Joshua – Lesson 12

Joshua Chapter 11



Last week we saw several of the kings coming together to fight against Israel. But Joshua and the people go up to Gibeon and help those that they had made the pact with earlier, and they destroy the Canaanites by the help of God. God not only helped them with the sword, but destroyed more of them with giant hailstones than with the sword. We saw the battle being won just like God had promised Joshua. We can always trust God at His Word. This week we open finding Jabin hearing of the destruction of Jericho and Ai, and preparing for the battle he felt was coming. Joshua had divided the land in half and went southward and conquered it. Now, they are to move northward to Northern Palestine.


I. Plans to Unite and Attack Israel.

Josh 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,

Josh 11:2 And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,

Josh 11:3 And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.

Josh 11:4 And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.

We see that King Jabin of Hazor was apparently in a similar position of power and influence like Adonizedek of Jerusalem had commanded in the south. The king felt it was in their best interest to prepare for battle. He was right, for Joshua would soon be coming to invade their land. We see this was going to be no easy task as verse 4 explains the volume of people that gathered together to fight Israel. These folks came with horses and chariots, whereas Israel's army was on foot. But while they might should have been fearful of these people from a worldly viewpoint, they had something the Canaanites did not have, and that was God on their side. You and I are that way in our daily battles of life. We may not win every squirmish that comes up, but the victory is ours in the end.

Eccl 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.


II. Encouraging Word from the Lord

Josh 11:5 And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

Josh 11:6 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hock their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.

Josh 11:7 So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.

In these verses we see the Lord making good His words that He gave Moses.

Deu 20:1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Deu 20:2 And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

Deu 20:3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;

Deu 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

We know one thing about God, He is always faithful in what He promises.

Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

We see in verse 7 we see that Joshua went ahead into battle even though God had just promised the battle to them the next day. Many times in the Christian walk, people take their immediate duty as not too important, because we know by reading Revelations that Jesus ultimately triumphs over Satan in the end. I was talking with my cousin Aric Johnson who is a pastor last night, and we both agreed that none of us this side of eternity will know the impact our lives have on those around us. And if we never tell others about Christ, how many will not be saved when Christ returns and the tribulation begins.

The attack that Joshua performed was certainly within the will of the Lord. Joshua did not just sit and wait for God to win the battle for him, but went to work and battled at the first opportunity. We should be so enthused in God's Work. People will pay money to go out and sit in the cold to cheer on their favorite football team, but many of those same people never even consider doing anything for God. God's Work should be first in your life. It is not, think a bit about that and see if God is not calling you to a change of priorities. All that we do in life will of minimal significance compared to the things we do for God.

1 Cor 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

1 Cor 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 Cor 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1 Cor 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

1 Cor 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1 Cor 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.


III. Israel's Victory over their Enemy

Josh 11:8 And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.

The total failure of Jabin's plan shows that no plan will stand, that there is "No counsel against the Lord" that will succeed. Their numbers of innumerable multitude was not enough when they fought against God.

Josh 11:9 And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he hocked their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.

As Joshua was found so many times to do, he does things just as the Lord bade him. Sometimes we get so excited in doing good things that we fail to look to be sure we are doing exactly what God would have us do. Joshua did not lose focus and forget to do the things God commanded. We should use this as an example to us to always keep perspective, to always look to God for our daily guidance. And that guidance will never be in conflict with the Word of God.

Josh 11:10 And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.

Josh 11:11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.

Josh 11:12 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.

Josh 11:13 But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.

Josh 11:14 And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.

From these verses we can see that God commanded Moses, Moses in turn commanded Joshua, and Joshua did all that the Lord had commanded. We are to do just what God says, no more, no less.

Exo 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.

Exo 12:24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.

If the people had not put the blood on the two side posts and upon the lintel, their first born would not have been saved that night from the death angel. We are to always do things as God commands if we want true happiness and success in our church, and in our homes, and for our families.

When Paul preached, he held nothing back from his teachings. He knew that the Bible was there for our benefit, and he preached the complete counsel of the Lord. Many men in pulpits today will not preach all of God's Word due to fear of man. I pray that we will never be cowards, but stand strong and preach and teach the Whole Word of God.

Acts 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2 Tim 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


IV. The Long War with the Inhabitants of the Land

Josh 11:16 So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;

Josh 11:17 Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.

Josh 11:18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

We see in these verses that Joshua didn't just go out and fight a couple of days and give up, but he warred a long time with the kings. This speaks of his faithfulness, and the stability of the people serving under him. It is easy to come out and say I want to be a part of the work. Maybe come and join the church and take an active role. But after a few weeks, when the glitter of accomplishment fades, will we be found faithful. I praise God we have a church full of people who are not quitters, but workers and people who are willing to be involved. There may have a been a special campaign of war against Joshua, but he kept on fighting. Let's be the same way. When Satan throws another campaign against us, let's be ready and still in the battle.

Josh 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.

Josh 11:20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

Josh 11:21 And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.

Josh 11:22 There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.

Josh 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

We see that Joshua cut off the Anakims from the mountains. If you remember back when Moses sent out the spies to spy out the land, there were giants in the land. Some of those were the Anakims.

Num 13:28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

Num 13:29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.

Num 13:30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

Num 13:31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

Num 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

Num 13:33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

If you remember the story, the spies came back with this story and discouraged the people of God from going in to possess the land. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, had a good report. After this, the children of Israel had to wander through the desert for 40 years, a year for each day the spies had been in the promised land. Only Joshua and Caleb came through and lived that were of the older men. Giants may be formidable to you and I, but they are as dwarfs in God's eyes.

It is probably important to note that the giants were the last ones to be fought. Perhaps this was the plan, to gain more battle experience and keep the hardest foe to the last. I think that we need to be well prepared if the foe is large and difficult. That is why you and I need to keep after the Word of God and to grow every day. What will tomorrow hold? Will we know how to face the battle? If we are well versed in God's Word, no attack from Satan can defeat us.

While Joshua and Israel destroyed many of the giants, they did not destroy them all for we see that there were 3 other cites with giants in them. Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Gath was the place where David fought the giant Goliath.

1 Sam 17:4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

And after David won the battle, he gave the honor and glory where it belonged, and that is to the Lord.

1 Sam 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

1 Sam 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

1 Sam 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.

We see in verse 23 that the land had rest.

Josh 11:23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

We know there is coming a day where wars will cease. There will be no more wars. When Christ comes and sets up his Millennial kingdom, there will be no war and no more weapons of war.

Isa 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isa 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isa 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.


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