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More War (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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October 20, 2020 6:00 am

More War (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 20, 2020 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 11-12)

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A reoccurring theme with Joshua is obedience.

Joshua, as it says again in verse 9, did to them as Yahweh had told him. I want to be that guy all the time. Sometimes I can get it. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's surprising. Sometimes it's become part of me.

But then there are other times. I want to be that guy all the time. And I want God to know that I want to be that guy. And I know He does.

And I am reassured by that. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Joshua.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Joshua chapter 7. Now, here's Pastor Rick in Joshua chapter 11 with a brand new message called, Unwanted but Needed. Joshua chapter 11.

In the 10th chapter we read in the 9th verse, Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. And what stands out to me is that forced march of almost 20 miles, much of it uphill. At the end of that forced march when you would be exhausted, you still had to fight for your life. And I think, you know, we get weary so easily in life, forced marching to the battle, and we forget that when we get to the battle, we're supposed to actually battle. That's what goes with war. And these are the lessons that have been preserved for us in illustration and in type, and they're very, very beneficial if applied.

Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly, it says. We get to chapter 11 and 12, but this sudden strike doctrine that he lived out, no hesitation, his army always with him, uphill struggles just to get to the fight, no shortcuts, no rest, and for it all, he got victory. So there's something at the end.

It's not just hard work. There is victory. There are the blessings, and we know this by faith, and that's why we keep plowing forward. We know we don't want to go to hell. We know enough about hell to know that's not the option for us. We know enough about heaven to say that's where I'm going.

That's where I want to go. And whatever it takes to get there from here is the route I'll take. That's my force march, or part of it. So now here in Joshua 11, we get the northern campaign, the already fighting in the central section of the promised land to the south. Now he's going to fight in the north, and the fight's going to come to him. By the time we get midway through this chapter, or about midway, the historian will summarize the battle for us, and then we get to chapter 12, which will just wrap up that section still to come on the allotments, and that will be very beneficial. Some other lessons we get from this trek of the people of God from the wilderness into the promised land, and then into the book of Judges, which is the sequel to Joshua. Well, in Numbers, we found out what happens when God's people are afraid of giants, when they are afraid to engage the enemy they've sent to engage. And that is, of course, in Numbers 14, and they were sentenced to 40 years trekking in the wilderness. From Joshua's book, we learn what happens when God's people will engage the enemy, when they will march all night to get to the fight. That's in Joshua 23, verse 3, just quickly.

You have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to all these nations because of you, for Yahweh your God is He who has fought for you. That's what happens when we go about our business as believers, not losing sight of that, because we get sidetracked with other things in life that compete for our passion. You can't serve two masters.

Not well. You will love the one, and you will come to hate the other. There's a conflict of interest. There's not but so much heart we have to share, and we have to learn how to balance this and go about these things the right way. And so as far as Christians governing our passions, we are to use our heads, our noggins, as Jesus told us.

We talked about that last Wednesday. He said, you know, the people of the world, they're very shrewd. They think their way through problems.

We Christians are supposed to do this too. In Judges, we learn what happens when God's people change sides. They're no longer fighting God's battles. They've joined the opposition. They're like a people without a king, each man doing his own thing. And so here in this now 11th chapter where we will see the war continues, and there's no miracles.

Well, there are. There's still the actions of God, but the sun and the moon will continue to do what they do on schedule without interruption as in chapter 10, and the hailstones will not join the battle. This will be sword fighting all the way through. Verse 1 of chapter 11, and it came to pass when Jabin, king of Hazor, heard these things that he sent, and you can read those names. Well, anyway, to the king of Shimron, they always get one in, to the king of Aksaf. Verse 2, and to the kings who were from the north in the mountains in the plain of Chinnoroth in the lowland and in the heights of Dor on the west. So what is going on here is the kings, the king of Hazor mainly, he's the leader of this pack, does like Adonai Zidek did in chapter 10.

Adonai Zidek, you know, lord of justice is what his name means, or lord of the pagan god as an alternate. He got all of the southern sheiks and kings together and said the Jews are in the land, they've taken out Bethel and Ai and Jericho, Gibeon has traded over to them, we're going to attack Gibeon. And the people of God under Joshua marched all night, got to the battle, and wiped them out. This, of course, was God turning a bad situation into a better situation, because of Gibeon's deceit, these people came against Gibeon, which means they came out into the open so Joshua could get his swords on them.

Well here, Gibeon, king of Hazor, he's doing the same thing that Adonai Zidek did in the south, he's getting all the sheiks and kings together and he's going to amass this gigantic army, which seems to be a more formidable force than what Joshua met in the south against Zidek. And Dor, he mentions, well he mentions Chinnoroth in verse 2, that's the ancient name for the Sea of Galilee and that region, and then Dor goes all the way to the west, to the Mediterranean Sea. In verse 3 now, to the Canaanites in the east and in the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Pezerite, the Jebusite in the mountains, and the Hivite below Hermon in the land of Mizpah. So Joshua's listing all the territories that are getting ready to meet him on the battlefield in this enormous gang fight, and there are many places in the Bible that have similar names, or the same name, but they're not the same place, we'll come across a few in this section, but I don't know if I'll bother to comment, because it's not like tonight you're going, poor Mizra, where is that?

Mizpah, you can look it up. Anyway, verse 4, so they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. And so this multitude, everybody is coming against the Jews. You know, you read about the numbers of the forces under Joshua's command, and you say, that's a lot, he's going to need them all. And they will never subdue the land entirely like they were commanded to. And in my earlier years as a Christian, I kind of held that against them, secretly, you know, when I say secretly, I mean, it wasn't some great passion, but why didn't they take them all out like they were told?

They were doing so well. Well, I've had over 30 years to deal with my flesh, to cast out those things that I don't like about me, and neither does God. And it's a fight. So I'm not as judgmental of them as I used to be, because I see my own self as the promised land in that sense, and how difficult it is to overcome the giants in the land, the enemies, the chariots, and all the archers and everything else they have to throw at us.

And I know that each one of us can identify with this. Well, here again, having all the targets gathering before him, a target-rich environment. You can say that when, well, when I worked in construction, I would go to a new job. You know, you go to a job that would finish, because the building would, your part was done, and you'd have to go down to the union hall, usually, and sit around until they called you and sent you to another job. And when I would go, get sent to another job, it was another target-rich environment for me. New faces to preach the gospel, that's how I viewed it. One outstanding time, I remember the Lord, I arrived at the job, and I said, Lord, who do we have here today? Who are we going to preach to today? And as I walked on site, there was someone I preached to at another job, working on a truck. I was hoping God would send you here. So I don't know, twenty-five years later, the church gets an email from him. Is this the same me, Rick, that worked in, and so, he's still a Christian, he still loves the Lord, he's listening online, as he should be, as everybody should be. So, I know I kind of went off on that, because that's what I do. But there's another environment of opportunity where the enemy's forces are coming into range, and for us, it's not to slaughter anyone, it's to go against the lies to win souls. So we should be excited at fresh meat. And this is what was going on here.

A.W. Tozier says, the man who hates his sins too much will get into trouble with those who do not hate sin enough. Leave it to Tozier to always say something that you say, why didn't I think of that? But if you hate your sin and the other guy doesn't hate his sins so much, you annoy him. That's how Christ was, he was a walking sermon. And here the Jews coming into the Promised Land, because they were right with God as a people. And the inhabitants, the Canaanites loosely, all the peoples there, they didn't hate their sin, they loved their sin. Paul had to deal with this in so many ways. You know, men would say, you know, before I came to Christ in Corinth, my wife was not affectionate towards me, I could go to the temple and make up for it.

Paul said, stop withholding yourselves from one another. But you see, he had to deal with all the junk from the Gentile world, that's just one snippet. Well, in Corinth, many of the people changed sides, they were converted, they came to Christ. And a few did here too, Rahab and family, some of the Gibeonites. But most of them, they were offended and they were going to fight to the death and that is what they did. And so, back to all of these targets here together, God sends his people into harm's way, because there is an objective, it is worth it, and these are massive armies meeting on the field.

