As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, 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 warriors. (Joshua 10:1-2 ESV)
Joshua and the Israelites learned a difficult lesson with the people of Gibeon. They paid attention to the lies of the people in front of them instead of turning to God for wisdom. This put them in a lose-lose situation where they needed to choose between the lesser of two evils. This decision will cause them problems for many years to come. But the battles were not over. There would be many more to fight.
So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, "Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel." Then 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 their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, "Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us." (Joshua 10:3-6 ESV)
Joshua and the Israelites were going to find themselves at war again, sooner rather than later. Not only that, they had just messed-up big time. So, they had a decision to make. Were they going to quit, pack up, and go back to the wilderness? Or were they going to move ahead and fight the next battle? The right answer, of course, is simple: what does the LORD want them to do?
So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you." (Joshua 10:7-8 ESV)
We face battles every day. We fight for our minds, our hearts, our marriages, our families, our friends, our neighbors, and even our enemies. We fight for them and against the enemy. When we do, we are fighting with (not against or for) God. These battles don’t go away just because we lose a battle or blow it in some way. They still seek us out. This is when we, like Joshua, need to be strong and courageous. We need to draw near to God as God draws near to us. We need to move forward on God’s command. Then, and only then, will we win.
And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel. Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal. (Joshua 10:42-43 ESV)
How about you? Do you move with God, step by step?