The day God made the sun and the Earth stand still to judge the Canaanites1
Introduction: God’s 400-year warning to the Amorites. “There is an appointed time for everything.” (Ecc. 3:1). God does not always try to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes, He wants you to feel uncomfortable, and He does this for a reason. In chapter 10, Joshua acted at His direction to capture the Amorite cities in Southern Israel. He then killed most of the male prisoners. God never wanted these people to die. He gave them 400 years to repent. He even told Abraham that his descendants would be the instrument of His divine judgment if they failed to repent of their sins. Their sins included child sacrifices, temple prostitution, idolatry, and other wicked practices that violated His Law: “God said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed for four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.’” (Gen. 15:13-16).
The judgment during the end times. The judgment of the Amorites also foreshadows what God will be forced to do on a global scale during the Day of Judgment. As He was with the Amorites, God is slow to judge sin but will ultimately do so when nations turn against Him. Some claim that a loving God would never judge others. He is in fact the source of all love: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 Jo. 4:8). Yet, He is also just: “For I, the Lord love justice . ..” (Is. 61:8). As a just God, He cannot ignore sin. Those who have trouble accepting this need only ask if they would like to live in a society where murderers, rapists, and robbers are not judged. Anarchy would reign and people would live in fear. We demand justice because He has put His Law in our hearts (Ro. 2:15). As the source of all justice, He must also judge wrongs. But He tells you these things to motivate you to act. Western societies now embrace many of the practices that caused God to judge the Amorites. Here, He reveals several warnings about the judgment that awaits the unrepentant nations.
First, the Amorites symbolized the wicked people of the world who reject God. The Gibeonites symbolize the remnant who will repent of their sins and turn to Him. From the conspiracy of five Amorite kings against the Gibeonites after they accepted God and submitted to Him, God reveals that the Church will face persecution during the end times. Second, the Gibeonites appealed to Joshua’s help almost immediately after they tricked him into signing a treaty with them. From Joshua’s willingness to come to their aid, God reveals that Jesus will also come out of grace to the aid of His undeserving Church when it cries out in faith for His help. Third, from His supernatural destruction of the Amorites in battle, He reveals that He will also crush those who oppose Him during the end times. Fourth, from His supernatural light that extended the length of the day during the battle, He reveals that no evil will be able to escape His light. Fifth, from the imprisonment of the five Amorite kings in a cave during the battles, He reveals that the rulers of the world during the end times will hide in caves and plead for their death. Sixth, from His judgment of the Amorite kings, He reveals that Satan’s servants will all face judgment. Finally, from Joshua’s destruction of the remaining Amorites during seven final battles, He reveals that all who reject Him will one day face judgment. If a nation condones idolatry, child sacrifices, and sexual practices that are banned under His Law, it will eventually face the same judgment as the Amorites. God wants the thought of this judgment to horrify you. He wants it to motivate you to warn others to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The Amorite conspiracy against the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites formed an alliance of six mighty Amorite kings in Southern Israel. When the people of Gibeon pledged their allegiance to God’s people, the King of Jerusalem united the five remaining powerful Amorite kings to destroy the Gibeonites for their betrayal: “1 Now it came about when Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had captured Ai, and had utterly destroyed it (just as he had done to Jericho and its king, so he had done to Ai and its king), and that the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were within their land, 2 that he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 3 Therefore Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent word to Hoham king of Hebron and to Piram king of Jarmuth and to Japhia king of Lachish and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, 4 ‘Come up to me and help me, and let us attack Gibeon, for it has made peace with Joshua and with the sons of Israel.’ 5 So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up, they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon and fought against it.’” (Josh. 10:1-5). The Amorites’ retaliation against the Gibeonites for siding with God represented the fullness of their sin that God had warned Abraham about 400 years earlier. Their conspiracy foreshadowed Satan’s conspiracy against God’s people.
