Joshua: Victorious for the Lord

Joshua 10:16-43

Four men are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are
having babies. A nurse goes up to the first guy and says,
“Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”
“That’s odd,” answers the man. “I work for the Minnesota Twins!”
A nurse says to the second guy, “Congratulations! You’re the father of
“That’s weird,” answers the second man. “I work for the 3M company!”
A nurse tells the third man, “Congratulations! You’re the father of
“That’s strange,” he answers. “I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”
The last man is groaning and banging his head against the wall.
“What’s wrong?” the others ask.
“I work for 7 Up!”

Last week we read about Joshua’s incredible prayer asking God
to make the sun stand still so he could continue defeating his
enemies. This week we are going to see him carry that on to
completion. In fact, this week we are going to see Joshua rout
several cities under God’s direction.

Joshua 10:16-21

5 Kings in Hiding

The kings realize they aren’t going to be able to stand against
Joshua and his army so they find a cave to hide in. That’s right,
the kings are in hiding.
Caves had several purposes in that day, some people used them
for dwelling places.
For example, Lot and his 2 daughters lived in a cave when he
was afraid to go to Zoar.
Others used caves for prisons and some used them for graves.
These 5 Amorite kings are going to experience all three of these
uses for caves in one day.
Once Joshua finds out the kings are hiding in the cave at
Makkedah, he commands the people to roll large stones against
the cave mouth and set guards outside – a dwelling place turned
into a prison just like that!
With the kings under lock and key Joshua tells the fighting men to
keep attacking the enemy at the rear guard. He doesn’t want
them to return to their cities.
Joshua reminds them that God had given them into their hands.
The Bible says that all of Israel’s army returned in peace to
Joshua at Makkedah. v.21

It’s amazing to us that God can protect His children like that
without any casualties, but when God wants something done, He
accomplishes it. Just like last chapter when God threw the
hailstones from heaven and only hit Israel’s enemies.

Notice the respect that Israel has earned. v.21
No man would speak against the people of Israel – they realized
that God was with Israel. There was no reason to speak out
against them. It would be futile.

Joshua 10:22-28

Joshua Encourages his Troops

Joshua instructs his men to bring him the kings from the cave.
Then he gathers everyone in his army along with the chiefs.
In a Display of Dominance, he has the chiefs place their feet on
the necks of the enemy.
Of course everyone knew what it meant. They were totally
submissive to Israel. They had zero power because God’s plan
was being carried out.
This is also a reminder of what God will do to anyone who
opposes Him or Israel.
What a way to encourage the troops! They are going to
experience victory, God is in charge and will not let anyone stand
against them.
Next Joshua gives his troops and Excerpt of Encouragement.

He tells them not to be dismayed or afraid, but to Be strong and
courageous. The same words that God told him back in Joshua
1:9, he is now sharing those same words with his army.
Next, we see an example of
Death and Deterrent
Joshua killed the 5 kings and hung them on 5 trees.
Hanging someone from a tree was a public display of humiliation
and also a warning to others.
He didn’t let them stay there on the trees though.
At evening Joshua had them removed according to the Scripture
(Deut 21:22-23)
Then he ordered them to be put back in the cave at Makkedah.
What was once their hiding place, became a prison, now it will
serve as their final resting place.

Joshua ordered the large stones to be placed back over the
mouth of the cave. These stones would serve as a memorial.
Those 5 kings were given into the hand of Israel. God did that!
You recall when Israel crossed the Jordan that Joshua set up 12
stones as a memorial so that when their children see it they will
be reminded of how God brought them into the promised land.
Also when Achan stole some of the things under the ban, he was
killed and buried under a pile of stones to serve as a reminder to
be obedient to God.

Joshua 10:29-39

God is a God of Order

God promised Israel that they would enter the promised land. He
told them that they would have all of the land and they would
dispossess the current inhabitants.
It’s a monumental task.
God had a plan and would systematically cause them to have
victory after victory until they conquered all of the land that God
was giving them.
And if you look at a map you will see that there was a definite
strategy involved.
They have already conquered Jericho and Ai which are in the
middle of the land.
Now they are going to conquer the southern part of the land.
Each city God gives them into the hand of Israel.

Makkedah – Joshua devoted it to destruction and killed its king
with the edge of the sword.
He did to the king of Makkedah just as he did to the king of

Libnah – Joshua fought against Libnah
the Lord gave it and its king into the hand of Israel.
Israel struck it with the edge of the sword and left none remaining.
He did to that king just as he did to the king of Jericho.

Lachish – was a larger city and it took Joshua two days to
conquer. While they were still fighting King Horam of Gezer came
to help Lachish
Joshua struck him and his people till there were none left.
Gezer wasn’t defeated as a town. It was later given to the priests
as Levitical territory.

Eglon – Joshua camped by Eglon and fought against them.
This was another one day victory.
They devoted every person in it to destruction just like at Lachish.
No mention of the king of Eglon being killed here, but everyone

Hebron – Joshua utterly destroyed every person and the king.

Debir – Captured it with its king and all its towns.
Struck them with the edge of the sword and devoted it to
Left no survivors
Just as he had done to Hebron, Libnah and its king.

Israel’s Obedience to God’s Commands

City by city, given into their hands. The God of order is providing
the way and giving victory after victory. And remember Joshua
and Israel are obeying God with every instruction.

Joshua 10:40-43

These verses describe the depth and the scope of their victory.

Joshua led Israel to strike down the lowland and the hill country.
God gave them all into his hands.
The Lord fought for Israel. It was His plan and He ensured their

The Bible says these events took place at one time, meaning
there wasn’t a huge break between each city that was conquered.
God strengthened them and gave them the victory.
Joshua returned to Gilgal, they conquered the land but didn’t
occupy it just yet.

Two cities not mentioned in the details.
At the beginning of Joshua 10 Five kings are listed.
In the details of how Joshua conquered all the different cities two
names are missing.
Jarmuth wasn’t mentioned as being conquered.
Jerusalem wasn’t conquered. We know that much later king David
would conquer Jerusalem.


Live Victoriously

The truth is that God has already won the war. Revelation tells us
that Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and sin will be defeated.
In God’s time it has already happened. We are still waiting to see
it fulfilled.

What that doesn’t mean is that we don’t have to fight. The devil is
still the prince of this world. God has given him power for this time
and he has come to steal, kill and destroy.
He is lurking around every corner just waiting for someone to
pounce on.

Living victoriously is being prepared to fight by putting on the
armor of God.

Living victoriously is living with the knowledge that God is king
and one day you will be in heaven with Him.

Living victoriously is being purposeful by telling others about
God’s victory.