So Joshua and his whole army, including all the mighty men of valor, came from Gilgal.
I. THE EXISTENCE OF THIS TROUBLE. Though the true Church is an ark of safety, she is an ark upon stormy waters. He who joins the Church on earth joins the Church militant, and shares her dangers (John 15:18).
(1) So long as the world is at enmity with God, they who stand on the side of the people of God will be subject to the assaults of the world in
(b) social ostracism,
(d) ridicule, etc.
(2) While the Church is fulfilling her mission to conquer the world for Christ, she will bring the hatred of the world upon all who are identified with her (2 Corinthians 11:23-27).
(3) It is vain to expect to receive the advantages of religion and to escape from the cost of them (Luke 14:28). He who would win heaven must lose something on earth (Matthew 6:24).
II. THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS TROUBLE. All trouble permitted by Providence is blessing in disguise. So is this:
(1) It serves as a test of genuineness. We may join the Church
(a) from motives of selfish pride and profit,
(b) under the influence of superficial sentiment.
Worldly trouble directly arising out of our Church relations proves the genuineness of our attachment to Christ by showing whether we are willing to risk danger and suffer loss for Him (Matthew 3:12; Matthew 13:21).
(2) It promotes union among Christians. The Gibeonites were drawn closer to the Israelites by the threatened danger. Selfish isolation, mutual jealousy, divisions, and ecclesiastical quarrels spring up in times of peace. Sympathy and charity are developed in seasons of adversity.
(3) It cultivates unworldliness. The friendship of the world is a dangerous snare. The favour of the world brings with it the spirit of the world. In worldly prosperity the Church tends to worldly habits. The enmity of the world drives us to the sympathy of God and refuges of unworldly living.
III. THE REMEDIES FOR THIS TROUBLE. Gibeon was threatened with destruction, but on her appeal to Israel her allies fought for her, and God secured them the victory.
(1) The remedy for worldly trouble arising from our religious associations will be found in mutual help. The Christian Church is a brotherhood. We are called to bear one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2). The rich should help the poor, the strong the weak, the prosperous at home the persecuted abroad.
(2) The remedy will also be found in the Divine aid. God fought with Israel in the defence of Gibeon (ver. 13). They who are brought into danger for the cause of God will find that God is on their side and will secure their deliverance. The real danger is to those who are fighting against God. It is safer to be in trouble with the people of God than in prosperity with their enemies, for God must and will triumph in the end, and then His people will share His victory (John 16:33). - W.F.A.
Come up... quickly, and save us, and help us.— The chapter opens with a cry from Jerusalem, the summons of Adoni-zedek — "To arms! To arms!" Here we have another and a very different cry, a cry from Gibeon; a cry to Joshua for help.
I. THE TROUBLE OF THE GIBEONITES. They are in sore straits. What a vivid picture of spiritual truth have we here! "He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey." Do you make your peace with God? that instant, and by that act, you are at war with Satan. No sooner is the treaty of salvation signed than the infernal hosts are rallied. The ink is scarcely dry before he begins his attack. Old friends become new enemies. A man's foes are often those of his own household. When we come into such trouble let us not think that a strange thing has befallen us. It is the common fate of God's children, from the highest to the meanest, and to the end of time. Though the Captain of salvation is the Prince of Peace, He has come not to send peace on the earth but a sword; and so will it be till every enemy is cast out and all flesh shall own Him Lord. These Gibeonites felt this attack all the more dangerous because it was the onset of men with whom in the past they had been on such intimate terms. All their conditions and resources were as well known to these five kings as to themselves. And the remembrance of these things made this attack all the more formidable. But what was all the knowledge which the five kings had of the Gibeonites compared with the knowledge Satan has of us? Therefore, how terrible must be his attack! If we are not ignorant of his devices, he is not ignorant of our weakness.
II. But if this cry suggests the trouble of the Gibeonites, IT ALSO POINTS OUT THEIR RESOURCES. If they are in great trouble they are not without resource, and at once they avail themselves of it. They dwelt in a fortified city, but they did not depend on its walls and bulwarks. They had no confidence in themselves. Their own resources were insufficient. All their confidence was placed in Joshua. Would that we always showed like wisdom! Sin and Satan are more than a match for the strongest saint. As they looked to Joshua, so must we look to Jesus. As they depended on that covenant of peace which had been ratified, so must we. As they dispatched runners post haste to Gilgal, so must we send out swift-footed messengers of prayer. Our very existence as saints depends on their success.
III. THE EARNESTNESS OF THE GIBEONITES. HOW keen and piercing is their cry! How urgent is their request! The message was no doubt short, they did not waste their words; but it was full of earnestness. It was the message of men thoroughly roused and anxious. Though short it was very full. They sought to stir up Joshua's energy. It is as if they said, "We have no hope apart from you. We are all dead men if you fail us. We know you can save us and trust you will." They also manifested faithfulness to Joshua, by the last two words of their message — "Help us." Why were these words added? "Save" is the word of dependence — "Help" suggests the determination to do what they can. It is as if they said, "While we feel that in our own strength we must be worsted, yet we are determined to make a stand against them. On no account will we come to terms. We will never open our gates to the enemy. We will not even hold parley with him. Till you come, and even if you do not come, we will do the best we can." Accordingly this shows that they were faithful to their new leader. Surely their conduct in this emergency may well be imitated. Oh, for like earnestness in crying, "Awake, awake, O arm of the Lord!" How languid are our prayers! How unconscious are we of danger! It is good for God to open our eyes by trouble, if it leads us to cry like these Gibeonites.
