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June 8, 2021 8:00 am
When a great God develops great faith into great leadership. It leads to great victory today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce examines six characteristics of strong leadership with the backdrop of Joshua's southern campaign to possess the promised land. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. It's often the case that we fail not because we want to fail work that we don't want to do what's right, but simply because we get turned aside today from Joshua 10. Dr. Boyce holds up for us. An example of a man with a firm idea of what God has sent them to do and the determination to do it is an interesting change in the nature of the narrative that describes the Jewish conquest of Canaan that takes place about the middle of chapter 10, up to this point in the story there only been three real battles, or was the attack on Jericho and the destruction of that city. The attack on AI and ditched destruction. And then there was this great battle in Gibeon began outside the walls of the city and continued southward as the Jewish armies pursued the retreating armies of the southern coalition, three battles, all that's been given in considerable detail where we read about Jericho are told of the details of the preparation of the march around the city. The fall of the walls of the conquest of the city and in the midst of that account of the battle. We have interwoven the whole story of Rahab, and how she and her family were spared and also story of Aiken and how he took things were dedicated to God that he was monster taken eventually suffered for same thing is been true of the story of AI also has been given in considerable detail was first attracted to defeat was a reassessment from the part of the people most wanted gone wrong. There was an examination and uncovering of the sin. Then there was a second attack, and even the details of attack are given a great detail where various groupings of the Army. That was an ambush and so on.
We read all about that in the same things true of the story of Gibeon in this battle that took place outside its walls. But as I say about the middle of the 10th chapter of this changes and from this point on many many important battles are given and what is a relatively short compass. We look at the entire conquest.
We recognize that it fell into three major campaigns was first campaign phase of the battle that had to do with the crossing of the Jordan and the penetrating of the land as far as the high road that linked up all the mountain cities.
It was a great military tactic. A brilliant maneuver to drive a wedge in the heart of the enemy's territory that was the first campaign in the first phase in the was a southern campaign in which having divided the country until Joshua turned south and defeated all of the major Hill fortresses a flat area and then there was 1/3 campaign the third phase, which we are yet to Tom in which he swung north and did the same thing in the north. Three great campaigns and yet all that fighting most of it is told here briefly in this middle section of the book. This means that chapters 10, 11 and 12, the last of which contains a summary of all the defeated King.
These three chapters really describe the heart of this important and extensive conquest.
Now, the point at which we, in our study of this is the southern campaign and it is already underway. As a result of this attack on Gibeon by the coalition of the southern kings story begins with them at the beginning of chapter 10, when at an essay that the king of Jerusalem got the other things together and said let's go up and talk Gibeon because they have betrayed us. They've gone over the Jewish side and were never going to get anywhere in this campaign.
Unless we hold everybody together so they attacked Gibeon, Gibeon sent word to Joshua, and help them because they were allies and Joshua's.
We saw in our last study instead of taking what we might regard as easy way out, or seeing this says that unparalleled opportunity to allow the Canaanites to attack and destroy each other at no cost to the Israelites stood by his word to the Gibeonites and moved to their release. He traveled by night he fell upon the Army's unsuspecting lady and the dawn, and routed them completely how the story picks up at that point the modern armies were led by five King sees Vikings were apparently together directing the military operations and when they saw the battle go against them and recognize that they were in great personal danger themselves. They hid in a cave called the cave and Makeda Makeda was a little town there was cave was nearby and they went in the high thinking that in the battle of a rush of the troops would pass by after they advanced by well the kings could emerge. They could make their way back to their city.
They can regroup there fortresses and prepare to fight another day. God was intervening.
Of course, God already intervened in the hailstorm and then the lengthening of the day God intervened in this matter as well because it was discovered that the kings were hiding their wargame to Joshua that they were there.
He gave word that the case be sealed until the battle of the day was completed as they pursued the armies of the South that after the battle was over after they done everything they could to establish a total victory over the sources from the South he came back he regrouped his man, Makeda. I brought out the kings and Joshua did two things.
First of all, he had them get down in the dust with their faces in the ground. He brought his commanders quietly had them put their feet up on the neck of these defeated King's and he said thus will God do all your enemies, and after he had given that encouragement to his commanders at the kings rise and kill them. He hung their bodies on trees tonight fall and then in accordance with Jewish law.
He had them cut down. I said Joshua did two things at the kings slide down at his commanders put their feet on their necks and then he killed the kings but know when I read this it is true that he did one other thing. It's almost humorous.
Verse 28 it says that day, Joshua took Makeda. I just had a great battle as soon as I put that together. This was the day before because they pursue their enemies tonight fall they regather. This is on the second day the kings were brought out were killed and so forth. You think after great battle like that Josh would be saying look, we all need a rest.
Let's just take it easy here. You know it wasn't like that he got for sitting there looking at those kings hanging on the trees. He said letter must be something that we can be doing for God and he turned around the nearest city at hand was a city of Makeda because that's where the cave got its name and he said look, let's make use of the time. There is no sense sitting watching these dead kings. Let's go take cave and so did men. Remainder of the chapter tells us how he conducted what we would call a mopping up operation already broken the back of the opposition we armies were defeated only to survivors of regrouped in the cities but he went on south and began to attack the cities one by one.
After Makeda attack lived in Lachish, a gallant geezer run last beer.
Three of those are cities over which those five kings had ruled and so he was defeating those cities. It's interesting to us poets, but mentioned here at all in the text that it does not say that he attacked and destroyed Jerusalem and not really helps to substantiate the accuracy of this narrative.
You would think in that kind of a context. If this were a story that were being made up embellished after the fact that some scholars have said that you would have a destruction of all five cities of all flight kings that had raged in the coalition but it does not mention Jerusalem. The reason it doesn't mention Jerusalem as the Jerusalem. Although it's King had been killed was not overthrown as a matter fact, Jerusalem was not taken until hundreds of years later, in the time of King David.
David was the one who took the city and made it his capital and all that is collected here with perfect accuracy.
As we would expect we come to the end of the chapter and we have a summation of what happened in the southern campaign. It says that Joshua was subdued for regions Hill country which is where the cities were in a gap that is the desert area or partially desert area to the south western foothills going down toward the Mediterranean Sea in the mountain slopes, with all the kings all the cities that entire region.
It says he destroyed all who breed just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded and so the southern campaign and I think this is a good point. Look back over this campaign for its details and see what it teaches us about the characteristics of strong leadership, which Joshua showed her probably are other things that can be said about Joshua on the basis of other texts just looking at this one campaign I see at least six things that are worth mentioning. And then, so far as were able applying to ourselves only take them one at a time. Percival noticed that Joshua did not let short term gains. The program from long-range objectives.
Reason I mention that is that this is precisely what was involved in the matter of the kings being discovered at the table. Makeda this kings of the opposing armies in a position where it was easy with one blow. Capture them and kill them, was undoubtedly a great temptation.
It was certainly an enormous opportunity when you're fighting an opposing army.
If you can capture the king of the general or whoever it may be that's behind the forces while you have one not only an enormous victory but a tremendous psychological advantage would've been a great temptation for Joshua decide now God is intervening on our half behalf. God has sent hailstorm on his prolonged day in our series given over into our hands. These kings let's just stop right where we are. Get these kings and deal with them and then will go on and fight the rest of this campaign. Joshua didn't do that because the marvelous sense of priorities. Joshua understood that when God sent that hailstorm.
And when God prolonged the day and answered to his request. God was doing it so he could turn aside and deal with five kings but so we can establish a tremendous victory over five armies of these five kings so he very wisely said seal up the tomb will deal with that later and were going to carry out first of all, what God has sent us to do that. Something that needs to be applied to Christians in general and the Christian leadership in particular especially in our day because it is so easy in our day to be turned aside after one short-term gain after another. You're engaged in something difficult you're working away at it. Somebody comes along and says well you know you may never get to the end of that. But look here. Something you can do now or in pursuing a difficult campaign. Somebody comes along and begins to criticize you for it.
They been saying, look here you are your chasing gossamer dreams where right hand. Here's something you could do like you just do this and everybody would see what's being accomplished. I don't mean to say by that that short-term gains are unimportant. Joshua dealt with it in time. Sometimes we do need to deal with those things. We have a tendency at times to bypass things because there difficult.
We ought to be dealing with them. But that's another matter entirely. What I'm saying is that it is very important. If we are to be successful as leaders are just as Christians trying to serve the Lord to get a sense of priorities and to pursue.
First of all those things of highest importance. Some time ago I was in Glen Erie, Colorado, and I was talking to Lauren Sammy who is that head of the navigators we were talking about leadership management was sharing some of the management tools that he's used in his own Christian life. He was saying that every year, usually about New Year's Eve spends some time, usually setting aside a day or two to just examine his own life and what he hopes to achieve in the year. The company writes down all these things on the pad of paper and then he organizes them he puts at the top of the list of things that he wants to achieve. Most of all, and then toward the bottom of the list things that are of lesser importance that he would like to achieve. If he finds that he has time he does that not only yearly doesn't quarterly where he reviews things for three months. A dozen monthly and then what I thought most important most interesting. He said every Sunday night switches the end of time off this week Saturday and Sundays might go back to work on Monday. Every Sunday night.