It's going to be ugly. Verse 5, and when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Meron to fight against Israel. They've been fighting against Israel ever since. Verse 6, and let me pause a minute, there's a lot of stuff to comment on, on these other verses, but I'm going to skip over most, but just for example, the stuff we leave out, Meron is one of the candidate mountains in Israel for the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus went up on a high mountain, and that is one of the candidates for the location.

See, it told you it really wasn't much. Verse 6 now, but Yahweh said to Joshua, do not be afraid because of them for tomorrow about this time, I will deliver all of them slain before Israel, you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire. Well, evidently Joshua was concerned. He knew these forces had amassed against him, and they had chariots. Mechanized warfare was now confronting him. For the first time, he had to deal with chariots. What could infantry alone do against them? It's like sending infantry against tanks today. Those chariots, it wasn't like, you know, Ben Hur was one guy in a chariot. They were big chariots. They could have two, three men in them, archers and men with lances.

They could be really a problem cut right through infantry. He also had learned from AI that past victories were no guarantee of another victory just because. He knew there were other factors involved which emerged out of the whole thing in AI with ache and sinning and Joshua not being aware of it and being devastated by the whole thing. And so he wasn't taking anything for granted. And God comes along and says, do not be afraid.

Again, be no reason to tell him not to be afraid unless he was afraid. And Joshua had sought great military victories already in Egypt, coming out of Egypt. Our Pharaoh's army drowned in the sea and there they were, the Bible says, the next morning, there they were on the shore dead. The Amalekites, he fought with them when Aaron and the man named Hur held up the arms of Aaron. He saw Sihon and Og, these giant kings of people on the east side of Jordan.

Jews conquered them, Jericho, AI, Bethel, and the south, the southern campaign. And now he is facing the northern campaign and he is not cocky. He's not saying, I got this one. It's not a mock faith. We're fighting the battles of the Lord. He is absolutely dependent on God even though he is actually fighting the battles of the Lord. He's not letting it go to his head. And not only had he witnessed God vanquish the enemy, he saw miracles, the parting of Yam Suph, the Sea of Reeds. We know the Red Sea. He saw that part. He saw the Jordan part. Then the hailstones and the sun and the moon and extend the day. But he's not saying, well God's going to do another miracle today.

You know, just name it and claim it, brother. He's not operating presumptuously at all. And now this is, again, the largest, most organized, advanced army in Canaan that he has faced. These chariots and stuff, he will beat them here, but they'll still be in the land in other places and they will cause problems for others.

And we'll get to that in the latter chapters of Joshua. But for the first time, the infantry is facing the chariots. But for those chariots, I would have been a soldier, kind of a thing. The cavalry, not Calvary, but cavalry, soldiers on horses. The Canaanite armies likely did not have them.

That would have been helpful. And even if they did, they had to still face them. And these are well-armed troops coming against them as there are well-armed things that come against us.

And we know it very well. The next verse tells us that God's words to Joshua were well-received, but before we get to the next verse, he says, hamstring their horses, God does. I have a difficulty, not with the humanitarian, you know, poor animal thing.

Let me, where do I start? Well, God is saying, I want you to hamstring the horses because I do not want you to defeat the army on the battlefield and anyone who's gotten away or from other places not involved, come and grab those horses and then use them against you again. Nor do I want you to take the horses and start having chariots in your army. Deuteronomy 20, when you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them for Yahweh your God is with you who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And later he will give directions in Deuteronomy 17 that the kings of Israel were not to amass horses and they were to remain dependent on God.

Of course, they didn't do well there, especially Solomon. But the laming of the horses, I don't know enough about horses and I've tried to research this and I just can't get an answer that I'm satisfied with. So I'm thinking if you hamstring a horse, you might as well kill it. I mean, can he still walk? Is he strong enough to plow still? Does he have any function? Does it take longer to kill the horse than to hamstring the horse? Maybe some of you can stop horsing around and tell me these things.

I don't know. So I know that the Hebrew word means to root up, to dig down. It's believed, it's used in the sense of hamstringing the horse, cutting those rear tendons so that they cannot be used as war horses.

I don't know if they are still then suitable for labor or not. So that's where it is. And if you say, oh no, I just looked it up on the internet and found it, then I'm going to hate you for that.

So anyway, prove it. He says, and burn their chariots with fire. Destroy their ability to wage war. Jesus said if your right hand offends you, cut it off. Your right eye, pluck it out. And he's saying you've got to take extreme measures to counteract these things because they're that fierce. He's not saying maim yourself at all.

And even if you were, you cut your right hand off your left hand, what are you going to cut that one off with? Remember they are sleepy. Remember they are sleepy. Okay, verse seven. So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Meron and attacked them. And so there he is again. He comes upon them suddenly.

I love this guy. I don't want to be against him. He just, he's motivated by God's assurance. God, I'm going to, look, I told you back with Moses, I was going to be with you. Now you're here. Moses is not. You're the leader.

I'm going to be with you. And Joshua says, aye aye, he goes off with it and he's striking right away. Suddenly he ambushes them.

They weren't ready for this. They're milling around, you know, putting little tassels on their chariot, rear view mirrors and stuff like that. And here he comes with his army. We read about him doing the same kind of stuff, suddenly coming on the enemy at the Jordan. He rolls up early. He comes to the Jordan and chapter three and chapter six early. He gets up to cross the Jordan Jericho on the seventh day when it was time to take those walls down. The Bible tells us Joshua got up early. I know we covered this one said, but it merits covering again when Aiken had sinned and it was time to deal with that. Joshua got up early and early.

It tells us each time. So that AI, when he defeated AI after dealing with Aiken, Gibeon, to deal with Gibeon, he got up early. And then here at Meron in chapter 11, he had the habit of facing a difficult and unpleasant task with this resolute steel that we want. He's just, okay, just grab the bull by the horns and ride him till his neck breaks. And if he pins me, I'm going to resist and make preparation for more resistance. That's the kind of man Joshua was.

We are better off when we know these things. Even if we're not that strong, we can be stronger than what we would have otherwise been. Verse eight, and Yahweh delivered them into the hand of Israel who defeated them and chased them to the greater Sidon, to the Brook of Mizrathath, and to the valley of Mizpah eastward. They attacked them until they left none of them remaining. Well, Mizrathath means hot springs, and it's just interesting to know there are hot springs in the land. I'd want to live in that neighborhood.

Just having cold water all the time just doesn't do it. Anyway, he's advancing. Remember, there's a lot of blood going on here. They're not killing people with paper clips. They're using, that would be kind of hard too, but this is sword warfare.

Very ugly. Verse nine, so Joshua did to them as Yahweh had told him, he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire. The reoccurring theme with Joshua is obedience.

Joshua, as it says again in verse nine, did to them as Yahweh had told him. I want to be that guy all the time. Sometimes I can get it. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's surprising. Sometimes it's become part of me, but then there are other times.

I want to be that guy all the time, and I want God to know that I want to be that guy, and I know he does, and I am reassured by that. Verse 10, Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. Verse 11, and they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them.

There were none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire. And so the violence that is necessary to dislodge the dominant forces of sin, and that is what he does.

He breaks the back of sin. Israel, the promised land is a land bridge that connects Asia to Africa, and a lot of traffic cuts through there, and a lot of influence. And the people that lived in this promised land, they were grotesque when it came to sin. God itemized many of their sins in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and reminded the Jews, I'm putting them out as a judgment for their behavior, and I'll do the same to you if you don't watch yourself, which he did do. And God has said that still to the earth today, you know, if you don't fix this, you're going to be dealt with.

And we'll come to some of that in a little bit. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Joshua. Cross Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville, in Virginia. If you're interested in more information about this ministry, please visit our website,

You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. Just search for Cross Reference Radio in iTunes, Google Play Music, or your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the links at We're glad we were able to spend time with you today. Tune in next time to continue learning from the book of Joshua right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 01:53:46 / 2024-02-03 02:03:33 / 10

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