The Bible says in Joshua 9:22-27, And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us? Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose. The first word to notice in this passage is the word cursed. It is important to say this over and over: the Old Testament has many curses because that is the result of the law. In the New Testament Jesus took the curse of the law upon Himself, and therefore, believers are free from the curses. Another thing to notice about the above passage is the good attitude of the Gibeonites. Once again the Gibeonites announce that they believe the Word of God. They said in verse twenty-four, the LORD thy God commanded. They heard the Word of God, and then they believed it. And then the way that they acted toward their life circumstances showed that they truly did believe. Notice how they responded to the declaration from Joshua that they would be hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD. The Gibeonites accepted that position willingly and gladly. They knew that God put Joshua in charge, and they accepted His leadership. Obviously, they also knew that to be a doorkeeper in the house of God was better than dwelling in the tents of wickedness.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:1-5, Now it came to pass, when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem had heard how Joshua had taken Ai, and had utterly destroyed it; as he had done to Jericho and her king, so he had done to Ai and her king; and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them; That they feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all the men thereof were mighty. Wherefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent unto Hoham king of Hebron, and unto Piram king of Jarmuth, and unto Japhia king of Lachish, and unto Debir king of Eglon, saying, Come up unto me, and help me, that we may smite Gibeon: for it hath made peace with Joshua and with the children of Israel. This is another example of the people of the land of Canaan trying to come up with something to stop the Israelites. The children of Israel were the new kids on the block, and the people who did not know the one true God did not like it. All of this is another example that if you are smart, you will find out which way God is going and that you will go with Him. A very unwise person tries to resist what God is doing. God had plans for Jerusalem, and so the king of Jerusalem was going to fail no matter what he did.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:6-8, And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. God knew what was going to happen before it happened. He always does. God had a message for Joshua. It is the same message that God had given to Joshua before and it is the same message that the Lord gives to us in our circumstances: Fear them not. Why should we fear anything? We have the Almighty God, Jesus Christ, who loves us and provides for us.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:9-11, Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Beth-horon, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. The same point is being made over and over. Why did the Israelites win the battle? The LORD won the battle. That is why it says in verse ten, And the LORD discomfited them before Israel. And then even after the enemy was running away, it says in verse eleven, the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah. This was done to make everyone know for sure who had given this victory: God. That is exactly what we need to day. We need more of miraculous intervention. The question is: when it happened would people learn the lesson to always trust in the LORD, or would they explain it away?
The Bible says in Joshua 10:12-14, Then spake Joshua 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, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. This is an event for which there is no natural explanation. Sometimes for some miracles, people like to say, Well, this could have happened if there was a big earthquake, or that could have happened if there was a near-by volcanic eruption. I think they make a mistake whoever says such things. The Bible is about God, who can do anything. God created science, but He can operate beyond science if He so chooses. That is why we say that He is supernatural. The event of the sun and the moon standing still in the midst of heaven for about a whole day was a miracle. Never forget that God can do anything. That is how Jesus did the miracles that He did, and that is why we can look to the LORD for anything we need help for in our lives.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:15-20, And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal. But these five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. And it was told Joshua, saying, The five kings are found hid in a cave at Makkedah. And Joshua said, Roll great stones upon the mouth of the cave, and set men by it for to keep them: And stay ye not, but pursue after your enemies, and smite the hindmost of them; suffer them not to enter into their cities: for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand. And it came to pass, when Joshua and the children of Israel had made an end of slaying them with a very great slaughter, till they were consumed, that the rest which remained of them entered into fenced cities. Everything worked out just right for the Israelites. The five kings went into a cave that they thought would be their hiding place, but instead became their prison. Why did it happen that way? Joshua knew. He said at the end of verse nineteen, for the LORD your God hath delivered them into your hand. And then the kings all received the death sentence. This was war, and that is how wars are won. The times of the Old Testament were violent times, and as long as the Israelites stayed close to the LORD, they survived and thrived even in those times.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:21-27, And all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace: none moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel. Then said Joshua, Open the mouth of the cave, and bring out those five kings unto me out of the cave. And they did so, and brought forth those five kings unto him out of the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day. These kings received the death penalty because in the Old Testament that was Gods will for the wicked people of Canaan. This incident and others like it are symbolic of what will happen to everyone who rejects the truth and turns away from God and the Savior: eternal death. The judgment is coming. Everyone is being preserved until the judgment. Notice that Joshua said to the people in verse twenty-five, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. That is the same message that the LORD had given to Joshua on more than one occasion. Here is how to follow that example: learn from God and then tell others what you learned.
The Bible says in Joshua 10:28-39, And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho. Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho. And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining. And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it: And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish. And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it:  And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein. And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it: And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king. The Israelites were on a roll with one victory after another. That is because they were trusting in the LORD and were doing things Gods way. Trust in the LORD because He always keeps His promises, and He can do anything. And then while you are trusting in Him, do what He wants you to do His way.
Just as a side note: in Acts 13:19 when the Apostle Paul was giving a very brief summary of the history of the nation of Israel, Paul referred to this passage and the victory over these seven kings: And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, he divided their land to them by lot. This one sentence is how Paul summed up the entire book of Joshua. When we know Jesus as Savior, at the judgment God will remember our victories. Go out and take on the fight through faith and obedience, and see what God can do.
Copyright; 2019 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved