Joshua and Judges: Push to the Promised Land: The Kingdom of God does not make treaties with heathenism. 2Ki 18:23-35;19:35-37.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Push to the Promised Land: The Kingdom of God does not make treaties with heathenism. 2KI 18:23-35;19:35-37.  


Announcements/opening prayer:



We fast forward, past their complete defeat of two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, for they were told not to attack Edom or Moab, but nothing was said about the Amorites, and then they camped on the east side of the Jordan at Shittim.


When Sihon refused to give them a free passage through his territory, they were divinely directed to that attack which issued in the destruction of Sihon, and the possession of his land by Israel. The fact that Sihon with all his army was coming to meet them and they fought him and destroyed him shows how their courage and confidence in God had risen. Og came at them in the same fashion as they continued to move northward and they completely destroyed him as well.


The whole country east of the Jordan was now Israel’s, and the passage of that river could not be disputed.


These victories and the reality that their passage over the river could not be disputed gave them courage. Divine discipline (serpents) followed by recovered faith (victory in battle) - God gave them courage.


We all lose faith and we all grow weary of heart at times, though we are commanded not to, and so sin results. We may recover quickly or divine discipline may ensue, but we should take great comfort in the discipline of God, that all of us need, since it brings forth the peaceful (soul prosperity by restored tranquility) fruit of righteousness.


HEB 12:11

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful [restored tranquility] fruit of righteousness.


Unfortunately some Christians are ignorant of divine discipline and don’t see the things that come upon them in their lives as a result of it. They reason that things are coincidence, bad luck, just a bad run, a slump, or simply the fault of other people. What they don’t see is that God is blocking their way. They are so full of themselves and their importance that they can’t see the Lord in the path and they rather empty their frustration on those at hand. Balaam unloaded on his donkey when it was the dumb donkey that actually saw the Lord and saved his worthless life. Those that love divine discipline, not because they are sadists, but because they know it is a loving God turning them with a strong hand, are sensitive to it and see it and rejoice in it.


Before actually entering upon their long-promised inherit­ance, some great lessons had, indeed, to be learned. An event would take place which would forever mark the relation between the, kingdom of God and that of this world. The mission of Moses, the servant of the Lord, must also come to an end, and the needful arrangements be made for possessing and holding the land of Palestine. But all these belong, strictly speaking, to the next period of Israel’s history. When the camp was pitched in Shittim, “on this side Jordan by Jericho,” waiting for the signal to cross the boundary-line, the wanderings of the children of Israel were really at an end.


The wilderness life and the early contests of Israel were over. Israel stood on the threshold of the promised possession, separated from it only by the waters of Jordan.


But, before crossing that boundary-line, it was absolutely neces­sary that the people should, once and for all, gain full know­ledge of the real character of heathenism in its relation to the kingdom of God.


Israel must learn that the heathen nations were not only hostile political powers, opposing their progress, but that heathenism itself was in its nature antagonistic to the kingdom of God.


The kingdom of God and heathenism were incompatible, and therefore no alliance could ever be formed with heathenism no intercourse cultivated, nor even its presence tolerated.


For this same reason the church, which is a spiritual kingdom of priests under Christ, our High Priest, cannot compromise with the world, which is a system of heathenism with different idols.


The two are incompatible. Israel was not to make treaties with them but to destroy them out of the Promised Land.


In order to deepen this lesson and to show Israel that Jehovah was fully against heathenism and fully for Israel, prior to crossing the Jordan, God allowed the entrance of Balaam.


The importance of the lesson that comes from the introduction of Balaam and the king he served, Balak, king of the Moabites, was to be always understood and easily understood, even to the church.


Their tents were pitched in rich meadow-land, watered by many streams, which rush down from the neighboring mountains. As the vast camp lay scattered over a width of several miles, it might have seemed as if the lion of Judah were couching ready for his spring on the prey. Still Israel has to ask itself, was he the lion of Judah, and were the promises of God to him indeed "yes and amen?"


A fiercer assault than Sihon and Og with spear and steel was about to come upon them - false religion.


The heathen used conventional weapons of the time up to this point against Israel and to no avail. Now heathenism would wield different arms.


Moab has been defeated by Sihon who had taken the northern part of their territory, which was still known as the plains of Moab. Israel just about wiped Sihon and his people out and now camped on that very land. God instructed Israel not to war with Moab and so Moab was quite safe, but their king did not gain any comfort in this. This people, whose God had destroyed Sihon, was right in his neighborhood and he knew all about them. He feared that they could wipe him out.


