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Lessons Of War - Beth Horon

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Joshua 10:6-11

SUBJECT:           Joshua

TITLE:                LESSONS OF WAR

PROPOSITION:  The child of God is engaged in Spiritual warfare.

OBJECTIVE:       Learn from the Israelites battle at Beth Horon with the Amorites.


1.   Read the text: (Joshua 10:6-11).

2.   Regarding the text:

      (1)   The background to this battle is familiar to you.

              A.   The Gibeonites deception caused a covenant to be arranged (Josh. 9).a.  The Gibeonites portrayed themselves as being from afar.

                    b.   They were made “woodcutters and water carriers.”

              B.   When the Gibeonites were attacked by five Amorite kings, Joshua feels compelled to come to their aid.

              C.   Israel now is in the business of defending Canaanites!

              D.   The children of God are becoming very familiar with the act of warfare!

              E.   That familiarity will only increase in their history of the next 700 years.

      (2)   This battle and those that followed were all part of God’s plan to prepare a people for the Messiah.

3.   The Christian life is a battle.

      (1)   The O.T. is filled with physical battles.  When God’s people followed the will of God victory followed them (e.g. Egypt; Jericho).

      (3)   When God’s people failed to follow, defeat was never far behind.

      (4)   The inspired writers of the N.T. paint the same picture of the Christian life with one exception, our battle is a spiritual one.  Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

              A.   Walk in the flesh but do not war in the flesh.

              B.   Weapons are not carnal but mighty in God.

              C.   Pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.

4.   It is said “to the victor go the spoils” but whether in victory or defeat we learn lessons from the battle.  In this lesson, “LESSONS OF WAR” we seek to learn from the Battle at Beth Horon and make application to the Christian warfare in which we are engaged.

DISCUSSION: From the Battle at Beth-Horon a “Lesson Of War” learned is...


          1.   God’s plan/promise was for Israel to take the land of Canaan.

                (1)    A tendency for Israel would be to expect that to happen without too much effort on their part.

                         A.   There has been a deal of vacillation to this point.

                               a.   Jericho was easy.  Required “little effort” from them.

                               b.   Ai the point was made.  “Complete effort” is required.

                               c.   The Gibeonites submission.  Required little effort from the Israelites.

                         B.   Ease of success causes us to let up (cf. sports).

                (2)    At Beth-Horon it seems the lesson had been learned.

                         A.   Joshua was quick to act (Josh. 10:6,7).

                         b.   The Lord was in Joshua’s plans and actions (10:8f).

          2.   His plan/promise is set, permanent, eternal (cf. Eph. 3:11), but to a certain extent our efforts are involved with His accomplishing that plan/promise.

                (1)    Our land of promise contains TRUTH given by God but we must fight for it!

                         A.   Acts 17:11; 1Thess. 5:21.

                         B.   Look at Eph. 6:11-17.  The WHOLE armor of God is required!

                               a.   Gird waist with truth (v. 14).

                               b.   Breastplate of righteousness (v. 14).

                               c.   Feet shod with preparation of the gospel (v. 15).

                               d.   Shield of faith (v. 16).

                               e.   Helmet of salvation (v. 17).

                               f.    Sword of the Spirit (v. 17).

                         C.   No whispers in our ear, no movements upon our heart by the Holy Spirit.  We must take an active part in acquiring truth. (Rom. 10:17 and not preacher/parents/peers!)

                (2)    Our land of promise contains MATURITY & CHARACTER.  They are gifts of God, but we must fight for them!

                         A.   Christianity is a growing process, and just as a small tree must fight to shoot upwards to the light in a world of darkness we must do the same.

                         B.   Discipline and Character building is a painful process.

                (3)    Our land of promise contains SALVATION given by God (Eph. 2:8) but we must fight for it!

                         A.   Phil. 2:12 - “Work out your own salvation with fear...”

                         B.   The wages of sin is death!  We work for another wage.  Eternal life which is the gift of God (Rom. 6:23).

                         C.   Matthew 20:1-16.  The workers worked for their wages.

                         D.   “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:26-27).

                         E. Jesus said “strive” or “fight” to enter by the narrow gate (Mt. 7:13; Lk. 13:24).

                         F.   Too many have a “rope a dope” strategy.


          1.   Joshua saw the need, had guidance from God, and threw himself into this effort.

                (1)    Surely there were some counseling Joshua to use great caution or delay.  There always is.

                (2)    Joshua had the wisdom of age and experience but not the weakness of old age.  Joshua knew the value of energy!

                         A.   They marched all night (10:9)!

                         B.   He rushed in on his foe before he had time to organize!

          2.   We must have “guidance from God” or a “thus saith the Lord” for everything we do (Col. 3:17; Eccl. 12:13), but sometimes we sit back and wait for the devil to get organized!

                (1)    “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecc. 9:10).

                (2)    The impact of an arrow or a bullet is great and powerful not because of the size of the arrow but because of the ratio of its mass and high velocity!

                (3)    We need to get serious and get busy in our opposition to Sin!

                         A.   Through Achan, sin entered the camp and it spelled defeat for all the peoples of God!

                         B.   We cannot half-heartedly oppose evil and expect to win.

                               a.   We need to call sin by its proper name (cf. Gen. 39) and we need to identify specific sins and encourage those living in them to get out!

                               b.   It doesn’t matter who the person is or what the sin is!

                                      i. Immodesty is a sin!

                                      ii.          Lewd/sensual/lascivious behavior is a sin!

                                      iii.         Drinking is a sin!

                                      iv.         Greed is a sin!

                                      v.          Lying is a sin!

                                      vi.         Pride is a sin!

                                      vii.        Fellowshiping denominational error is a sin!

                                      viii.       Envy is a sin!

                                      ix.         Robbing God is a sin!

                         C.   Half hearted effort will not get it in the secular world and it only prolongs the battle and invites defeat in the spiritual one!

                (4)    Individuals need to enter the battle, congregations need to enter the battle, the Lord’s people need to enter the battle!  Even if we have to march all night to get there!

          3.   Isn’t that why the apostles and the church of the first century and brethren of the restoration movement in this country accomplished so much?

                (1)    That goes for the battle to identify and repent of wrong.

                (2)    It also goes for the battle to do right.


          1.   The fight to take Canaan was a monumental undertaking.

                (1)    They were powerful.

                (2)    They were advanced over other areas of civilization.

          2.   Immorality is a destructive force.  If we are on the side of truth then we fight with a weakened opponent!

                (1)    Idolatry and paganism had weakened the people of Canaan.

          3.   The enemy of God does not have the benefit of Divine guidance.

                (1)    While others stumble in the darkness God’s word serves as a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Psa. 119:105).

                (2)    “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10:23).

                (3)    “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).

                (4)    If God is for us then who can be against us (Rom. 8:31)?

          4.   The battle is the Lord’s (1 Sam. 14:47).

                (1)    “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30).

                (2)    Cf. 2 Tim. 4:6-8.

          5.   When we do right - seek truth - shun evil... Ultimately we will win!

                (1)    Be the most popular man in town, at work, in school?  Maybe not!

                (2)    Have a smooth flight through this life and cruise right on into eternity?  Maybe not!

                (3)    BUT GOD IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM (Heb. 11:6).  If those rewards don’t come in this life they will be ours in the next!  Well done my good and faithful servant (Mt. 25).

          6.   But do not doubt!  There will be victories in this life if we fight hard enough!


1.       God fights on behalf of those who fight for Him.

2.       If you are not for Him you are against Him (Lk. 11:21).

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