Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018.12.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 10:16-28

Questions for Littles: What had five Amorite kings done (v16)? Who was told about it (v17)? What did Joshua say to do in v18? What would sealing up the cave for later allow them to do to the rest of the Amorites (v19)? Why was Joshua so sure that this would work (end of v19)? What were the results (v20)? What did the people do when they were done pursuing Amorites (v21a)? Now what would no one else do (21b)? Now that this was done, what did Joshua say to do in v22? Which five kings were these (v23, cf. v3)? What did Joshua have the captains of Israel do in v24? What does Joshua tell them, while in this position (v25)? Whom does Joshua tell them will defeat their enemies? What does Joshua do with the five kings in v26-27? What was the last city in this area to be defeated (v28)?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we learn about the Lord’s ongoing war against one of His people’s greatest enemies.

You see, we often think that our problem is in our circumstances or in external forces. It certainly looked that way for Israel. Kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, and Makkedah… and all their warriors who had fled into fortified cities.

But the Scripture makes quick work of those external enemies and circumstances. Where we can see the text slow down for speeches or ceremonial acts, we have one reminder after another that “Yahweh your God has delivered them into your hand” (v19) … “thus Yahweh will do to all your enemies against whom you fight” (v25) … and then the displaying of the five kings with the memorial/historical comment, “which remain until this very day” (v27).

What enemy is being attacked in these verses? The enemy of self-trust is attacked by a reminder that it is Yahweh who fights. The enemies of fear and doubt are attacked by a reminder that Yahweh will always win. This last reminder also attacks the enemy of temptation to rebel.

Self-trust. Fear. Doubt. Temptation to rebel. Do you know anyone else who battles such enemies? Let us do that battle by the same strategy that the Holy Spirit employs here—only let us do so with an even greater example!

Let us be constantly reminded that the Lord Jesus Himself has obeyed perfectly when we couldn’t have. Jesus has suffered the penalty of sin completely, which wouldn’t have ended for us through all eternity. Jesus has taken on Satan himself and crushed that devil’s head. How could we ever go back to hopeless trust in ourselves, when we have begun by trusting in our absolutely sure and perfect Savior?

The Lord Jesus will always win. He sits enthroned in glory, and His enemies are being made a footstool for His feet. Whenever we are tempted to indulge ourselves, or fear men, or choose the lazy way out, let us remember Him there on the throne—lest we make it seem like a small thing to resist His rule. By God’s grace, let us keep our eyes on Jesus!
What daily exercises help you keep remembering the truths of the gospel? What else can you be doing throughout the day? How does keeping the Lord’s Day help?
Suggested songs: ARP72B “Nomads Will Bow” or TPH429 “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

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