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July 17, 2021 12:01 am
When God fights for His people, victory is assured. Today, R.C. Sproul examines what we learn from the Lord's miraculous rescue during Israel' battle against the five kings at Gibeon.
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In the book of Joshua we see God providing miraculous rescue for the Israelites and he said in the sight of Israel, son standstill over Gibeon and moon in the Valley of I John and so the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the people had revenge upon their enemies until Susan is worried that vengeance is his makes it clear the Old Testament with victory over enemies relies on him.
That's why we told you not. So we keep worrying today of Renewing Your Mind. We will be reminded yet again that God is in charge of who wins and who loses. And when God fights for his people. Victory is assured. His name was Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson that's the name I think familiar to most Americans.
But the Thomas Jefferson I'm referring to. At the moment is not the Thomas Jefferson that most people think of when you speak about Thomas Jefferson, not the one for Monticello is that man's first thing was Thomas in his last name was Jefferson man I'm thinking of today. The name Jefferson was his middle name.
Some of you may be able to guess what his last name was his last name was Jackson.
Thomas Jefferson Jackson, more commonly known in American history by his nickname Stonewall Stonewall Jackson where the troops from the Carolina Regiment from they saw him fighting said that he stood there in the face of the enemy like a stone wall and the name stuck with him and I'm enamored with Stonewall Jackson. I have to admit that that this fella was one of the most dashing generals in the history of American warfare. Read a book several years ago called Stonewall in the Shenandoah wherein the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Stonewall Jackson made his mark in the war between the states and the things he was most noted for was the uncanny ability in his time to move troops from one spot to another with great rapidity and it is still astonishing to modern strategists to realize how quickly he was able to move his armies from one battle scene to another and it drove Granton McClellan and the generals of the North crazy because they couldn't predict where Stonewall Jackson was going to strike next. In order for him to be able to move and deploy your strokes as rapidly as he did.
He had to enjoy fierce loyalty from them. So one of the ironies of American history is that these troops who virtually adored their leader accidentally heat of battle shot him but he was wounded in the left arm wounded. You would not think would be fatal in warfare. But if you read much of the Civil War you receive that so many of the soldiers who were wounded subsequently died because of the lack of proper medical supplies and medicines and that day and this wound to the arm quickly became infected and is a direct result from it.
Thomas Jefferson Jackson died and when the news was delivered to Gen. Lee. Lee made this observation. Stonewall Jackson lost his left arm but I have lost my right arm and many historians speculate that the death of Stonewall Jackson was the real turning point of the Civil War because the northern generals were no match for the loss of Jackson and his strategic genius. The southern cause was destroyed but were not interested today really and Stonewall Jackson. Why would I take as much time to talk about and I said before, when I look at the battle techniques and the military campaigns of Old Testament Joshua, I can't think of anybody who more clearly reflects the strategies and the military deployments of Joshua more than does Stonewall Jackson when we get to the 10th chapter of the book of Joshua we read here of an incredible episode of warfare. It takes place one now Joshua is not fighting against individual kings or individual strongholds, but rather, now is faced with a gathering momentum of individual town, things to come together in coalition creating alliances that will together stand in resistance against the onslaught of Joshua again. This is reminiscent of World War II where the United States entered into some very strange alliances by becoming aligned with the Soviet Union and other countries to force Hitler into fighting a two front war and again.
Historians say that the great mistake that Adolf Hitler made the cause him to lose. World War II was his decision to fight on two fronts at the same time, and that decision came about because of alliances of a coalition of nations and leaders who stood together the stop the blitzkrieg of Germany. That's what's going on here in Canaan. We read in chapter 10 verse one. These words not came to pass, when Adam Isaiah Dick King of Jerusalem is an interesting footnote to history here that the Canaanite king of Jerusalem, prior to the Jewish occupation and long before David made it the capital city or Zion of Israel but the local king's name at that time, Adam. Isaiah back means literally the Lord of righteousness, or the Lord of justice from the Hebrews that a call, and the Hebrew Adam. I obtained the past when Adam Isaiah text, king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken AI and utterly destroyed it as he had done to Jericho and its king, and so he had done to AI in its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them.
