“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.” – Joshua 10:4
Scripture reading: Joshua 10:1-5
We don’t know how much military or strategic sense this attack made, or what those kings were hoping to achieve from a strategic point of view by attacking Gibeon. But the author of Joshua says they didn’t attack Gibeon for military reasons, or for strategic reasons. They did it for spiritual reasons.
Notice what Adoni-Zedek said: We have to attack Gibeon because they made peace with Joshua, and with the people of Israel. The name of Joshua was bound up with everything the LORD was doing, to judge the nations and to give their land to Israel as an inheritance. And in their minds, when Gibeon made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel, Gibeon became their enemy.
The Spirit is showing us again how the world instinctively reacts when God enters the world to bring salvation. The world reacts with hatred and violence to the church and to anyone or anything that seems to be connected in any way to the name of Jesus Christ. And whatever differences there are between the West, Islam and communism, they’re united in their hatred for Christ and in their warfare against Him and His people.
This is how the world reacts to anyone who identifies himself, or in their eyes seems to identify himself with Jesus Christ. It doesn’t always make very much sense, logically speaking. It’s actually irrational. But this is what it’s all about; we shouldn’t be surprised and we should remember the history of Joshua and the history of Jesus.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to recognize that the world’s hatred for the church is rooted in its instinctive response to Jesus and to strengthen our faith by the gospel that God has triumphed over our enemies in Him.
Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.