JOSHUA 11 Introduction: This chapter tells how the kings of the north of Canaan combined together against Joshua

, and how God encouraged him to fight them, delivering them into his hands, so that all their people were smitten by him. It describes how he captured their cities, destroyed their inhabitants, and took their spoil. The chapter concludes with an account of his destroying the Anakim and declares that he had now conquered the whole land, so that there was an end to all their fighting enabling the Israelites to establish themselves without being resisted. A. The northern kings of Canaan (vv.1-5): 1 And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor heard these things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were from the north, in the mountains, in the plain south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites in the east and in the west, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite in the mountains, and the Hivite below Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 So they went out, they and all their armies with them, as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. 5 And when all these kings had met together, they came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. a. And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor heard these things... (v.1): What are those things heard by the king of Hazor? (Ans. These are Israel’s total conquest of the south. After hearing all that, the northern kings, led by Jabin, came together to make war with Israel. Together they formed a huge army because they believe that they must stop Israel now or never. The Israelites got the attention of these northern kings simply because of their success and victory. Our Christian life, although not yet perfect, is definitely a succesfull and victorious life in Christ. But walking in victory means we become target of the enemy; because, the day when we were born again is also the day when the devil is prompted to destroy us.) b. As many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. (v.4): Here, two things the enemy have the advantage over the children of Israel. First, the size of the enemy army: as many people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude. Second, the technological superiority of the Canaanites: with very many horses and chariots. Notice that the challenges brought to Israel seem to increase at each step, from Jericho, to Ai, to the battle with the southern kings, and now to this battle which they had never faced before. Being a Christian, we often find the challenges we encounter increase too at each step. And God uses our previous victory as a springboard for what we face in the future. c. They came and camped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel.(v.5): The waters of Merom being in the valley of Megiddo, we see how this event pictures the prophecies of Revelation. This massive army gathers in 1

the valley of Megiddo to come against Joshua just as they will one day come together to fight our Spiritual Joshua, Jesus Christ. B. God’s encouragement to Joshua (v.6): 6 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” d. “Do not be afraid because of them..."(v.6): Why did God need to encourage Joshua again not to be afraid? (Ans. God need to encourage Joshua once more because it seems that fear was an issue for Joshua and the people of Israel. God would not have assured them by saying, "I will deliver all of them...", unless there was a reason for encouragement. Likewise, in our Christian walk, it necessary for us to always have new assurance and encouragement from the Word of God. Futhermore, those that have God in their lives need not be afraid at the number and power of their enemies because more are those that are with us than those that are against us.) e. "You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire" (v.6): Why did God command Joshua to hamstring the horses and burn the chariots? (Ans. According to Deut. 17:16, kings were commanded not to multiply horses for themselves. Why? Because 2 Kings 23:11 links horses and chariots to the worship of the sun. As you read the history of the Jewish people, they did very well without horses: (i) At the Red Sea, the Israelites lived while the Egyptians on horseback drowned (Ex. 14); (ii) Deborah and Barak were victorious while Sisera’s chariots got stuck in the mud (Judg. 4); and, (iii) David was given victory over Hadadezer and his thousand horses (2 Sam. 8). Ps. 20:7 implies that we are not to trust in horses and chariots. In this day of incredible technology, we must never think that modern technology will win the world for Jesus, it is still the power of the Almighty God.) C. Joshua attacks the northern armies (vv.7-9): 7 So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and they attacked them. 8 And the Lord delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon, to the Brook Misrephoth, and to the Valley of Mizpah eastward; they attacked them until they left none of them remaining. 9 So Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire. f. So Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him (v9): Joshua fought with obedience, doing exactly what the LORD told them to do, even destroying the Canaanite “weapons” (the horses and the chariots) instead of taking them for his own army. Here is a good lesson with regards to “taking the devil’s tools.” Many Christians do not hesitate to use the “horses and chariots” of their spiritual enemy. Remember, God wants us to fight the battle on a different level - a level of complete trust in Him. So when doing the work of God, don't use the 2

devil's tools. D. The defeat of Hazor (vv.10-15): 10 Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. 11 And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire. 12 So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. 13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only, which Joshua burned. 14 And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty for themselves; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they left none breathing. 15 As the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses. g. But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them, except Hazor only, which Joshua burned. (v.13): In Deut. 6:10, it was prophesied that Israel was to dwell in great and beautiful cities which they did not build. And here we find that Israel is rolling in blood and treasure. (i) In the blood of their enemies: they struck every man with the edge of the sword... and they left none breathing (v.14), so that no one can infect them with the abominations of Canaan; (ii) In the wealth of their enemies: the spoil, and the cattle, they took for themselves (v. 14) which is a perfect illustration of the saying: "Thus is the wealth of the sinner laid up for the just". D. Victory over North and South Canaan (vv.16-20): 16 Thus Joshua took all this land: the mountain country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, and the Jordan plain—the mountains of Israel and its lowlands, 17 from Mount Halak and the ascent to Seir, even as far as Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He captured all their kings, and struck them down and killed them. 18 Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. All the others they took in battle. 20 For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them, and that they might receive no mercy, but that He might destroy them, as the Lord had commanded Moses. h. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that He might utterly destroy them... (v.20): Why would God hardens the hearts of these men? (Ans. God hardens their hearts because these are the people who had continously acted contrary to the Divine will. This is true of (a) Pharaoh, who oppressed the Israelites for his own selfish ends; (b) The Canaanites, who had persisted in their idolatry and sensuality; (c) The Israelites, who fell away into idolatry and forgot the Lord.) 3

How does God harden the hearts of men? (Ans. When God eventually gives up man to the sin that is in his heart (Rom. 1:24-28). As the Latin proverb says: “Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat”; which means, Whom the Lord wishes to ruin, he first deprives of reason. In other words, When God will punish you, He will first take away your understanding.) E. The defeat of the Anakim (vv.21-22): 21 And at that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim from the mountains: from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel; Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. 22 None of the Anakim were left in the land of the children of Israel; they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod. i. And at that time Joshua came and cut off the Anakim.. .(v.21): The real reason why the children of Israel are so afraid of the inhabitants of Canaan is because of the Anakim. This is a tribe of exceptionally large and strong people that had made Israel so afraid to enter the land some forty years ago (Num 13:27-33). But no matter how big and strong they are, they were no match for an army that was blessed and directed by God. Israel faced the Anakim last, because God had prepared them, trained them in battle and encouraged them in working with Him through their conquest. God managed their affairs so that they would face this most difficult challenge last. In us too, God manage our battles, to prepare us for the next difficult challenge in our lives. F. Israel's complete victory(v.23): 23 So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war. j. Then the land rested from war. (v.23): Joshua and the people won the battle, they were victorious, they took the whole land, and finished the work. Like Jesus who is also victorious, for He won the battle for you and me when He cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). The work is done. The war is won. And we have rest because of what our Spiritual Joshua did for us. Conclusion: The enemy in the north of Canaan were united to resist Israel’s advance and their forces were formidable. But God assured Joshua that he would win the battle, and he did. God assures us before the battle, fights for us during the battle, and commands us after the battle. How we follow orders after the victory is as important as what we do before the battle begins.

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