Joshua and Judges: Joshua's southern campaign, part 2; Jos 10.

Class Outline:

Announcements / opening prayer:


JOS 10:10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon, and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.


Judging from the next verse it is likely that the confusion was caused by a dreadful thunder and lightning storm.


Israel is also in the midst of whatever God used to confound the Canaanites, but she was not confused because of her faith in God's deliverance.


The Israelites are not confounded by the situation due to their faith in God's promise. If God is going to deliver them then the confusion is for the enemy and not God's people. So despite the situation that makes the enemy fear greatly, the believer has perfect peace in the midst of it.


PSA 49:5

Why should I fear in days of adversity,

When the iniquity of my foes surrounds me,


Courage comes from faith and courage gives the believer the ability to think and reason with doctrine even when under great pressure.


We see this in action when Paul was on his journey to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.




ACT 27:16 And running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, we were scarcely able to get the ship's boat under control.


ACT 27:17 And after they had hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor [bad translation: they set down every spar (crossbeams that the sails are attached to) upon the deck], and so let themselves be driven along.


ACT 27:18 The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed [typhoon], they began to jettison the cargo;


ACT 27:19 and on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands.


ACT 27:20 And since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned.


In such a storm the ship would have been strained and suffered severely in her hull, and that the leaks she then sprang were gradually gaining upon the crew who would have been endlessly manning the pumps. Hence they used cables ready fitted for undergirding to keep the hull as intact as possible, which the ships of the ancients kept as a necessary part of their stores. Everything that was unnecessary was thrown overboard, including the main spar which was a long as the ship, as the waves crashed over the stern and water filled the hull. They had no compass and without celestial observation, they could not tell which way to make for the nearest land in order to run their ship ashore, and so the only resource was to sink the ship. Thus they scudded at the mercy of the gale for eleven days. There are nearly three hundred souls aboard and after some time Paul finally speaks.   


ACT 27:21 And when they had gone a long time without food [they can't cook and much of the stores were probably damaged by water], then Paul stood up in their midst and said, "Men, you ought to have followed my advice and not to have set sail from Crete, and incurred this damage and loss.


ACT 27:22 "And yet now I urge you to keep up your courage, for there shall be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.


ACT 27:23 "For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me,


ACT 27:24 saying,' Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.'


This is one of the most startling instances of blessing by association in history. You never know in what way or to what significance your own walk in the plan of God is going to deliver others.


Such blessing to others by means of your own faithfulness to God is the greatest blessing in life. It is most Christ-like.


One can think of many great acts of heroism and courage in the lives of men, but to what extent have their sacrifices benefited others, or has it only benefited them? When we look at the faithful and courageous acts of Christ, the most astounding thing about them is that they were always for others. He was greatly blessed in His obedience to the Father, but that was never foremost on His mind. So contrary to the ways of the world, this is truly the mystery to life since it is the core of God’s agape love.


As a word of caution, if in the midst of such service and sacrifice for others in God’s love, as soon as you start looking at yourself and saying to yourself, “Look how much I am loving and serving and sacrificing, aren’t I so wonderfully spiritual?” you have lost it, for you have become your anchor in the place of the source of love.


ACT 27:25 "Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have been told.


The scene is very reminiscent of the battle between Israel and the Amorites. One group is confounded and fearful while another is calm and filled with peace. Clearly the difference lies in the faith of the one who has faith in the omnipotence of God who has promised to deliver.


ACT 27:26 "But we must run aground on a certain island."


JOS 10:10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon [about four hours north-west], and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah.


God sends His artillery and is a perfect shot, hitting the enemy and not one Israelite.


PSA 91:4

He will cover you with His pinions,

And under His wings you may seek refuge;

His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.


It is a tragic thing for one of God’s creatures to go through life without such a promise as a sure thing in the forefront of the mind. Anyone can say it and claim it, but do they really know the One who has made it? Do they really know the lengths God has gone to in order to make such a promise a reality?


JOS 10:11 And it came about as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon [taking a left and heading south], that the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.


These stones are hailstones. We can verify in the Old Testament that God uses natural disaster in dealing judgment to nations, though in our age, since the Bible is completed and closed, we cannot make a determination in any one instance with any surety, although that doesn’t stop people from doing so.


He has done so to Egypt:


EXO 9:24

So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.


In judging Assyria:


ISA 30:30

And the Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard.

And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger,

And in the flame of a consuming fire,

In cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones.


God is omnipotent. He will judge all who have rejected Him at the proper time.


By the miracle of hail the Israelites were to be made to see that it was not their own power, but the supernatural help of their God, which had given them the victory. But it was not only they who were to witness that the God of the Israelites was the true source of the victory.


The enemy discovered that it was not only the people of Israel, but the God of Israel, that had devoted them to destruction.


PSA 83:16

Fill their faces with dishonor,

That they may seek Thy name, O Lord.


As word had spread about the plagues of Egypt, the division of the Red Sea and the Jordan, the destruction of Jericho and Ai, word would also spread concerning the hail that fell upon the southern confederation of Canaan. And not only this, but that the day continue long past its due as the sun stood still in the sky.


JOS 10:12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

"O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon."


JOS 10:13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.

Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.


JOS 10:14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.


JOS 10:15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal.


In reliance on the promise of God in vs. 8, Joshua asks God to still the sun so that he could fully defeat these armies in one day, fully preventing a counter-attack.


The enemy might escape before their crushing defeat had assured safety to Gibeon, and given the south of Canaan to the Israelites. Joshua understands the need of the moment, but he will run out of daylight before he can fulfill that need and so he prays for something that no one has ever prayed for. Why not? God could only say no and show Joshua another way, but his prayer is heard by the Lord and granted. Yet his prayer is not baseless.


He prays for a miracle, but intelligently, as his request is fully based on the promise of God - “Not one of them shall stand before you.”


JOS 10:8 And the Lord  said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you."


“Not one of them shall stand before you.” I state this in order to ease the minds of us who have also prayed for miracles and our prayers have not been answered. Amongst Christians it has been common that loved ones dying from disease and sickness have been fervently prayed for and we wonder why God will perform miracles in one case and not in ours. For the most part that question cannot be answered with a detailed certainty, but the promises of God are “Yes and amen.” God promised Joshua that all of them shall fall and the proper time of darkness made that impossible. None of us can say that God has promised to heal sickness by taking it away in time, but we can say that He has healed all things in us and for all of us, even in the face of physical death, for death has lost its power and its sting through the spiritual death of Christ.


With God, all things are possible. Do we doubt this?


Speaking of the Old Testament testimony:


1CO 10:11

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.


God either stopped the earth from spinning or He did any number of things from His limitless power in order to make the light of day last all day.


Book of Jashar - the book of the righteous; an ancient collection of Hebrew literature entailing God’s righteous victories, augmented over time.


Verses 12-15 are taken from a book of the wars of God called the book of Jashar, which is the book of the righteous. The author of the book of Joshua has introduced the passage out of this book which celebrates the mighty act of the Lord for the glorification of His name upon Israel, and their foes the Amorites.


The book of Jashar is the title of an ancient collection of Hebrew literary material, referred to as though it were a familiar source. There are two entries from it contained in the Old Testament, here is Joshua and in 2SA 1:18.


The book has not been preserved, but Israel had such a book that was kept for generations and periodically augmented as a historical celebration of the righteous God's victories for His righteous people. David's lament over the death of Saul and Jonathan are in it.


2SA 1:17-18

Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar.