All Out War Against The Enemy
Jos214 – All Out War Against The Enemy – Joshua 10:1-27
Pastor Dave Shepardson Calvary Chapel Nuevo / www.wordbymail.com
Open your Bibles. Title of the message “All Out War Against The Enemy.” Turn over to Joshua Chapter 10.
Living in the Promised Life in Christ is a life of victorious spiritual warfare. Living the Promised Life in Christ is moving from victory to victory over the enemy that stands against you.
And to do that, you and I must declare all out war against the enemy. That is what we’re going to see Joshua and the nation of Israel do today.
But remember the Book of Joshua is a TYPE (a picture) of our victorious life in Christ. And so these enemies in the Book of Joshua – although they are real, historical enemies of God’s people – they are also a TYPE (picture) of the very real enemies that keep us from living the Promised Life in Christ – today. These are the enemies we are called to wage all out war against.
The historical enemies in Joshua Chapter 10 have names you’ve probably never heard of – most of which end in “ites.” But the very real enemies we face today have names that are all too familiar to us. The kings of some of these enemies are named: PRIDE – SELF-WILL – HIDDEN SIN – The Pull of The WORLD and the SPIRITUAL FORCES of evil set against us.
These are our enemies (today) that must be conquered in order for us to “Take Possession of the Promised Life.”
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, make it real to us today. Show us the intensity, the passion of this battle. Show us what it means to be in “all out war” with the enemy. Lord, show us where we’re playing with the enemy instead of routing the enemy. Lord, as we go through Joshua 10 make it come alive in application to our lives. Show us, speak to us, let us hear from your living Word and apply it specifically to our lives today, for your glory and in your name Jesus, amen.
Remember last week the people of Gibeon had schemed Joshua into a treaty and we saw how God was going to overrule their scheme and use it for good. Well, Chapter 10 is the beginning of the good God was going to bring through the enemy’s scheme. As Chapter 10 opens, the remaining enemy learns of the treaty the Gibeonites made with Joshua last week. And again, the enemies of God’s people form a plan to stop Israel from taking possession of the Promised Life.
Joshua 10:1–6 (NLT)
1 Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard that Joshua had captured and completely destroyed Ai and killed its king, just as he had destroyed the town of Jericho and killed its king. He also learned that the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and were now their allies.
2 He and his people became very afraid when they heard all this because Gibeon was a large town—as large as the royal cities and larger than Ai. And the Gibeonite men were strong warriors.
3 So King Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem sent messengers to several other kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon.
4 “Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.”
5 So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack. They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon. (all cities in the Southern half)
6 The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. “Don’t abandon your servants now!” they pleaded. (what do you mean ‘now’, they just became servants) “Come at once! Save us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings who live in the hill country have joined forces to attack us.”
I don’t know what the Gibeonites thought would happen when they made their treaty with Joshua… but now they know. And now five of the strongest enemy kings have come together to destroy Gibeon and stop the advance of God’s people. So Gibeon calls on Joshua to keep his treaty covenant and come protect them.
Joshua is at Gilgal when he gets the word, and I want you to watch for how prominent Gilgal is in this chapter.
This chapter is about victorious all out war against the enemy and Gilgal plays a very prominent role.
Joshua 10:7–8 (NLT)
7 So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon.
8 “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, (fear not) “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
As Joshua and the army were leaving Gilgal to go get into the battle at Gilgal the Lord says to Joshua fear not I have given you victory, no enemy will be able to stand against you.
FIVE TIMES in Chapter 10 - there are references to Joshua either LEAVING Gilgal – or RETURNING to GILGAL.
So - Let’s Review WHAT Gilgal represents to Israel
1) Gilgal was the place where Israel’s NEW LIFE began when they crossed the Jordan River
2) Gilgal is where God called Israel to erect memorials to ALWAYS REMEMBER what God had done for them
3) Gilgal was the place where they CUT-AWAY the FLESH of their OWN STRENGTH - to show their trust in God alone
4) Gilgal was the place where Israel first COMMUNED with God in the Promised Land
5) Gilgal was the place Joshua first ACKNOWLEDGED the Commander of the Army of the Lord
Guys . . . Gilgal is a picture of Calvary
1) Calvary – is where we were given NEW LIFE in Christ
2) Calvary – is where we are called to REMEMBER all that God has done for us
3) Calvary – is where the strength of our flesh is cut-away
4) Calvary – is what enables our COMMUNION with God
5) Calvary – is where we first ACKNOWLEDGE Jesus Christ as The Commander of the Lord’s Army
Every time Joshua stopped and returned to Gilgal he would go back out to the battle victorious and every time Joshua went into battle without first meeting the Lord at Gilgal he was defeated.
We have got to remember all that we need for victory in the Promised Life is waiting for us at Calvary. And we must return over and over and over again to the cross and to all that the cross represents before you step out into the next battle.
