The sovereign power and will of God is on full display in Joshua 10.
As we continue our study in Joshua and the Conquest Era of the biblical narrative, we see in this week’s chapters the power of God to fulfill His plans with great victory for Israel over their enemies.
As we look deeper today at chapter 10, let me give us a little context. Gibeon was an important city in the days of Joshua. Gibeon’s rulers had seen the destruction of Ai and Jericho and knew that they were no match for Yahweh (Joshua 9:22–27). Yet since the other kings of Canaan beyond the Jordan had formed an alliance against the Israelites (Joshua 10:1), they feared the loss of Gibeon’s might and took steps to regain it (Joshua 10:1–4). So, the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon went up against Gibeon to regain the city for the Canaanite inhabitants (Joshua 10:5).
What followed was a great battle between the forces of Joshua and the Canaanites, a battle in which the Lord intervened on behalf of Israel (Joshua 10:6–15). God’s mighty hand of sovereign rule is seen in His wondrous miracle of causing the sun to stand still so that the army of the Lord could claim victory over their enemies. May we be in awe of the wondrous work of God to accomplish His will and to display His omnipotent power in the process. Having defeated their enemies, Joshua and the Israelites then put their feet on the necks of the defeated kings as a symbol of their utter defeat before putting them to death (Joshua 10:16–28).
The events of this chapter bring to mind Psalm 2 and its description of the kings of the earth warring against the anointed Davidic ruler. David goes on to proclaim the foolishness for anyone to think he could successfully fight the Almighty. The Lord laughs at the arrogance of mankind.
Stop and read Psalm 2.
1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
This psalm is fulfilled ultimately in the son of David who is also the only begotten Son of God. We too stand in the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ and His ultimate reign over all things especially sin and death on our behalf. Praise God for His providence and might over all things.
Like Joshua, Jesus will put His feet on the necks of His enemies who will all submit to Him whether they want to or not. Some will honor the Son willingly and find refuge in Him, others will be forced into submission with His rod of iron but all people will bow to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Philippians 2:9-10 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
When we call people to repent and believe in Christ, we are not offering them a choice that can be made with impunity. God commands all people everywhere to bow to His Son, and those who will not bow today will most certainly bow in the age to come. Let us strive to remind people of the dreadful consequences that await all those who will not submit to Jesus and let us endeavor each day to “kiss the Son, lest He become angry”.
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.