Text: Joshua 10:1-15

Title: A Day Like no Other

 

I.                    This text has one of the most famous of biblical miracles: Joshua’s command to the sun and moon to stand still.

A.      Gleason Archer: “The book of Joshua records several miracles, but none perhaps as note-worthy or as widely talked about, as the one pertaining to the prolongation of the day in which the battle of Gibeon was fought.”

B.      When the agnostic Clarence Darrow had William Jennings Bryan on the stand at the Scopes Monkey Trial and questioned him about the Bible, Darrow mentions this event as well as Jonah and the huge fish.

C.      We’ll look at the meaning of this event later on in the sermon.

 

II.                  Again we read of paranoia and anger among the kings and cultures of Canaan. 

A.      While the major fear is of Israel, the focus of the anger is on Gibeon.  The king of Jerusalem wants to attack Gibeon.

1.      The purpose would be to show the Israelites that strong military power existed in Canaan and Joshua will think twice before causing them trouble.

B.      A coalition is formed, composed of five kings.

1.      Adoni-zedek: His name means ‘master of righteousness’.  He is the master of the right who will be shown to be so wrong.  He is the king of Jerusalem, the name that means “the foundation of peace”, but will soon know turmoil.

2.      Hoham: The meaning of this king’s name is unknown, but his city of Hebron means “league”.  However, he is joining a league will soon be defeated.

3.      Piram: His name means “to be wild”, but the ‘wild man’ will soon be tamed by Joshua’s army.  His city is called Jarmuth which means “elevated”, but soon to be brought down.

4.      Japhia: His name means ‘brightness’, but he will be over-shadowed and his ‘light’ hidden in a cave before his execution.  His city is named ‘rough’ but it will soon be smoothed out. 

5.      Debir: His name means ‘shrine’ or ‘oracle’, but no oracle from his pagan gods will prepare him for the destruction he will face.  His city is called Elgan, meaning ‘vitality’ but it will soon experience weakness. 

 

III.                We read that they attack Gibeon because the Gibeonites, “..concluded a peace treaty with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.” (Butler)

A.      There is no neutrality from the opposition.  Gibeon’s choice of peace with Israel did not keep the Canaanite nations from attacking it.  While the Adversary may try to convince people that they can be neutral in regard to God, his own forces are not. 

B.      Arthur Pink makes the point that we can see this in the individual person’s life.

1.      The war imagery stresses the need for repentance.

2.      The sins people had embraced before faith in Christ are not our friends and Christians must stop tolerating them.

3.      They are seen in terms of battlefield troops against the believer and it is harmful to the Christian to let them hang around.

4.      Our sinful nature, nor the adversaries that feed off of it, are going to stand lightly by while the Christian lives the life of sanctification.  Sanctification or setting ourselves apart from the world is a battle as much as an exercise of will power. 

5.      As Paul writes at Galatians 5:17  “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these two are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.”

6.      If we liken Joshua to Jesus and the people of Gibeon to those who turn to Jesus; then we can see in the Canaanites the temptations of the flesh.  Fellow believers, there are no illusions.  The Canaanites are on the way.

 

IV.                Gibeon is aware of the impending attack and sends messages to Joshua.

A.      There is no intent to show that Gibeon is far away this time.  Gibeon wants Israelite help as soon as possible. 


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Muncy Presbyterian Church