The song of Moses, sang just after the crossing of the Red Sea has come to fruition.


EXO 15:14-15

"The peoples have heard, they tremble;

Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.

"Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;

The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them;

All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.


/Among the wander­ing tribes of the east, tidings, especially of this kind, travel fast.


EXO 18:1

Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt.\


JOS 2:8-9 [Rahab]

Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men, "I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you.


Force of arms had been tried against them. The Amorites, who had been able to take from Moab all the land of their north, had boldly marched against Israel under the leadership of Sihon their king, and been not only defeated but almost exterminated. A similar fate had befallen the brave king of Bashan and his people, There could be no question that so far Jehovah, the God of Israel, had proved true to His word, and stronger than the gods of the nations who had been subdued. Moab is afraid.


We must be careful not to transport our own heathenism of the present day back to theirs. Theirs is a type of heathenism that is all but extinct now.


In our day the heathen is one who denies Jesus Christ as Savior and as God and so completely denies Jehovah, whom He and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are. They may be of other religions but they deny the very existence of God as He is and revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. This was not true back then.


In those days they would have never thought of denying the existence of Jehovah Elohim as the national God of the Hebrews, but just as another god on the list.


This explains why a certain number of Jews, accustomed to the false gods of Egypt could make a golden calf at the foot of Mt. Sinai.


To them Jehovah was the God of the Jews just as Baal or Chemosh or Dagon or any of the Egyptian gods were the gods of their people.


What was not believed among them was that Jehovah was the only true and living God.


DEU 32:39

'See now that I, I am He,

And there is no god besides Me;


1KI 20:23

Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, "Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.


The Arameans were a loose federation of tribes in the general area north and northeast of Israel, or what is now modern day Syria.


Messengers for the king of Assyria:


2KI 18:23 "Now therefore, come, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.


2KI 18:24 How then can you repulse one official of the least of my master's servants, and rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?


2KI 18:25 "Have I now come up without the Lord's approval against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, 'Go up against this land and destroy it.'"'"


The same messenger said loudly so that all who were on the wall of Jerusalem could hear him:


2KI 18:32 "But do not listen to Hezekiah, when he misleads you, saying," The Lord [Jehovah] will deliver us."


2KI 18:33 'Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?


2KI 18:34 'Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand?


2KI 18:35 'Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their land from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?'"


So how did this bold assertion work out for the king of Assyria?


2KI 19:35 Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out, and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead.


2KI 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at Nineveh.


2KI 19:37 And it came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.


God will always defend His name. If you suffer for His name's sake all you have to do is patiently wait and God must and will act in His perfect way and timing.


This very principle gave a teenage boy victory over a nine foot, battle hardened giant.


1SA 17:26

For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?"


David knew he could beat Goliath because of the simple fact that Goliath had taunted the armies of the living God. That's trust in God and not trust in his own ability, in his flesh.


Yet David didn't just turn around and go back to his sheep. The giant had to be killed and he ran to the battle line to do it. The cry, "the battle is the Lord's" does not mean we do nothing as pacifists.


JER 17:5, 7

"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind

And makes flesh his strength, … "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.


Of course, in agape love, we wish for the recovery of our enemy rather than his destruction. Pray for your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. If your enemy doesn't repent and recover then God will deal with him, so you can hope in your enemies recovery and rest in God's vengeance.


Prepared as they were to acknow­ledge Jehovah as the national Deity of the Hebrews, the question before them would be, whether He or their gods were the more powerful.


This was a question of deepest interest to them. To them everything depended on the gods: birth, death, crops, weather, economy, and war.


All the other gods including their own were somewhat similar, but what was known of Jehovah is that the rites by which He was worshipped were very different than theirs and the habits and manners of the Jews were very different. Hence they seduced them with their own pagan religions.


In attempting to break the power of Israel the strong Amorite kings of the area had failed and so Jehovah had proved Himself superior to their gods. The king of Moab, who could not defeat the Amorite kings decided to use divination and so he chose the best diviner of the land, Balaam.


The false gods had many similarities, but what was known of Jehovah is that He was different and the way He was worshipped was different. So they seduced them with their false gods.


All the other gods including their own were somewhat similar, but what was known of Jehovah is that the rites by which He was worshipped were very different than theirs and the habits and manners of the Jews were very different. Hence they seduced them with their own pagan religions.


This is what the world continually does. Christianity is far different in its way that legalism, religion, or cosmic system ways. When the majority see a great difference in a people they want to either destroy them or assimilate them into their own system. Christ exposed their evil and so they wanted Him conformed over to religious Judaism or killed. They will do the same to positive believers.