Verses 1-15: The nations in the land take notice and precaution as the reputation of God’s people as conquered spreads. Five kings of five kingdoms, led by Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem, descend upon Gibeon to attack it because it made peace with Joshua. As you might expect, Gibeon seeks protection from Israel in accordance with the agreement they made in Chapter 9. Joshua comes from Gilgal without hesitation and defeats the armies, with help in the form of hail from the Lord. Verses 8 and 9 show us how God told Joshua not to be afraid and how Joshua was confident in his conquest of these foes. Joshua is so inspired to complete their defeat that he speaks to the Lord so that the sun would stay in the sky until all the enemies would be defeated. Verse 14 is almost chilling in its relation to God’s power and desire for mankind: “And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the LORD heeded the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.”
Joshua had a special relationship with God and God approved of Joshua’s actions. Still, it is daunting to consider making a statement to God as Joshua did at the end of verse 12. Joshua must have been confident and sure that this statement was in parallel with God’s will for the Israelites’ conquest.
Is my relationship to God such that my requests to Him align to His Word and His will?
Verses 16-27: The kings fled to a cave and Joshua heard of this, so he had men go and shut off the mouth of the cave with large stones. Then, rather than waiting, these men were to chase the remainder of the armies that had attacked Gibeon and slaughter them. After this slaughter and the kings’ captivity on the cave, note the latter part of verse 21: “No one moved his tongue against any of the children of Israel.”
Then Joshua fortified the strength of his men’s faith by having them participate in the kings’ punishment. No fear was to be had against these, or any of the enemies they fight, because the Lord was with them. Joshua then killed them and much like the king of Ai, he had their bodies hanged from trees until sunset. After that, their bodies were put back into and sealed within the cave.
Verses 28-43: In these verses, we see Joshua going to each one of the five kingdoms and utterly destroying “all that breathed.” Each of the kingdoms of the kings mentioned above was conquered, along with Gezer, whose king had come to the aid of one of them. Aside from the dramatic details of the sun stopping and the ordeal with the kings fleeing to a cave, verse 42 serves as a summary for the entire chapter: “All these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.”
Without Joshua’s faith and bold action, this success in conquest and display of God’s power might not have happened. Indeed, Joshua’s every action follows God and builds up faith in those following Joshua.
When I lead, do I lead with as much confidence as Joshua? When I trust in God, do I do so with confidence that He will see me through?