Joshua 11 (3)
Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword; for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them. There was none left breathing. Then he burned Hazor with fire. Joshua 11.10, 11
1. The punishment against Hazor was more severe. Why?
2. The destruction of Hazor should remind us of the destruction that will come upon all who do not know Christ in the day of God’s wrath. Should this affect us in any way?
Think about it.
The writer dwells a bit more on the destruction of Hazor, perhaps because this city and its king incited the other pagan nations to unite against Israel (vv. 1-3). Jabin, king of Hazor, and the people of that city led the other Canaanite peoples of the north in turning against God. We know from Jesus that God does not look kindly on those who cause others to stumble (cf. Mk. 9.42).
Hazor is burned, like Jericho and Ai, but this was not the common practice of Israel. Cities and their fields and dwellings were kept intact as Israel swept forward in its campaigns, because God intended to turn the holdings of the pagans to the benefit of His people.
Put another way, there was much that was good in Canaanite culture, although not in their religion and, most likely, not in their moral lives, either. The good of the Canaanites – including harvests, homes, implements of various sorts, and other cultural items – were the result of God’s common grace (Matt. 5.43-45) and were intended to bear witness to Him (Acts 14.17).
But the Canaanites hardened their hearts against God and His goodness, as is seen by their readily entering into league to resist Him and His people. And since they chose not to give God thanks or to worship Him – though they knewHim truly – it was only a matter of time before death and destruction caught up to them (Rom. 1.18-32).
The destruction of Hazor points to the end of all who reject God, scorn His grace, and refuse to worship and serve Him.
Meditate and discuss.
1. In sharing the Gospel with someone, is it important to mention the coming judgment? Explain.
2. What does it mean to put a stumbling block in someone’s path? What are some ways we might do this? How can we avoid causing others to stumble?
3. Can you see the goodness of God in any of the culture of our unbelieving age? Give some examples. How can we use such evidences of God’s goodness to point others to Him?
“Praise is bestowed on Joshua as well for his abstinence as for his prompt obedience. Nor would he have submitted so willingly to the loss of so many horses and chariots, had not the fear of God overawed him. For such is our ingenuity in devising pretexts, it would have been plausible to allege, that though he could not fit them for military use, still their value was by no means to be despised. But he thought that he had no right to take anything into consideration but the pleasure of God.” John Calvin, Commentary on Joshua (1509-1564 AD)
Let me not be a stumbling-block to others, Lord, but help me instead to…
Pray Psalm 9.1-11.
What “enemies” will you face today? Seek the Lord’s help in recognizing and resisting temptation, and determine to “declare His deeds” as often as you can.
Psalm 9.1-13 (Diademata: Crown Him with Many Crowns)
I will give thanks, O Lord, with all my heart to You!
I’ll tell the wonders of Your Word, so many and so true!
With joy to You I cry; Your glory I will raise;
Your matchless Name, O Lord on High, will I forever praise!
Backwards my foes shall fall before Your holy face.
You rescue all who on You call by Your all-glorious grace.
The nations lie in ruins; the wicked are no more;
Our enemies have come to doom in wrath and judgment sore.
Lord, You forever reign in judgment on Your throne.
The world in bitter wrath and pain Your righteousness will own.
All those who know Your Name, though in this life oppressed,
You shelter from the storms of shame and keep them ever blessed.
Praise then the Lord of Zion; declare His deeds abroad!
Praise Judah’s mighty saving Lion, the ever-blessèd God!
Whose blood has washed us clean, Who hears our plaintive cries,
Who good to us has ever been and lifts us to the skies!
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).