a world filled with insecurity and uncertainty, we must learn to walk by faith, or our lives will fall apart.[18]

2-       Living by faith means obeying God’s Word in spite of feelings, circumstances, or consequences.[19]

3-      It means holding on to God’s truth no matter how heavy the burden or how dark the day, knowing that He is working out His perfect plan. [20]

If you want to be encouraged by God, see His love and faithfulness.

If you want to reflect the response of Joshua, be obedient!


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[1]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 262.

[2]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 264.

[3]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 264.

[4]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 264.

[5] Jensen: Joshual, p87.

[6]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 267.

[7]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 267.

[8]Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus : Complete and Unabridged, Includes Index. (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996, c1987), Ant 5.64.

[9]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[10]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[11]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[12]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[13]Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002), 2:89.

[14]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[15]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 268.

[16]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 269.

[17]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 83.

[18]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1991), Ge 12:1.

[19]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1991), Ge 12:1.

[20]Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Obedient (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1996, c1991), Ge 12:1.

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