He says he gets out of pad of paper and he writes down what he wants to achieve that week when you do that is to write down all the things you want to achieve and then you order it, putting first on the list what you most want to achieve and second on the list what you secondly one of achieve, and so on. And he said is found that in this position of management with a great deal of responsibilities and pressures that has been enormously helpful in guiding them along the way.
C is often the case that we fail not because we want to fail or because we don't want to do what we ought to do, but simply because we get turned aside here in Joshua we have the example of a man with a firm idea what God said to do and a determination to do that. First of all deal with secondary matters later. Second principle, I see in Joshua that indicates his great leadership ability. Is this the understood the need that other people have for visible encouragement.
This is what was taking place in this matter of calling his commanders to put their feet on the necks of these kings was a great dramatic object lesson we look at this and we might even be inclined to say well that's kind of silly. I don't know why in the world. He did that to remember that these forces of the Jewish armies had just come out of the desert but very long before couple weeks before this and I'll stroll while they were in the desert.
They'd had a few local skirmishes with people out there. Joshua had learned something about warfare in all but very experienced and before they began their march they were slaves send here they were invading a land that had been settled for centuries it was protected by strong walled cities and which had intricate military organization over these kings in the eyes of these Jewish invaders must've seemed very very important people, Jews didn't have any kings. Years later and I still felt insecure because they didn't have any kings late said to Samuel, look at all the nations about us have games, we need a king to wear never to be important here we have a king that shows how they were thinking at a certain inferiority complex where kings were concerned here with these five kings. Joshua said look, they need to see that these kings they think are so important. Nothing before God and so we had them come forward each one each of his commanders put their feet on the neck of those kings is an encouragement believing that that's what God is going to do with a lot of fighting ahead battle mopping up operations even after the northern campaign is going to go on for seven years. Joshua probably anticipated that the new over period of time like that.
It's easy for people to get discouraged, so we recognize that here.
These men needed encouragement they needed to see in a visible way.
What God was going to do so he gave them a demonstration all sorts of ways which we can apply that one thing I think of when I apply it, is that little book that has been written by a friend of mine, Dr. Martin Hess, who is pastor of a church in Detroit actually in Livonia, Michigan.
It's a very large church is grown rapidly under his leadership, but many years ago and left the United Presbyterian church about the same time we did and when it did that its budget at that time was the largest budget of any individual church of the entire denomination at about a $2 million a year budget. This little book that he wrote was about how to have a giving church. I remember one of the principles he gave you that you've always got to encourage the people by telling them what their money does some churches you know and they run deficits. I hold what we don't have enough money. Things are terrible to give Morgan not getting enough whiteness is that's one way to do it. You need to encourage and units. I look at what you accomplished by the money that you given I'm sure is absolutely right.
And that's a great principle, the principle of the exercise in terms of giving us the one that Joshua exercised in terms of military conquest and same one that we need to exercise all kinds of ways to put it in simple terms, let me say that whenever you have an opportunity to show what God is doing in a way that will encourage some other person do it because they need the encouragement you and I need encouragement as well. The third principle that has to do with Joshua's leadership. Joshua took no shortcuts but instead he pursued his campaign with logical step by step progression. It was a brilliant commander and when he saw an opportunity seized it certainly that was true when he marched to Gibeon and fell upon the armies early in the morning and scattered them. But when you look at the scope of the campaign, things like that relatively infrequent what you begin to sense, especially as you read these chapters carefully as a Joshua move step-by-step doing a very logical way precisely what needed to be done.
God given the kings into his hand. The first thing he had to do was overthrow the cities that have been ruled by those kings, so we didn't take a break after having killed the king move first against Makeda and a little further south. The overthrow Lebanon. Then he attacked Lachish and Gezer and then Eglin and then he burned and so forth. And it tells us not only did he do that, but he attacked overthrow all the villages that lay around those cities. Whenever you and I do that I think one of the greatest problems of our day. One of the great problems in Christianity in our times people in our day always want shortcuts going to be a strong Christian, you want to have a victorious Christian life and so you say well what's the secret to somebody must have a secret.
And so someone comes along and they offer this particular seminar and you say well, that seminar must be where I find the secret go to that there's a few techniques that they mention so you try those for a while bouncing to produce what you want so you say what must be some other secret somebody says oh I just read a good book to read this. This is really the answer and so you get the book and read that you say, that's really good. I never heard it like that before you set off right after a little while so you try that doesn't work either. All may be helpful but it is what you need and you find yourself saying when I was wrong is wrong with the thing, as long as were trying shortcuts growing in the Christian life is no mystery.
Christians have known what it is all ages it studying the word of God, praying his fellow shipping with Christian people worshiping it's working for God's witnessing is testifying to the things for which you brought say what it takes a long time. It's difficult to read the Bible regularly somebody interrupted. That's right.
Nobody ever said it was easy but that's the way it's not messy. Joshua was involved in this campaign and somebody could say oh you know, but it is so tedious to go after the cities want to have any idea how many little cities or are scattered all over the hillsides of this southern area. I suppose there are. You mean to tell me that we have to get armies together and go after these little cities and surround them and attack them and overthrow them until their people one by one. Joshua said yes exactly what we have to do we have to go after the cities and surround them and overcome them and kill the people one by one I thought has to be done and if you ask, as we must ask, I will ask as we go further on in the story. What was the one great failure of the people in the campaign. The answer is that they didn't quite do it on his Joshua was there they didn't they follow this leader should be a tremendous leadership ability and as long as he was there living. They didn't they didn't quite complete the job as always the case of years later, there were still Canaanites land and they existed to infest and weaken the spiritual life of God's people is either just is no shortcut to growth in the Christian life just has to be moment by moment, day by day doing the things that God tells us were responsible for doing reading our Bible praying worshiping with Christian people, fellow shipping with others in the church of God serving doing what you can to witness and so on. And as you do that God builds you often lead you in his way, is 1/4 principle in Joshua's character and success.
He did not allow his early previous errors who unsettle them. We read a chapter like this and we say how marvelously successful is bad. Joshua was in escrow. He was marvelously successful when you consider the size of his army and the extent of the land and the entrenched opposition, but he was forced to encounter. This is perhaps one of the most successful and extensive military campaigns in all history. Just a marvelous thing that he accomplished this man Joshua was not without his mistakes as errors we know of some of them.
One was this great error in AI when he listened to the report of the spies came back and said, obviously, on the assumption that it was their strength that had given them success of Jared Colwell about what we don't need the whole army to go up and take AI might've been necessary down here Jericho this big city not just a little when there aren't even many defenders to send a few thousand men out. That'll be enough without stopping to pray without asking God's direction for the battle. Joshua said all right send you 10,000 men up and they sent them out.
They were soundly defeated in Joshua was really distressed by that is he should've been fell on his face before God is and what's wrong what's gone wrong.
God had to speak to tell them that it was sin in the camp and had to deal with that sought out the will of God he made a great mistake. There many did the same thing with the Gibeonites here were these nearby people that came in pretending by virtue of their disguise that they traveled from Far Distant Pl. in Joshua apparently leaders of the people apparently didn't stop as they pray and ask God what they should do in this case they just trusted their senses. They operated on the basis of what they saw. They said what is obviously came from long distance are closer Warner shoes are worn out wineskins or crack. The bread is old moldy. They must be telling the truth and so they were greatly to see how it's true that God intervened in the overcame those weaknesses, but a lesser man, those things might have been sufficient to discourage a deterrent Joshua as he went about his campaign might have been thinking about these things all the time and saying all now. I made such terrible mistakes back approximate to make these terrible mistakes against any might've been immobilized by his past failures at the point I'm making is that he didn't allow those past failures to do that he said is true, I failed. I made a mistake back there but I've learned from it and right now I'm going to go on and I when the trust will not let those things be behind me know. God encourages us to do that. The apostle Paul said on one occasion, forgetting those things which are behind, I press forward to the things which are before, that's what God encourages us to do and if we put it this way if in your Christian life you find yourself mulling over past failures past sins.
I'm assuming that these are not sins if you fail to confess things that you will recognize were failures and sin to confess to God you asked for his forgiveness it in your experience, you find yourself mulling over these past failures and if you find yourself saying all my meals hosts disqualify me from doing anything in the future.
Let me put it this way you can be assured that that is not the voice of the Holy Spirit. That is the voice of Satan.