Now in verses 9 and 10 we see the beginning of probably the most miraculous battle in history.
Joshua 10:9–10 (NLT)
9 Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise.
10 The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah.
Notice the Lord worked first (threw them into a panic) but Israel “put their boots on the ground” to join the battle.
Now some of the translations say it was the Lord himself who slew the enemy in great numbers and chased the enemy and continued to slay them. It’s because there’s a little conjunction in the Hebrew (one letter) that can imply the Lord actually did this or the Lord enabled it and Israel did the “leg work.” Either way is true and either way is cool.
The Lord brought the victory and Israel had to be fully committed to active, all out war against the enemy.
But then in verse 11 the Lord for sure takes this battle into his own hands.
Joshua 10:11 (NLT)
11 As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.
Huge hailstones being shot from snipers in heaven, only hitting the enemy and not touching the children of God.
God is going BEFORE Israel
God is in the battle WITH Israel
God is bringing the victory to Israel SUPERNATURALLY
And so what is Israel’s part? Israel had to be fully committed to be in all out war against the enemy. They had to be all in, no turning back, no other option – and they were.
And then as if the power of the Lord in the hailstones wasn’t enough, in verse 12 Joshua realizes he’s running out of daylight. But instead of hurrying up the battle Joshua stops and he prays. And God is going to do something here that absolutely ensures that this battle would always be remembered.
Joshua 10:12–13 (NLT)
12 On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.
God is involved when we begin an all out war against the enemy. If we are geared up at Calvary, if we are walking in the victory of the cross, when we storm the gates of hell to take the enemies out of our life, God will get involved miraculously from heaven.
When we study Genesis (on Wednesday nights) we say if you can believe Genesis 1:1 you can believe the entire Bible.
Gen 1:1 says - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And if God created the heavens and earth (ex nihilo) then he can do whatever he wants with it.
The point here for us today is that God was involved in miraculous, omnipotent ways from heaven. These enemies knew the God of heaven was fighting on behalf of his people and bringing victory to them.
These “miracles in the heavens” proved the Lord of heaven was directly involved in these radical victories for his people.
And that is what the next verse makes clear.
Joshua 10:14 (NLT)
14 There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!
That’s where you have to be. You have to have your armor on, boots on the ground, going at the enemy – victory or die – and you will know that God will step in and bring victory from heaven on your behalf. God brings the victory. Christ has already won the victory, but you must wage all out war against the enemy to appropriate that, to take possession of it.
God was DIRECTLY (and miraculously) INVOLVED in Israel’s victory in this all out war against the enemy. And God will get DIRECTLY (and miraculously) INVOLVED in your victory if you will truly enter an all out war against your enemies.
This is the news that the Church needs to hear. There is a war going on and we’re losing. We have got to stand up in the name of Christ and in his power and take it to the enemies in our lives. And God will show up. And when God shows up there will be a visible testimony of his victory in our life. That’s what we want.
And remember, when we do enter the all out war with the enemy, we must learn what Joshua learned.
Joshua 10:15 (NLT)
15 Then Joshua and the Israelite army returned to their camp at Gilgal.
In the midst of the battle we must continually return to Calvary
Where we were given NEW LIFE in Christ
Where we REMEMBER all God has done for us
Where the strength of our flesh is cut-away
Where our COMMUNION with God is enabled
Where we ACKNOWLEDGE Jesus Christ is The Commander (and Lord) of our lives
Joshua knew he had to return to Gilgal. He would not run off ahead of God again. He would not take the battle into his own hands. Instead, he would return to the place where God met him and then he’d go back to his all out war against the enemy.
And then we read the final lesson in this all out war.
Joshua 10:16–19 (NLT)
16 During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave at Makkedah. (same 5 kings from the beginning of the Chapter)
17 When Joshua heard that they had been found,
18 he issued this command: “Cover the opening of the cave with large rocks, and place guards at the entrance to keep the kings inside.
19 The rest of you continue chasing the enemy and cut them down from the rear. Don’t give them a chance to get back to their towns, for the Lord your God has given you victory over them.”
Israel is in an all out, no holds barred, no turning back war against the enemies and during that war these five “kings” decide to hide in the Promised Life of Israel.
Five kings of the enemy attempt to hide in a cave in the middle of the life of God’s people. (Sound familiar?)
And Joshua (a TYPE of Jesus Christ for us) had a plan. But he shut these enemy kings up in that cave – for now – and had his army continue routing the enemy that was running loose in the Promised Life. They chased the enemy with intensity and they cut them down when they reached them, and they did not give them a chance to get back to safety where they could return to fight another day.
Verse 20 shows Israel’s total commitment to totally eradicate the enemy from their lives.
Joshua 10:20 (NLT)
20 So Joshua and the Israelite army continued the slaughter and completely crushed the enemy. They totally wiped out the five armies except for a tiny remnant that managed to reach their fortified towns.
Look at that language:
Continued the slaughter
Totally wiped out the enemies in their lives.
That is all out, not turning back, no other options, full scale war against the enemies in their lives. Is that what God wants from us?
Is that the kind of language God wants from us?
To continue the slaughter
To completely crush
To totally wipe out the enemy in their lives?
Wait a minute – what if you’ve forgotten what I said in the first minutes of this message? In case you have, let me remind you.
In Joshua Chapter 10 these are real, historical enemies of God’s people. But they are also a TYPE (picture) of the real enemies that keep us from living our Promised Life in Christ today. And we are called to this level of all out war against our enemies today – the enemies that are standing between us and the Promised Life that God has for us.
And I named some of these kings that may be hiding in the cave of our hearts today.
THE PULL OF THE WORLD
THE SPIRITUAL FORCES of evil set against us.
These are our enemies today.
If we are going to live in our Promised Life today, then we must be engaged in all out war against these enemies – just as Joshua was.
When we go to war with our enemies at this level, the enemy will know that God is with us and the enemy will know that he is finished!
Look at Joshua 10:21.
Joshua 10:21 (NLT)
21 Then the Israelites returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah. After that, no one dared to speak even a word against Israel.
The enemy knows when we go to war at this level and God get miraculously involved. He knows the victory is set!
But this battle is not over in Joshua 10 because there are still five kings hiding in the cave of the heart of Israel. But Joshua isn’t finished in this battle and Jesus isn’t finished in your battle until the kings hidden in the cave of your heart are all dealt with.
Joshua 10:22–24 (NLT)
22 Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.”
23 So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon.
24 When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.
Guys, Jesus Christ wants to call the kings of the enemy out of the cave of your heart today. And if you will roll that stone away and allow him to do it, he will lay that enemy on the ground and tell you to put your foot on the neck of that enemy.
And if you will do it, then your Yeshua will say to you what Yoshua said to his men in Joshua 10:25.
Joshua 10:25 (NLT)
25 “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,” Joshua told his men. “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.”
Are you in the battle today? Are you in all out war against your enemies? Are you regularly going back to Calvary, kneeling at the cross, communing with the Lord, being strengthened for the battle? And then are you taking it to the enemy? Are you doing everything you can to completely rout that enemy from your life?
If you are, then open up the hiding place in your life and let the Lord call out the kings hiding there, then lay them down and put your foot on their neck (symbolizing complete victory) and then let the Lord remove them from your life, just as Joshua did.
Joshua 10:26 (NLT)
26 Then Joshua killed each of the five kings and impaled them on five sharpened poles, where they hung until evening.
And then in verse 27 Joshua turns the hiding place of these kings into a memorial for the victory that the Lord had brought.
Joshua 10:27 (NLT)
27 As the sun was going down, Joshua gave instructions for the bodies of the kings to be taken down from the poles and thrown into the cave where they had been hiding. Then they covered the opening of the cave with a pile of large rocks, which remains to this very day.
The place where the enemy was hiding became a visible testimony to the victory that was brought by the Lord.
What about us?
Are we dancing with the enemy?
Are we dating the enemy?
Are we sleeping with the enemy?
None of that will ever bring victory over the thing that stands between you and the promised life.
Today I challenge you to begin an all out, no holds barred, no turning back war against the enemies in your life. And when it is time to roll the stone away from the cave in your heart, allow the Lord to bring out the king of that enemy so you can put your foot on his neck in victory. And then the Lord will impale him on a pole and Jesus Christ will turn the hiding place of the enemy in your life into a visible testimony…
A visible testimony to the victory that was brought by the Lord in your all out war against the enemy.
Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, inspire us with such a powerful picture in Joshua. Inspire us to no longer dance with, or date or sleep with the enemy. To no longer play both sides of heaven and hell. To no longer think that we’re okay. Lord with the defeat of the enemy in our lives show us the kings that are hidden in the cave of our hearts and then put us at war with them. Aggressive. Intense. Passionate. All out victory or die war. And Lord we’ll trust you to go before us. We’ll trust you to rout the enemy on our behalf. And at some point Lord we’ll trust you with our heart, the deepest place. And we’ll ask you to bring the kings of the enemies out and impale them on a pole.
Before we leave, before the heaviness in the room is let up, would you just – to the Lord right now – would you just have the courage to speak what you’ve been trying to avoid the last forty-five minutes? Just say to the Lord, Lord I know it’s (fill in the blank.) Just say it, name the enemy. Name the enemy in your life, between you and God right now.
Lord, it’s __________. Prepare me for all out war against this enemy in my life. And may you replace the hidden king in my heart with a visible testimony to your glory. Do it Lord. Do it Lord with all of the power of heaven, in your name, Jesus, amen.