Five Amorite kings attacked the Gibeonites for submitting to the Jews and Yahweh2
The antiChrist's plan to destroy the Church. The King of Jerusalem’s name “Adoni-zedek” translates as “Lord of Righteousness.” But he was the exact opposite of what his name proclaimed. He foreshadows the anti-Christ who will deceive the nations. The six kingdoms (before the Gibeonites defected) represented the governments of mankind. Until Christ’s return, Satan is the ruler of this world. He seeks to oppress and enslave all. The defection of the Gibeonites to God represents the remnant Church who will have faith in God while the vast majority of mankind will submit to the rule of the devil. The number five in the Bible is normally associated with God's mercy and grace. Yet, the five remaining kingdoms under the anti-Christ’s rule symbolized Satan’s counterfeit mercy and grace - - persecution and torment. Like the King of Jerusalem, the antiChrist will wage war on the remnant of believers who refuse to submit to him. Believers should also expect Satan to chase after them when they turn to Christ. He will do everything in his power to re-enslave a believer: “When sinners leave the service of Satan and the friendship of the world, that they make peace with God and join Israel, they must not marvel if the world hates them, if their former friends become foes. By such methods Satan discourages many who are convinced of their danger, and almost persuaded to be Christians, but fear the cross. These things should quicken us to apply to God for protection, help, and deliverance.” (Matthew Henry on Joshua 10).3
The warning to the Church about the antiChrist during the end times. Every event in the New Testament is foreshadowed by prophecies or events in the Old Testament. Just as the plagues of Egypt followed certain patterns that will likely be played out again during the end time judgments, the persecution of the Gibeonites also foreshadow events during the end times. These accounts reveal that the Church will one day face the direct threat of persecution from the antiChrist. These accounts also reveal that the Church will first experience Satan’s supernatural deceit and persecution before Jesus returns. Before the plagues of Egypt, the Jews suffered persecution under Pharaoh, who symbolized Satan in the end times. During the first three of the ten plagues, the Jews were not supernaturally protected. They experienced discomfort with the rest of Egypt when the Nile was turned to blood. They lost their fish. They were also forced to turn to the water in their wells, a symbol of Jesus. They also experienced the discomfort of the frogs and gnats, fleas or lice. The Jews were also present to witness the demonic powers of Pharaoh’s magicians during the first two plagues. Likewise, the Gibeonites (who also symbolize the Church), experienced the persecution of the antiChrist. Both of these two accounts together (two is a number of confirmation) suggest that the Church will be raptured only after the antiChrist is revealed and begins to persecute the Church. This is confirmed through Jesus’ warning that the “elect” – believers – will be fooled by the demonic powers that they observe during the end times (Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22; 2 Thess. 2:9-10). If the Church were raptured before Satan used his power to control the world, believers would not be around to be deceived. Jesus’ warning would have no meaning. The Bible provides another picture of this when Jesus rescued the believers in the middle of a storm at the Sea of Galilee and instantly brought them to the other side (Jo. 6:1-17). His believers experienced the storm before He raptured them to the other side. The book of Revelation also distinguishes between types of judgments that will be experienced during the end times. At one point during the seven-year period, the Bible references the beginning of “the great tribulation” (Rev. 7:14). The message is that you should not lose your faith if evil seems to be out of control, the Church is persecuted and you see supernatural signs from the devil. These are just the “birth pains” of the new life that Christ has in store for you. ‘“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”’ (Matt. 24:8-11). It is precisely because many people teach that the antiChrist will be revealed only after the rapture that many will be deceived. They won’t be looking for the deceit of the anti-Christ because they are taught that they won’t be around to see it. Thus, to avoid being deceived, you must test all things (1 Thess. 5:21). Not every supernatural event that you encounter will be from God. At some unknown time, He will take His Church up in an instant at the sound of a loud trumpet (Matt. 24:31, 36; Mk. 13:32; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Yet, He will remove the Church before His final judgments. His Church has not been appointed “to suffer wrath but to receive salvation.” (1 Thess. 5:9). Thus, believers should never lose hope in the face of this persecution. But they should be ready at all times for both the deception of the antiChrist and Jesus’ promised return.
The Gibeonites’ appeal to the Jews for help. The Gibeonites had used fraud to deceive the Jews into forming a treaty not to destroy them. In an act that some might call hutzpah, the Gibeonites then appealed to the Jews for help when the five kings united to destroy them: “6 Then the men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal, saying, ‘Do not abandon your servants; come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have assembled against us.’ 7 So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him and all the valiant warriors.” (Josh. 10:6-7). Joshua could have easily told the Gibeonites that they were on their own. He could have viewed the attacks upon the Gibeonites as their just reward for their deceit. He might have even been grateful to the five kings for helping to purge Israel from the people who had taken some of their land through trickery. He might also have viewed a civil war within Canaan as an opportunity to weaken his enemy before the Jews invaded. But he was a righteous man. His honor and his integrity caused him to uphold both the letter and the spirit of the Jews’ treaty.
Jesus will also protect you from your enemies. Joshua foreshadowed Jesus. Like Joshua, Jesus will also protect His undeserving believers from the evil one. This is true even if, like the Gibeonites, a believer has used deceit or other types of evil against Him in the past. He warns that the Church will face tribulation in the world. Only in Him will you find peace: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (Jo. 16:33). For those believers who cry out in faith for His protection, He promises to be a shield against the enemy’s fiery darts: “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5(b); 2 Sam. 22:31). Are you crying out for His protection?
Joshua led the Jews into battle to save the Gibeonites4
Fight for the oppressed. God could have defeated the Amorites on His own. But He had the Jews participate in the battle against evil. The Bible likewise tells believers to advocate for the poor, the disadvantaged, and fight against social injustice (Prov. 28:5; Jer. 22:3; Ezek. 18:21; Mic. 6:8; Zech. 7:9; Matt. 23:23). For example, Jesus taught that, on the Day of Judgment, God will ask what each person did for the poor and the needy: “I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt. 25:40). In James 1:27, believers are also told that “pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Likewise, in Micah 6:8, believers are told that God expects us to: “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” In Isaiah 1:17, believers are further told to “learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, [and] plead for the widow.” When Jesus asks you what you have done with your talents to help the poor, the oppressed and the disadvantaged, what will you say? Will He say “well done good and faithful servant”? (Matt. 25:23).
God’s destruction of the armies of the five kings. When Joshua acted as God’s avenger against evil, He encouraged Joshua by advising him that He had already defeated the Amorites: “8 The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands; not one of them shall stand before you.’ 9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly by marching all night from Gilgal. 10 And the Lord confounded them before Israel, and He slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and pursued them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth-horon, the Lord threw large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died; there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the sons of Israel killed with the sword.” (Josh. 10:8-11). He previously promised to destroy the Jews’ enemies when they were faithful and obedient to Him: “But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword.” (Lev. 26:7-8; Ex. 23:22; Nu 10:9, 35; Isa. 54:17; Gen. 22:17). “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways.” (Dt. 28:7). His judgment upon the five Amorite kings was similar to His seventh judgment of a plague of hail over Egypt: ‘“Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a very heavy hail, such as has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety. Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.’” (Ex. 9:18-19).
The foreshadow of the end times. The Jews understood that God would also use burning hail in the end times to destroy the unjust (First Fruits of Zion, Torah Club Vol. 2 Shadows of the Messiah – Va’era (2013) p. 276, citing Exodus Rabbah 12:2). Just as the Jews predicted, God will again use hail to judge the unrepentant nations during the end times: “The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.” (Rev. 8:7). Yet, rather than repenting, people will continue to curse God: “And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe.” (Rev. 16:21). Even before the end times, God can and will punish nations with natural disasters when they turn from Him (e.g., Dt. 28:38-39; Amos 4:9; 7:1; Joel 1:4; 2:25; Nahum 3:15-16). “Disaster on disaster is proclaimed, for the whole land is devastated;” (Jer. 4:20(a); Is. 64:10). Yet, He has also told the Church what it must do to heal the land. If “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chron. 7:14). Are you praying for the nation to repent of its sins?
God’s protection of the Jews from His punishment. During the seventh plague, God miraculously protected the Jews from the plague of hail: “Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail.” (Ex. 9:26). During the campaign to defeat the kingdoms of southern Israel, He again miraculously protected His people from the judgment of hail. This foreshadows the end times when He will spare His Church from the worst judgments. He will rapture His Church in the blink of any eye (Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Are living ready for His return any time?
God’s supernatural extension of the day’s sunlight. During the battle against the armies of the five Amorite kings, God supernaturally extended the day at Joshua’s request: “12 Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, ‘O sun, stand still at Gibeon, and O moon in the valley of Aijalon.’ 13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel.” (Josh. 10:12-14). God could have extended the light through one of two means. First, He could have stopped the rotation of the Earth to make it appear to a person on Earth that the sun had stopped. Or, He could have caused the light of the sun to refract off of a supernatural barrier to bring light to the dark side of the planet. Either way, His miracle was one of the greatest miracles in the Bible. While the parting of the Red Sea or the River Jordan would have been seen by those who stood there, the extension of the day would have been observed by half the planet. The message is that if God has this kind of power, there is no problem of yours that is too big to solve.
God made the sun and the Earth stand still to allow the Jews to prevail5
The heavens bear witness to Jesus’ light where no darkness can hide. The supernatural extension of the daylight symbolized the witness of creation to Jesus’ light. No darkness can escape His eternal light: “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” (Ps. 139:11-12). “There is no darkness or deep shadow where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.” (Job 34:22). ‘“Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?’ declares the LORD.” (Jer. 23:24). “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Heb. 4:13). “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, . .” (Dt. 30:19). Is there any darkness in your life that you are trying to hide?
The light of the Holy Spirit will never leave or forsake a believer. The light that stayed with the Jews also symbolized the light of the Holy Spirit. His light previously gave the Jews the ability to create candlelight while the Egyptians had no light during the ninth plague of darkness (Ex. 10:23). Once a believer is sealed with the Holy Spirit, His light cannot be removed: “Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of His servant, that walks in darkness and has no light?” (Is. 50:10(a)). “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” (Is. 9:2; 1 Pet. 2:9; Eph. 5:8; Ro. 13:12). “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt. 5:14). Is His light in you an example to others?
The imprisonment of the five kings at Makkedah. After God’s miracle of extending the day, the five Amorite kings tried to hide in a cave at Makkedah. Joshua made their cave their prison until the battle concluded: “15 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp to Gilgal. 16 Now these five kings had fled and hidden themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17 It was told Joshua, saying, ‘The five kings have been found hidden in the cave at Makkedah.’ 18 Joshua said, ‘Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and assign men by it to guard them, 19 but do not stay there yourselves; pursue your enemies and attack them in the rear. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the Lord your God has delivered them into your hand.’ 20 It came about when Joshua and the sons of Israel had finished slaying them with a very great slaughter, until they were destroyed, and the survivors who remained of them had entered the fortified cities, 21 that all the people returned to the camp to Joshua at Makkedah in peace. No one uttered a word against any of the sons of Israel.” (Josh. 10:15-21). Joshua could have killed the kings once they were trapped. But He instead waited to have them tried until the battle concluded. He foreshadowed the patient justice of Jesus who will one day try all sin.
The five Amorite kings tried to hide in a cave at Makkedah6
The foreshadow of the end times. Joshua’s imprisonment of the five kings foreshadows the efforts of the rich and powerful rulers of the Earth to hide in caves during God’s final judgments: “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;’” (Rev. 6:15-16). “Enter the rock and hide in the dust from the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty.” (Is. 2:10). “Men will go into caves of the rocks and into holes of the ground before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to make the earth tremble.” (Is. 2:19). “Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; thorn and thistle will grow on their altars; then they will say to the mountains, ‘cover us!’ And to the hills, ‘fall on us!’” (Hos. 10:8). Jesus later quoted this same prophesy to warn that the end times will bring torment and misery: “Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘fall on us,” and to the hills, ‘cover us.”’ (Lk. 23:30). It is possible that the rich and powerful rulers serving the antiChrist will hide in bunkers during the end times. But their submerged fortresses will not allow them to escape their misery and torment. Even they will plead for a quick death.
God’s judgment of the five kings. After the Jews defeated the five Amorite armies, Joshua executed God’s judgment upon the five Amorite kings: “22 Then Joshua said, ‘Open the mouth of the cave and bring these five kings out to me from the cave.’ 23 They did so, and brought these five kings out to him from the cave: the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. 24 When they brought these kings out to Joshua, Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, ‘Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ So they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua then said to them, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed! Be strong and courageous, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies with whom you fight.’ 26 So afterward Joshua struck them and put them to death, and he hanged them on five trees; and they hung on the trees until evening. 27 It came about at sunset that Joshua gave a command, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day.” (Josh. 10:22-27; Dt. 21:22-23). The death of the five kings symbolized God’s judgment of the wicked. For those who reject Jesus and serve Satan, they will also face judgment during the end times.
Jesus took the curse for all those who believe in Him. Moses warned that any person who hung upon a tree was subject to a curse: “If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.” (Dt. 21:22-23). The curse of the five kings symbolized the curse that Satan will receive in the end times. The curse that the five Amorite kings took was also the same curse that every person will receive unless they have faith in Christ: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, ‘cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13). No one can escape judgment through self-righteousness: “And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, for in Your sight no man living is righteous.” (Ps. 143:2). “[A]s it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one;” (Ro. 3:10, 20; 4:15). Without a means for atonement, a person is subject to all God’s curses: “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law.’” (Gal. 3:10). “[N]evertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” (Gal. 2:16). If you are grateful for what Christ did for you, how are you thanking Him? (Ro. 12:1-2).
