Joshua and Judges: Joshua's northern campaign, part 2; Jos 11.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: Joshua's northern campaign, part 2; Jos 11.  


Announcements / opening prayer:


JOS 11:9 And Joshua did to them as the Lord had told him; he hamstrung their horses, and burned their chariots with fire.


Joshua did all that the Lord had told him.


To obey all that God demands takes a heart of devotion and commitment to Him alone. Such a heart far outweighs any ritual or procedure.


Of course this doesn't mean sinlessness. It means devotion to God's way as the only way. We will have times of failure along that way, but if your priority is God's way, you will recover from that continually. A self-justifying believer is not devoted to God's way. He has his own way and tries to appease God with lip-service or attending service every once in a while.


There is a great difference between living and existing. Just because one is alive doesn't mean that they know how to live.


COL 3:4

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.


The original says "Christ our life" without the verb. Christ and our life are one and the same, which is another part of the infinite mystery of God in the church. It says that Christ is our life and not that our life is "like" His.


There is no denying complete and total devotion to God, no matter how many deny it by watering it down with self-justification, and those who do, live with loss while they struggle to gain their own way.  


In contrast to Joshua's submission to all the will of God, many years later there was a king of Israel who was told to utterly destroy all the people and all the livestock and all the valuables of the city of Amelek, as well as its king Agag. He was commanded to put everything under the ban.


1SA 15:1 Then Samuel said to Saul, "The Lord sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the Lord.


1SA 15:2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt.


1SA 15:3 'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"


As we have seen, this means that everything is under the ban. Israel is not allowed to take any of it.


1SA 15:4 Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah.


1SA 15:5 And Saul came to the city of Amalek [at the southern border of Israel in the Negev], and set an ambush in the valley.


1SA 15:6 And Saul said to the Kenites, "Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt." So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.


1SA 15:7 So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt.


1SA 15:8 And he captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.


1SA 15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.


1SA 15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,


1SA 15:11 "I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands." And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the Lord all night.


1SA 15:12 And Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal."


1SA 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord."


Saul attempted to hide his consciousness of guilt by a feigned friendly welcome.


1SA 15:14 But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?"


1SA 15:15 And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed."


Saul blames the people. This shirking of responsibility is one of the characteristics of a terrible leader. A good leader always takes responsibility for the results of his organization.


Plus, the falsehood and hypocrisy of these words lay upon the very surface; for even if the cattle spared were really intended as sacrifices to the Lord, not only the people, but Saul also, would have had their own interests in view, which they did because they took the best animals, since the flesh of thank-offerings was appropriated to sacrificial meals.


1SA 15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, "Wait, and let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night." And he said to him, "Speak!"


1SA 15:17 And Samuel said, "Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel,


1SA 15:18 and the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, 'Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.'


1SA 15:19 "Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord?"


1SA 15:20 Then Saul said to Samuel, "I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.


Self-justification: Doing a part of the will of God while pursuing the flesh and imagining that the first justifies the latter.


1SA 15:21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal."


He speaks as if he had no command over the army. Even after Saul is told by God that he did not obey His voice, Saul persists in blaming the people. The difference between Saul and Joshua couldn't be more clear, nor could the result of their lives.


The people would sacrifice the best of the spoil of war to the Lord if the livestock was not put under the ban. In other words, if God said to destroy the people and keep the livestock then this would have been virtuous. But the livestock have been put under the ban and one cannot sacrifice to the Lord what the Lord has banned.


1SA 15:22 And Samuel said,

"Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As in obeying the voice of the Lord?

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams.