Fearing Israel, a handful of kings gathered together and fought against Gibeon, that city of warriors who had deceptively made a treaty with Israel. Gibeon called for help and Israel kept their word and honored the treat. They came to the rescue of Gibeon.
In the midst of this foray, God began to fight for them with some extraordinary miracles. A hailstone broke out from the Lord and more died from the hail than from the hand of the Israelites (Joshua 10:11).
Then Joshua prayed, and the sun stood still. This allowed for more daylight and fighting time to defeat the kings. And by the end of the extended day, Joshua defeated his enemies.
Now the enemy kings had all hid in a cave. Joshua had them sealed in until they could defeat the stragglers. Then he came back, put his feet on the kings neck, and executed them.
From that point on Joshua and the Israelites became steam rollers. One city after the next they conquered. Makkedah, Libnah, Lachich, Eglon, Hebron and Debir all crumbled before the Israelites army.
We don’t read many details about these battles except for little snippets.
- Libnah was handed over to the Israelites by “the Lord” (Jos 10:30)
- Lachish was captured “on the second day” (Jos 10:32).
- Eglon was lost via a “seige” (Jos 10:34) whether that was actually seige ramps or just a seige in general we don’t know.
- Hebron was attacked and “all its villages” (Jos 10:36)
It’s actually important that we don’t have all the stories of the events of what happened in these other conquests. Because it means that the Israelites were perhaps finally getting it.
We don’t have to read about Achan’s envy and how they lost a battle because he brought sin into the camp. We’re not reading about them making bad treaties because they neglected to seek the Lord. Instead we read how one city after the next crumbled before the Israelites. It’s as if they finally understood that the Lord was helping them but they had to walk in full obedience.
Sometimes we have to suffer as well before we get and understand that sin really is bad. It really does harm us and it really affects our lives. I think we find that out the hard way.
I think the older you get, the more you see this. You can look across those you know and those who have walked in the ways of righteous are almost always happier and more blessed than those who don’t. Even those who do not follow Christ but follow his ways, whether they realize it or not, are also typically better off.
The Lord really does have good things for us. His ways are not to oppress, but actually to liberate.