(1) God’s judgment at Makkedah. After killing the King of Makkedah, Joshua brought God’s judgment upon the men of Makkedah for their idolatry: “28 Now Joshua captured Makkedah on that day, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword; he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Thus he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho.” (Josh. 10:28). Although not stated in these judgments, Joshua would not have killed the women and children under God’s Law. They would have become part of Israel (Dt. 20:14).
(2) God’s judgment at Libnah. After bringing judgment upon the people of Makkedah for their idolatry, Joshua brought judgment upon the people of Libnah: “29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. 30 The Lord gave it also with its king into the hands of Israel, and he struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor in it. Thus he did to its king just as he had done to the king of Jericho.” (Josh. 10:29-30).
(3) God’s judgment at Lachish. Joshua then brought God’s judgment upon the people of Lachish and their allies, the people of Gezer: “31 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish, and they camped by it and fought against it. 32 The Lord gave Lachish into the hands of Israel; and he captured it on the second day, and struck it and every person who was in it with the edge of the sword, according to all that he had done to Libnah. 33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, and Joshua defeated him and his people until he had left him no survivor.” (Josh. 10:31-33).
(4) God’s victory at Eglon. Following the judgment of Lachish, Joshua brought judgment upon the people of Eglon: “34 And Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon, and they camped by it and fought against it. 35 They captured it on that day and struck it with the edge of the sword; and he utterly destroyed that day every person who was in it, according to all that he had done to Lachish.” (Josh. 10:34-35).
(5) God’s judgment at Hebron. After bringing judgment to the people of Eglon, Joshua brought judgment to the people of Hebron: “36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and they fought against it. 37 They captured it and struck it and its king and all its cities and all the persons who were in it with the edge of the sword. He left no survivor, according to all that he had done to Eglon. And he utterly destroyed it and every person who was in it.” (Josh. 10:36-37).
(6) God’s judgment at Debir. The judgment of Hebron was followed by the judgment of Debir: “38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him returned to Debir, and they fought against it. 39 He captured it and its king and all its cities, and they struck them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed every person who was in it. He left no survivor. Just as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king, as he had also done to Libnah and its king.” (Josh. 10:38-39).
(7) God’s judgment over the southern kingdoms. Finally, Joshua brought God’s judgment upon the southern kingdoms: “40 Thus Joshua struck all the land, the hill country and the Negev and the lowland and the slopes and all their kings. He left no survivor, but he utterly destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded. 41 Joshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea even as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen even as far as Gibeon. 42 Joshua captured all these kings and their lands at one time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 So Joshua and all Israel with him returned to the camp at Gilgal.” (Josh. 10:40-43). The pattern of His various judgments against these nations should serve as both a warning and a wake up call.
God leads the Jews to defeat the southern Canaanite kingdoms (in orange)7
God will judge the prideful with death during the end times. The death of all these people should horrify any believer. Believers should never be numb to the plight of the unsaved. These deaths no doubt also grieved God because He created each and every one of them. But He gave them all 400 years to repent. He did not want any to perish (2 Pet. 3:9). Nevertheless, because He is just, He must also eventually judge sin. The prior plagues in Egypt foreshadowed a punishment during the end times. In a similar way, the seven judgments of Southern Israel also symbolized the judgment of the wicked during the end times. During the end times, God will bring death to the unrighteous in a battle at the valley of Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-21). He will also punish, with eternal death, those who refuse to submit to Him with eternal death after a trial at the Great White Hall Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). The defeat of the Canaanites during seven battles foreshadowed His universal judgment. No individual or nation is exempt from being judged for their sins. Faith in Jesus is the only means to be saved. If the destruction of the unsaved nations of the world causes you sorrow, are you motivated to tell them the good news about what they need to do to be saved? (Matt. 28:16-20). If not, will you support a missionary who is willing to warn others about the judgment that is coming?
Ruthlessly destroy the unholy desires in your life. This story also has symbolic meaning. The Amorite peoples symbolized the desires of the flesh. Like the Jews, you also must show no mercy towards the desires of your flesh. If something is causing you to stumble, you must cut it out of your life: “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt. 5:29-30; 18:8; Mk. 9:43). If your television, your computer, alcohol, or something else is causing you to sin, will you cut it out?