Major League Failures (Joshua 9), Part 1

Major League Failures (Joshua 9) league: A military, political, or commercial covenant or compact made between parties for their mutual protection and assistance against a common enemy; the prosecution or safeguarding of joint interests, and the like; a body of states or persons associated in such a covenant, a confederacy. Intro. A. Joshua is the same name as Jesus (ACT 7:45); both mean “Jehovah is salvation.” B. Joshua was Moses' successor who brought natural Israel into their earthly inheritance, even as Jesus only could bring spiritual Israel (the elect of all nations) into their heavenly inheritance. ROM 3:20-22; 8:3. C. The Book of Joshua sets forth Joshua's second coming into earthly Canaan. c/w NUM 14:6. 1. It was at this second coming when the enemies were destroyed. 2. Christ's first coming to earth went unnoticed by the nations but it will not be so at His Second Coming. MAT 24:30; 25:31-32. 3. Jesus Christ's first and second comings into heavenly Canaan bear similar marks. a. Upon His death, the soul and spirit of Christ ascended to heaven. LUK 23:43, 46. (1) At this point, the powers of darkness may have been troubled but not spoiled. (2) The spoiling of the enemy would be reserved unto the resurrection of His body. 1PE 3:21-22; COL 2:15. b. Christ came bodily into heavenly Canaan TWICE after His resurrection. His first coming made no ripples in the Gentile nations. (1) Christ ascended briefly to the Father immediately after His resurrection (JOH 20:17) to present Himself as the victorious God-man, the firstfruits of them that slept (1CO 15:20) and promptly returned to earth for a few weeks. ACT 1:3. (2) Christ ascended bodily the second time into heavenly Canaan and by the sending forth of the Holy Spirit to advance His gospel, certainly made big ripples in the Gentile nations. ACT 1:7-8; 17:6. c. A league of nations and devils will meet with sudden, total destruction at the return of Christ to earth. REV 20:7-10. 4. Mind the irony of how central the Person and work of Jesus Christ figures in the bringing together of men of different nations. a. Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles formed a league to destroy him. ACT 4:26-28. b. Their action facilitated the bringing together of believing Jews and Gentiles to serve Him and promote His government. 1CO 12:13. D. This chapter records the setting up of the “United Nations” of Canaan against God and His church, and the Gibeonites successful deceit and covenant of peace with Israel. E. The previous chapter (JOS 8) saw Joshua destroy Ai, make a faithful copy of God's law, and refresh Israel's covenant commitment with God Joshua 9. A. vs. 1-2. When the kings of the land heard about Joshua’s success and Israel’s progress into the land they formed a League of Nations to oppose the Lord’s church. Not only had Israel invaded Major League Failures 5-11-13 Page 1 the land but they were doing it in the name of their God Who tolerated the worship of no other gods and demanded that His law be obeyed. 1. Remember that an underlying purpose for United Nations type alliances is to oppose Jesus and destroy His church. REV 20:8-9. a. Sin in its essence is revolt against God and a refusal to be in subjection to Him and to His law. b. Depraved unregenerate carnal minded men such as these inhabitants of Canaan hate God and His holy law and that common hatred will unite them. ROM 8:7. c. Interestingly, up to this point the kings of the land had been passive regarding Israel, but immediately after Israel’s solemn renewal of their covenant with Jehovah, they were moved to unite together and fight against them. d. Do not be surprised that when you are most determined to obey the LORD that the opposition from the adversaries of truth increases. 2. While in one sense, Jesus Christ, His church, and His gospel separate and divide men (LUK 12:51-52), they also unite discordant parties against them as their common foe. MAT 16:1; LUK 23:12; ACT 4:26-27. a. Note how the adversaries abounded when God opened the door for the increase of His interests. 1CO 16:9; ACT 19:8-10; 22-29; 2TI 4:14-16. b. It matters not that the wicked unite and assemble themselves against the people of God and the truth of His word for God for in the end they will not be successful. PSA 2; DEU 7:9-10; REV 20:8-9. c. On the other hand, it is a sad thing indeed when carnal men display more unity and accord than God's people. MAR 3:25; 1CO 1:10. B. vs. 3-15. The citizens of Gibeon prudently foresaw the evil that was about to befall them and devised a clever plan to get Israel to make a league with them in an attempt to avoid their total destruction. PRO 22:3. 1. The Gibeonites were desperate and would be living proof of the truth of JOB 2:4. 2. They had counted the cost of resistance and had wisely determined that seeking a treaty of peace was their best option. a. This principle is the basis of true Christian commitment. LUK 14:31-33. b. The coming of Joshua/Jesus in judgment is the ultimate incentive for men to repent and to align themselves with Him. ACT 17:30-31; 24:25. c. There is no better thing for the sons of men to do than to yield themselves to the Lord Jesus Christ and align themselves with His church and thus enter His kingdom. d. All men may realize certain benefits by even an external submission to Christ and application of Scriptural principles in their lives. DAN 4:27; 1KI 21:27-29; DEU 4:5-6. 3. The Gibeonites portrayed themselves as ambassadors from a distant nation with all the necessary props to support their story. vs. 4-5. a. They cunningly made mention of only the much earlier conquests of Israel, not the recent ones of Jericho and Ai (vs. 9-10) to give further credibility to their story. b. They cunningly avoided naming a country of origin (vs. 6, 9) lest they give themselves away by admission or omission. c. This is the way that lies are best sold: by giving them the maximum outward appearance of credibility. d. This is the way that Satan takes advantage of us by getting us to yield to temptations to sin through deceitful lusts (EPH 4:22). He makes them credible by dressing them up as our friends or servants, substitutes for God's sufficiency, means of satisfying legitimate needs, appeals to our good side, etc.
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