ALL THE KINGS
Joshua 9:1 And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; 2 That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
What has happened? How have these nations changed from the defensive to the offensive regarding Israel’s threat to them? At one time they are all hiding, like Jericho, behind their city’s massive walls and gates. But now we read that they are going on the offensive and are gathering together to attack Israel!
Listen to the previous description of these exact same kings in Joshua 5:1. And it came to pass, when all the kings of the Amorites, which were on the side of Jordan westward, and all the kings of the Canaanites, which were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of Jordan from before the children of Israel, until we were passed over, that their heart melted, neither was there spirit in them any more, because of the children of Israel.
And do your remember Rahab’s description of her fellow townspeople in Jericho? Listen to her account given to the two spies. Joshua 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.
Let us consider the two things that changed the entire emotional make up of all the Amorites and Canaanites regarding Joshua and Israel.
First, there was the public profession of Joshua and all the people that this land would be under the leadership of the one true God! Josh. 8:30 Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
This was no small task, nor event! There were 400,000 men of war alone in Israel. (Joshua 20:17). And then to make plaister to cover the altar and write the entire law of Moses on it, while the twelve tribes split into two separate groups, on the two different mountains (Joshua 8:33), to rehearse the blessings and curses of that law, was not accomplished without all these nations witnessing it! And this made these nations realize that Israel had sanctified this land by the law of their God, and they intended to subdue it unto him and his reign over them all!
And was it not so with each of our experiences in grace? Immediately upon our public profession that we could no longer walk, or take part in our old life of the flesh, due to our new life in Christ, we began to have those who once enjoyed our company turn from us. And this is the very example of our Lord, himself! For immediately upon his baptism, witnessing to the world who he was, Satan came to try him!
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
And secondly, these nations lost their fear of Israel when Israel failed to stand before Ai as a result of their sin! Josh. 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
It is one thing to make one’s public profession and have old things pass away, for the enemies of righteousness to come after you. But it is another thing entirely when the believer is involved in fulfilling some inner lust, and not only himself, but also the world discovers that he is neither perfect, nor invulnerable.
This too was given to us by example of our Lord Jesus Christ! For once he was made to be sin for us, there was a greater onslaught of the powers of darkness! Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
The public stir concerning the Lord Jesus greatly concerned the religious gang! And their fear of losing their place in the world forced them to take sterner measures against him! John 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
Religion cannot walk strictly by faith before God alone! They always need the other religionists to comfort them and keep things traditional in order for them to rest in that emotional peace! John 5:44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
Few indeed, can confidently bear the reproach of following Christ outside the camp of traditional religion. Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. (And we wonder why we have no more power with God.)
And we are instructed with a strong hand never to seek to leagues, and associations with men for our safety! Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.
In this same passage in Isaiah the Lord warns those who seek safety in the strength of numbers. For we read in Isaiah 8:9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
Observe these following passages which have the term, gathered together revealing the coming together of those who normally would have nothing to do with one another, except for their common hatred of the spiritual man!
Acts 4:6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. 29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. Can you believe that? Pilate and Herod, the Gentiles, along with the people of Israel all forgetting their past differences, and banding together in unity against the Lord Jesus Christ!
The urgency to keep things as they had always been is heightened by the presence of the Lord enforcing his kingdom upon all! And that is what the true gospel church does. And for this, Satan himself shall be moved to greater fury against them. Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Those seated in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus are to rejoice. But those who are of the earth, and are therefore earthy, are to mourn. For Satan has been moved to a more urgent wrath for one reason: the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is crowding him out of his previously held position! The stronger man (Luke 11:22) has come to deliver his spoils from him!
God gave Israel much assurance in this! In verse one of our Joshua nine passage, listed above, we see that these kings inhabited the hills, the valleys and all the sea coasts. But the Lord had already informed Israel concerning this, in giving his word that, though the enemy would come from these specific places, he would grant Israel victory! Deuteronomy 1:5 On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying, 6 The LORD our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: 7 Turn you, and take your journey, and go to the mount of the Amorites, and unto all the places nigh thereunto, in the plain, in the hills, and in the vale, and in the south, and by the sea side, to the land of the Canaanites, and unto Lebanon, unto the great river, the river Euphrates. 8 Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them.
And our warfare is from such a variety of lusts, living within us as well! Listen to the variety of inner foes that come up against us in our remaining corruption: Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like:
And just as God promised ancient, national Israel of their victory in him, so we have even more encouragement for ourselves today. Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
And remember the variety of locations that those kings were coming from – the hills, the valleys, and all the coasts of the great sea? Well the Lord has purposed this for us to become wholly sanctified, exercised by the spiritual warfare of Christian faith.
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. For as the Lord makes farther entrance within each and every one of us in his sanctifying work, by the cross and Holy Spirit, those high places are to be made low. That high mindedness and pride shall be brought down in spiritual obedience and humility. Those low places of fleshly self-loathing and false humility shall be brought up to a more spiritually normal receiving of ourselves in Christ. And those crooked places of previously learned sinful paths shall be made straight, as we learn to provide things honest in the sight of all men!
Our high fleshly excitement in those inordinate affections shall be leveled off. Those pits in which we wallowed in false humility shall be built up. And all those crooked, sinful concepts of fleshly origin, which we have yet to cast forth from us, shall be made straight by the indwelling Holy Spirit. And do you know what shall be left? A highway for the Lord’s greater entrance into our hearts, souls and minds!
Isaiah 40:2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins. 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Let the kings come down from the hills, up from the valleys, and over from the coasts. They shall but provide us a spiritual warfare, governed by our Sovereign Lord, to work together for our good and His glory! And when that warfare is completed, as listed above in the Isaiah 40 passage, And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. May God be pleased so to do in this generation!
Pastor Gene Breed, January 20, 2012