They 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 mighty. This is one of the footnotes that we passed over in chapter 9 that these people from Gibeon who came and sued for peace and tricked Joshua into entering into a covenant of peace with them were representing one of the strongest citadels of the land of Canaan Gibeon was a military stronghold, and now the other towns in Canaan realize that Joshua has just captured one of the strongest military installations in their country and has all the inhabitants of that place serving him.
So all of a sudden the threat of Joshua's strength has vastly increased and this infuriates the other kings to think that Joshua has captured Gibeon. Therefore, Adam and I decided king of Jerusalem sent a homeland king of Babylon Parham king of German Joffe, a king of blackish and beer king of Eglin saying come up to me and help me, that we may attack Gibeon, for it is made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel is not interest still divide and conquer. Now they want to pour their energy in defeating the city of Gibeon, that just a few days earlier was one of their strongest allies. Therefore, the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, king of Habre and John was in someone gathered together and went up. They all their armies and camp before Gibeon and made war against it. I want to pause for just a second to refer you to a passage in the book of the Psalms that has nothing directly to do with this passage in Joshua but only by way of comparison to something that is very important to the history of redemption in Psalm chapter 2 we have this well-known selection that begins with these words. Why did the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing. The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bonds in pieces, and cast away their cords from us what Psalm two depicts is prophetic of the nations of the war, who will rise up in resistance against God and against the Lord's anointed the Lord's Messiah. And so the psalmist asked the question why do the nations rage and the kings of the earth take counsel together. What's the purpose of this joint Council what is being described here in Psalm two is a settlement meeting of world powers coming together as strange bedfellows as allies who perhaps would more naturally be enemies because of a common threat. That's what creates alliance always a common threat that is perceived to be a clear and present danger on the psalmist talks about this summit meeting of the kings of the earth. The threat that draws them into a unified coalition is the presence of God and of his anointed one, and it is a meeting summoned to develop a strategy of liberation from the authority of God's break is bonds asunder, let us cast his cords from us because these kings are chafing at the idea that any earthly ruler would be called to be held accountable and under the authority of God himself. Here is a Declaration of Independence, not from a foreign monarch but a Declaration of Independence from God himself. That's what is being depicted in Psalm two. Know what's the response of God to this coalition who sits in the heavens shall laugh.
And the Lord shall hold them in the region, then he shall speak to them in his wrath and distress them in his deep displeasure yet have I set my king on my holy and he talks about the anointed Messiah, to whom God had declared. You are my son, today I have begotten you.
Verse nine you shall break them.
That is your enemies with a rod of iron, you shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel. Now therefore, the Psalm concludes be wise so kings be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry and you perish in the way.
Now the imagery of this song and the other Old Testament passages of man's desire to break free from the authority of the government of God isn't imagery that not only warns against divine judgment but describes the conquest of Christ in these graphic figures he will bring them with a rod of our he will dash them to pieces as the crockery of antiquity was easily smashed the image that you find in the Old Testament that some people just ate the here is that on the final day when the whole world is brought before the tribunal of God, that every knee of every person that is ever lived will bow before Christ. Some will give that obeisance gladly joyfully and freely because they love the appearance of Christ. But those who have despised and rejected him will still bow before him, albeit reluctantly, because in these descriptive images their knees will be broken by God's rod of iron so that they will have no option but to kneel and soak the plea here is do it willingly embrace the one whom God has anointed.
Kiss the son, lest he be angry and you perish in the way and the other image that is used to describe the triumph of Christ over the enemies of hell is the image of Christ standing as the victor over his fallen enemies with his foot upon their throats, pinning their heads to the ground, but I bring that up in this context because here in a real historical war between earthly kings and gods anointed conqueror. God's representative to the triumphant in the conquest of Canaan, Joshua and the very namesake of Jesus we see a similar phenomenon take place. Let's look at verse seven Joshua ascended from Gill go. He and all the people of the war with him and all the mighty men of valor and the Lord said to Joshua do not fear them, for I have delivered them into your hand. Not a man of them shall stand before you. Joshua therefore came upon them suddenly having marched all night from Gill go and so the Lord wrought of them before Israel killed them with the great slaughter at Gibeon chase them along the road that goes to Beth Horn and struck them down as far as as a, and market and as it happened, they fled before Israel and run the dissent of both war and that the Lord cast on large hailstones from heaven and they died.
There were more, who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.
Then in verse 12. This astonishing record.
Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel son standstill over Gibeon and moon in the Valley of I John and so the sun stood still and the moon stopped until the people had revenge upon their enemies.
Is this not written in the book of Joshua that the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day and there's been no day like that before or after that the Lord heeded the voice of a man for the Lord fought for Israel. And then Joshua worked returned and all of Israel with him to the camp of Gill go ladies and gentlemen, I cannot begin to comprehend or to explain the radical dimensions of this story we just read. It's interesting to me that the addition of Scripture which I'm reading has the words of Josh were printed in a narrow, indented, singlespaced column indicating the presence of the poetic form, but in addition to the poetic form of the language that he uses to command the sun.
The standstill is also the historical narrative that talks about an incident that in fact took place involving some extraordinary phenomenon by which the day was lengthened. I have seen all kinds of literature that has tried to fathom what actually happened on this occasion. Obviously it was miraculous enough same reports from Nassau and scientists saying that they have a gap of one day in their astronomical calendars how accurate that is. I don't know. I've read the speculations of Immanuel Bella Koski, who talks about the natural phenomenon of such catastrophic proportions than one occasion in history because of the near approach of faith heavenly body that the axis of the Earth's rotation was so impaired that suddenly the spinning of the earth stopped for a second and reversed as the polls were reversed, which would create this kind of form I don't know I'm just mentioning in passing, rapidly, that there's been all kinds of speculation to try to describe this singular event in Old Testament history.
But the point that the Scripture is making here very clearly is that the victory on that day was God's that it was God who interceded for Joshua and for the people of Israel with natural catastrophes, giant hailstones that killed more people than the weapons of the children of Israel, and this prolongation of the day itself, but gave visible evidence of God's mighty power in delivering his people. But after the victory at Gibeon. These kings that are entered in the alliance sought refuge in a K and when the Jews attacked them and killed their soldiers. Then Joshua brought these kings and had each one of them executed but not until he brought them publicly before the congregation and had the people stand with their feet on the necks of these kings just as David had done in triumph over Goliath and as the Scriptures uniformly declare will be the posture of Christ, victory at the end of the age when his foot in the next we will either bow willingly or we will be forced about something for us all to think about. Glad you joined us today for Renewing Your Mind as we continue Dr. RC Sproul series. In the book of Joshua making her way through the entire series, week by week on the Saturday edition of our program and you can continue your own study of this great Old Testament book with our resource offer today. It's Dr. Sproles 10 part series from the book of Joshua contained on a single MP3 CD flight is email@example.com or you can call us with your gift at 800-435-4343. When you completed the series that you may want to consider donating it to your church's library later ministries exist to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God to as many people as possible, and it's also our goal to come alongside the church.
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After Josh was defeat of the five kings battle of Gibeon, then there is a rapid summation of the military campaigns of Joshua in the book of Joshua which we are not going to look at in subsequent lectures, but what follows upon these military exploits is something that is extremely important for the whole future of biblical history and that is as the Army's conquer Canaan. Then God assigns the territories and regions of this conquered land variously to each of the 12 tribes of Israel, so that particular regions and cities become identified with certain tribes of Israel for the rest of Old Testament history and will look at the significance of that division of the land. According to the 12 tribes according to the promises that Jacob had made to his sons years earlier will look at that story in our next session is after the Israelites conquered the land Joshua sign portions to each of the tribes and that which should have been a time of celebration was marred by arguments and jealousy join us as we continued on his groceries from the book of Joshua next Saturday here on Renewing Your Mind