And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp to Gilgal.…
The kings of the Canaanites fled and hid themselves, but the Divine vengeance followed them; and after the rout of their hosts was completed they themselves were taken and put to death. Before this, however, they were humbled in the sight of Israel; and the captains were bidden by Joshua to put their feet on the necks of their foes. Thus their thorough subjection was pointed out; and the people of God were distinguished as triumphing over all opposition, even the most formidable.
I. No OPPOSITION IS SO GREAT, NO ENEMIES SO MIGHTY, BUT THE FOLLOWERS OF THE LORD JESUS CAN OVERCOME THEM. In outward and bodily things, and at the hands of men, the people of God are ofttimes sorely tried. Over and over again they have been slain all the day, and accounted as sheep for the slaughter. The deep and mysterious providence of an all-wise God has suffered and ordered this. But inwardly, and as regards spiritual experience, is it not true that "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us"? As believers in Jesus we are exposed to constant opposition of a spiritual kind. As soon as ever the Christian life really begins, so soon does conflict commence. But is it not a good thing to change slavery for freedom; and to feel the opposition and rage of Satan rather than to be bound in his destructive chains? Then again, the rebel flesh puts forth its power, resisting the will of God, and proving that the carnal mind is enmity against God. But have we not found deliverance? We have heard the precious assurance, "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper"; we have taken up the Christian's war-cry, "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me"; we have doubtless sung the believer's song of triumph, "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Do I now speak to any soul in strong conflicts, and exposed to some sore temptation? Oh! poor tried and harassed one, look up, look up. Do not let the enemy engage all your attention: think of the mighty Friend who is standing by. Do not let the temptation quite swallow up your spirit; remember (1 Corinthians 10:13).
II. IT IS THE LORD JESUS WHO ACCOMPLISHES THIS GLORIOUS WORK FOR AND IN BEHALF OF HIS BELIEVING ONES. Mark the circumstances in detail which are narrated in the text, and see how conspicuous Joshua was throughout the whole transaction (vers. 22-26). Joshua called for all the men, summoned the host, then called out the captains, and bade them put their feet on the necks of the kings; then he encouraged his captains; then he executed the kings. The crowning speech, and crowning act, on that eventful day were his. Just so, it is only our heavenly Joshua who can make us conquerors, who can effect deliverance for us, who can enable us to set our feet upon the necks of those hosts, those temptations, those foes of whatsoever sort, which surround and assault us, and which, without His aid, are sure to be too many and too mighty for us to cope with and subdue.
1. In the help which we have received, or may now be enjoying, let us see the pledge of future victory.
2. It may be that some are in sore conflict and trial at this very time. Forget not who is able to save, even to the uttermost. The same Jesus who has strengthened thousands of conflicting souls and made them victorious is ready to help you.
(C. D. Marston, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.