Because Satan allows us to drag up trivia those things that are past. Satan loves to say. Remember when you you know you thought you were doing so well and then lock that thing came along and suddenly there you were, you sin was terrible wasn't all. What kind of a Christian are you, you can't ever expect to do anything great for God's voice of Satan and what you have to do was be encouraged by the example of a man I Joshua, who, though he was great at his own failures, but you didn't allow those failures to deter him from following on obeying the Lord and that's my fifth points in the fifth characteristic Joshua obeyed the Lord completely dismiss the most striking of his characteristics. If you go back to the very getting of the book recognize that in the first words of God. To him this is what he was encouraged to do careful to obey all the law my servant gave you not turn from it to the right to the left so that you may be successful wherever you go. Be careful to do everything then you come as we do these chapters in your fine. For example, in the 11th chapter verse 15 it says is the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua and Joshua did it. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. He obeyed the Lord completely one of our problems is that we don't do that, we start out and we drop by we obey, in part, we don't obey. Totally we sometimes look at the commands of God as a lists of things we have to do to be fully blessed. But we say to ourselves now how many of them do I have to do to get just enough blessing to make me happy. And how many of them, I fortuitously leave undone on a formula for disaster areas. Joshua, of whom it is said he left nothing undone of all the Lord commanded Moses highlighted in the story where he's refusing to leave survivors when we read it, you must recognize that phrase is repeated again and again he left no survivors. There he left no survivors. There left no survivors or we did it. City by city day after day until he had completed the campaign that were not in the business. Densities we are in the business. As Paul says in tearing down strongholds every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. That's an intellectual battle in the spiritual battle in which were engaged but it should be done in the same line with the same methodology is what made Jonathan Edwards such a great defender of the faith. You know, he not only told the truth. The demolished his opponents. I recall John Gerstner saying of Jonathan Edwards.
He greatly admired that when Jonathan Edwards attacked an opponent. He not only defeated him and drove him from the ground even brushed off the dust from the spot upon which his opponent stood one reason we fail in our Christian lives as we don't carry through to the end were not willing to obey God utterly well. This final .61 and it's this only did Joshua obey God completely. He believed God implicitly reason I say that is that this campaign was conducted entirely on the basis of faith in God's promise verse eight of this chapter we read the Lord said to Joshua. Do not be afraid of them.
I've given them into your hands.
Not one of them will be able to stand against you. And so Joshua said if that's what God's promise that's what God will doubt. So on the basis of God's promise.
He moved ahead without the slightest doubt whatsoever. God was going to give him the victory. The way RC Sproul talks about believing God. He said you know today when we are engaged in apologetics one of the questions. It's always racist. Do you believe in God and of course that's an important thing are you a Deist with atheist you believe is a God or don't you believe is a God, but what's processes that didn't God's way of looking at things.
That's not the important question. At least it's not the most important question God says only a fool denies that there is a God. That's not the issue.
The issue is not you believe in God but rather, do you believe God you believe in God exists out there somewhere, some kind of great deity somewhere that has nothing to do with you, but do you believe what God is said God speaks in Scripture you say yes Lord, that's your word that's the thing I'm going operate on.
That's what I'm going to do because your word is word of truth, and I'm going to stand upon is what Joshua did made him a great great man by going six characteristics of this man. He did not let short-term gains deter him from long range objectives and understood the need that others have for visible encouragement.
He took no shortcuts but instead pursued his campaign with logical step-by-step progression did not allow his early previous errors unsettlingly obey God completely only believe God implicitly.
It's a big order and you may say look at those six things. Well, I'm not Joshua and I am so lacking in all of those things I really don't know where to start.
One of the where you should start either forgot to tell you where to start and the important thing is to start. I suggest that you think over those things pray about them and you say to yourself as you pray now what is it that I lack and as you turn to God say to him now. What is the area in which I should operate and begin the work there don't have to become great Christian leader all at once you do have to start if you're to grow and prosper in the Christian life, say my being deterred from things that are really important in order to do short-term things and so I gotta get that straightened out and begin work on say have I failed to encourage others. Good management is getting the right things done through other people. I failed to do that to have an opportunity to do it in my allowing the opportunity to pass by my taking shortcuts my discouraged by previous failures that my failing to obey God. Do I actually not believe him. God says to you in any one of those areas. Yes, that's the problem. That's where your failing when you get down on your knees and confess and say God begin to work with me and make me strong because we don't need a generation of failures. We don't need Army fields with weak soldiers. We need people who know God and are able to stand strong and fight the balance that God gives us to fight in our day. As Paul says in Philippians.
Having done all, to stand as prayer father we ask for your blessing on the study that you apply it to our hearts in ways that will be beneficial, not just us but to your kingdom your fighting force in our time grant we might be strengthened by these things grow. So progress in our Christian lives in a way that honors Jesus Christ our great commander in whose name we pray.
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