IV. THE SUCCOUR OF THE GIBEONITES. Help was sure. Joshua would have belied his name, would have been unfaithful to his covenant, would have been untrue to his nature, if he had not hastened to their relief. And help came speedily. Joshua lost not a moment. Help also came in time. Joshua was not too late. The Gibeonites did not become a prey; they had cause to rejoice over a great deliverance. Do we in every extremity cry to God? Help must come. God never said to any, "Seek ye My face," in vain. Jesus, like Joshua, is never too late. If He tarries there is good reason for it. It is always for our good. He may come when Lazarus is laid in the grave, but He never comes too late. He is never too late in history. The world had a long time run its course before He came. Why? Because that time was set. "In the fulness of time God set forth His Son." He has promised to come back again, and depend upon it He will not come back too late. What though 1,800 years have passed away? nothing will divert Him from His purpose; nothing will prevent His appearing. "Amen," therefore we say, "Amen, even so, in Thy good time, for that is quickly, come, Lord Jesus." And notice, in conclusion, that it may be said of these Gibeonites that they were twice saved, First they were saved from the wrath of God; then they were saved from the wrath of their enemies. So we are saved from the wrath of God and from the wrath of Satan. The Gibeonites were saved by faith, for they trusted in Joshua and in the God of Israel. They were saved by works, for they determined to oppose Adoni-zedek or die. They were saved by hope, for they looked to Joshua for succour and were not disappointed. So we are saved by faith when we fall at the feet of Jesus and put our trust in Him. We are saved by works, when in the strength of God we wrestle against principalities and powers and spiritual wickednesses in high places. We are saved by hope when we look for the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour. The Gibeonites were saved by coming to Joshua in their fear of judgment. They were saved by Joshua coming to them and extricating them out of all their trouble. So we are saved by coming to Jesus. The instant we fall at His feet we receive the salvation of our souls. And we are saved by Jesus coming to us (Hebrews 9:28).
(A. B. Mackay.)
2. The soul when thus assaulted must immediately send the messenger of prayer to its Joshua or Jesus.
3. As those new converts the Gibeonites showed their confidence in that God, whose religion they had newly embraced, therefore sent they for Joshua, not at all doubting of salvation by him. So the like confidence should be found in all new converted souls, that their Joshua will relieve them, and turn their spirit of bondage into the spirit of adoption.
(G. W. Butler, M. A.)
Fear them not
(A. B. Mackay.)
They were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.
1. The Divine cause has enemies.
2. But the enemies of the Divine cause have both earth and heaven against them — the sword of Israel and the hail of God. The living God has two great forces; if you escape one, you fall under the power of the other. All things fight for God. The hailstones are His friends and allies; the stars in their courses beat and throb according to His purpose and express His intent. The bad cause has no friends; it comes to an ignominious end; it is overwhelmed by hailstones. It is so humbling. The bad cause perishes in contempt. The five kings ran away and hid themselves in a cave, and Joshua said, "Bring them out!"
(J. Parker, D. D.)
PeopleAdonizedec, Amorites, Debir, Eglon, Gibeon, Hoham, Horam, Israelites, Japhia, Jasher, Joshua, Piram
PlacesAi, Azekah, Beth-horon, Debir, Eglon, Gaza, Gezer, Gibeon, Gilgal, Hebron, Jarmuth, Jericho, Jerusalem, Kadesh-barnea, Lachish, Libnah, Makkedah, Negeb, Valley of Aijalon
TopicsArmy, Ascended, Best, Entire, Fighting, Gilgal, Including, Joshua, Marched, Mighty, Valiant, Valor, Valour, War, Warriors
Outline1. Five kings war against Gibeon
6. Joshua rescues it
10. God fights against them with hailstones
12. The sun and moon stand still at the word of Joshua
16. The five kings are murdered in a cave
22. They are brought forth
24. scornfully used
26. and hanged
28. Seven kings more are conquered
43. Joshua returns to Gilgal
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJoshua 10:1-7
LibraryFive Kings in a Cave
TEXT: "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."--Joshua 10:24-25. The history of the …
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot
Praying Saints of the Old Testaments
Gibeon. Josh 10:06
The Northern Coast of Judea. Beth-Horon.
Subterraneous Places. Mines. Caves.
Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
Subjects of Study. Home Education in Israel; Female Education. Elementary Schools, Schoolmasters, and School Arrangements.
The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
Meditations of the True Manner of Practising Piety on the Sabbath-Day.
Divine Support and Protection
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