Josh 10:42                           Whom Do We Fight?                                 1/28/2012     

·        Great Victory for Joshua and Israel (Josh 10:28-41)

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Matter of Slaughter (2Pet 2:21, Deut 20:16-18, Josh 10:30)

 

 

 

 

·        Who Will Fight For Us? (Josh 10:42, 2Chron 32:7-8, Gen 3:15, Rom 8:31-34)

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Matter of Sin (Eph 4:27, 6:11-12, 1Pe 5:8-9, Jam 4:7, Josh 10:14,42)

 

 

 

 

·        Who Will Fight Against Us? (Rev 12:3-4, 9-11, Dan 7:21)

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Matter of Permission (Prov 21:1, Matt 26:52-56, Acts 4:24-28, Psalm 115:3)

 

 

 

 

·        A Sovereign God Is on Our Side (Isa 43:1-7, Rom 9:11)

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Joshua, Josh 10:28 (2X). We are continuing the story in Joshua 10. Two weeks ago we have seen that Joshua and the children of Israel came to the aid of the Gibeonites who had declared that they wanted to be allied with Israel. And even though they accomplished their goal with trickery, we need to remember that Jacob purchased the cherished birthright from Esau also with trickery, and Jacob was commended by God for this fervent desire to have the Messiah born from his loins, because he now owned the right of the firstborn. And now, in this chapter, five kings of the Amorites were ganging up on the Gibeonites. We continue this story:

·        Great Victory for Joshua and Israel (Josh 10:28-41)

Josh 10:28-41, “28  And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he did unto the king of Jericho. 29  Then Joshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, unto Libnah, and fought against Libnah: 30  And the LORD delivered it also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho. 31  And Joshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him, unto Lachish, and encamped against it, and fought against it: 32  And the LORD delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein, according to all that he had done to Libnah. 33  Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish; and Joshua smote him and his people, until he had left him none remaining. 34  And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him; and they encamped against it, and fought against it: 35  And they took it on that day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein he utterly destroyed that day, according to all that he had done to Lachish. 36  And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron; and they fought against it: 37  And they took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof, and all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining, according to all that he had done to Eglon; but destroyed it utterly, and all the souls that were therein. 38  And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir; and fought against it: 39  And he took it, and the king thereof, and all the cities thereof; and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and utterly destroyed all the souls that were therein; he left none remaining: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to the king thereof; as he had done also to Libnah, and to her king. 40  So Joshua smote all the country of the hills, and of the south, and of the vale, and of the springs, and all their kings: he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. 41  And Joshua smote them from Kadeshbarnea even unto Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, even unto Gibeon.”

Now we can talk a long time about the battles that Joshua won in this war against the Canaanites, how he conquered the land for the Lord, who would give it to the children of Israel for an inheritance, and so on, and so on. Such a historical sermon would be a very boring exercise. This could not have been God’s intent for this chapter in Joshua. God’s intent for writing the Bible was that men will hear the Gospel unto salvation in Jesus Christ, and that their faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. God wants us to hear the Gospel, and God has written this story in such a way that we can hear the Gospel. First, let us address the objections that most people have against this story.

#1.       The Matter of Slaughter (2Pet 2:21, Deut 20:16-18, Josh 10:30)

Please put a sticker here in Josh 10, and turn to the Prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 20:16 (2X). We need to keep in mind that these words were dictated by God to holy men of old (2Pet 2:21) who wrote it down exactly the way God dictated it to them. If we object to the words in the Bible we are opposing the spoken word of God, and that will be a dangerous exercise. Let us read what God commanded about the slaughter of the Canaanites. Instead of arguing about the cruelty of God, let us try to understand what God’s message is through these actions. We read in Deut 20:16-18,

Deut 20:16-18, “But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee: 18  That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the LORD your God.”

And so, we can see that this command to kill all the Canaanites was a God-ordained slaughter, for the purpose of wiping out all the idolatry of the Canaanites, for idolatry is the sin that God hates most. In addition, the sin of the Amorites is now full, and the time has come for their judgment of the last day. Yes, this was God’s command to wipe out the idolatry of the Canaanites. Please turn back to the Prophecy of Joshua, chapter 10. Joshua obeyed this command from God, as we see in Josh 10:30,

Josh 10:30, “And the LORD delivered Libnah also, and the king thereof, into the hand of Israel; and he smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls that were therein; he let none remain in it; but did unto the king thereof as he did unto the king of Jericho.” Those kings were hung on a tree, to tell all the world that they were under the curse of God. But it was not God’s intent to amuse us with the stories of what happened to people a long long time ago in a land far far away. God wants us to understand that our spiritual battles are portrayed here in Joshua’s battles with the Canaanites. Do we remember the title of this sermon? The title is Whom Do We Fight? (2X). Israel represents the Israel of God, which consists of all the remnant saved by grace out of all the nations of the world, including the remnant out of the nation of Israel. God has commanded us to eradicate all the idols out of our life, and God also commanded us to do away with the friends and acquaintances that we have who have led us to idolatry in the past. We cannot cut off the family that we are born with, but we can certainly cut off the evil friends that we have had. Now the question is: Whom do we fight after we have been Born Again? Now we are children of the kingdom of Christ and we should no longer have any friendly association with the children of darkness. Remember what God says in 2Cor 6:14-18,

2Cor 6:14-18, “14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

And thus, what in the Old Testament is portrayed as a slaughter of the Canaanites must be understood in the New Testament as cutting off relationships with people who can lead us astray. Let us apply this in the matter of teaching our children. If we detect that the teachers where we send our children to school are teaching them lies which teach them to abandon their faith in God and in the Bible, we should take them out of that school. Would you send your children to the schools of the Canaanites which teach them idolatry? Of course we would not do that. Drop down to Josh 10:42,

Josh 10:42, “And all these kings and their land did Joshua take at one time, because the LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.” Did you see that again? “The LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.”

·        Who Will Fight For Us? (Josh 10:42, 2Chron 32:7-8, Gen 3:15, Rom 8:31-34)

Joshua was successful in his battles because “The LORD God of Israel fought for Israel.” Please turn to the Prophecy of Second Chronicles, 2Chr 32:7 (2X). We have here the account of the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrian army of Sennacherib. Hezekiah was king in Jerusalem, but Hezekiah trusted that the Lord his God would defend Jerusalem against the king of Assyria. 2Chr 32:7-8,

2Chr 32:7  Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:

2Chr 32:8  With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

The Lord did not disappoint Hezekiah, for the Angel of the Lord came by night and killed 185,000 persons of the Assyrians, including all the leaders and the captains of his army. So Sennacherib returned with shame of face to his own land. What do we learn from this wonderful rescue of the city of Jerusalem? Jerusalem was a picture of the church. The king of Assyria is a picture of Satan who is assaulting the church. But this was long before the end time was in view. It was too early for Rev 13:7. It was too early to blame the church for apostacy, for the church was still faithful. Hezekiah was a faithful servant of the Lord. And so, the Lord defended the church. Let us apply this to our situation today. Who will fight for us? If we are faithful children of God the Lord Jesus Christ shall fight for us. Satan is simply too strong for us. We can see that already in the first announcement of the Gospel of salvation in Gen 3:15. God is speaking to Satan, and He says in Gen 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee (Satan) and the woman (the church), and between thy seed (Satan’s seed) and her Seed (which is Christ); He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Even though Satan is at war with the woman, it is not the woman who will do battle with Satan, but Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ shall bruise thy head Satan, and thou shalt only be able to bite His heel. This is a principle which we find all throughout the Bible. “The Lord shall fight for you.” (Ex 14:14). “The Lord your God is He that goeth with you to fight for you.” (Deut 20:4). “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Ps 118:6). “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Heb 13:6). The first step in which Christ shall fight for us is in His battle on the cross. But thereafter He continues to protect us. Because He lives, He intercedes for us. Therefore, we read in Rom 8:31-34, “31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

And so, the dominant principle of the Gospel is that the Father elected us unto salvation so that we will become the Bride of Christ, and then the providence of God arranges all the events in the history of this world so that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. It means that all things work together so that even our sins and the sins of all those around us are an integral part of all the things that work together to bring salvation and sanctification to the elect. Can we see that God is doing 100% of the work, and we do nothing of that work? We rest in Christ. We rest in God’s completed work that will be given to us as a free gift. And so, since we now have arrived at the matter of sin, let us discuss this also:

#2.       The Matter of Sin (Eph 4:27, 6:11-12, 1Pe 5:8-9, Jam 4:7, Josh 10:14,42)

The question is often brought up: Whom do we resist? Do we resist the devil? Let me bring up a number of scriptures which people use to prove that we must resist the devil. We must do it.

Eph 4:27  Neither give place to the devil. Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

What do these verses seem to say? They seem to say that Christ is doing His job of fighting for us, but we must do our part so that the battle definitely will be won. Now we are embracing Arminian theology: God must do His part, but if we do not do our part the battle will be lost to Satan. Can you see that this is totally the wrong interpretation of these verses? God cannot be a liar. What is the right interpretation? God says in Josh 10:14 and 42 that Christ fights for us. Does Christ fight an unsuccessful battle? The correct interpretation is that Christ indeed fights for us, but He also is interceding for us all the time, so that we will be prompted by the Holy Spirit to abandon our sin, or that we will be prompted by the Holy Spirit to be sober and vigilant because the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour, or that we will be prompted by the Holy Spirit to read our Bible and to resist the temptation to sin, and so on and so on. It is Christ who is doing all the work, and since we have come under His control He also controls our thought processes, and He controls our growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the right interpretation where God receives all the honor and the glory, and that is how it should be.

Now this is also the mechanism of getting hold of the sin in our life. After we have become Born Again we have come to realize that the law is holy, and just, and good, and we get ready to begin our fight against sin. But then we realize that the good I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do. In other words, sin still dwells within me, and even a lifetime of struggle against sin is not going to eliminate sin out of my life. What is going on?

·        Who Will Fight Against Us? (Rev 12:3-4, 9-11, Dan 7:21)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 12:3 (2X). God shows us here “a sign in heaven.” Your Bible reads “a wonder in heaven,” but the Greek word is actually “a sign.” God shows us Satan as a sign. When God speaks of dragons, He is not talking about silly fire breathing lizards. Those are mythological animals that would fit in a story about Saint Patrick, but the devil is of a totally different category altogether. The devil is far more dangerous than a fire breathing lizard.

Just imagine you are at night lying on the grass and you are looking up in the sky admiring the stars, and you see a dragon which blocks out the light of one third of the stars. We read in Rev 12:3-4

Rev 12:3-4, “3  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4  And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.”

  God shows us the metaphor of Satan as a dragon who is as large as one third of the stars in the

sky. That is very large. It is only a sign; but it is symbolizing the power of the devil. Any human being who wants to fight the devil on his own power would be declared insane. This also symbolizes the mental power of the devil as compared to that of us human beings. When the woman in the Garden of Eden encountered the talking serpent, and she answered the serpent, she had already lost the debate. But now look at what happened to the devil in Rev 12:9-11. There we read in Rev 12:9-11,

Re 12:9-11  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

You see, the devil is called “The Accuser of the Brethren.” Christ is calling us “His Brethren.” The Accuser of the Brethren is demanding that we must be thrown in hell. However, he is defeated in heaven by the blood of the Lamb, meaning our sins are washed away by Christ on the cross, and he is defeated on earth in the preaching of the Gospel by the saints, which preaching is accompanied by the action of God the Holy Spirit. The power of salvation by Christ on the cross has taken all the arguments of the devil out of his sails, and the power of Christ given to the saints in preaching the Gospel has made the devil blind in hatred in doing what would be best in his favor. But look where the devil is thrown down to: He is thrown down to the earth. He is now close to us. How terrible! And so, he persecuted the church, which actually served to make the church stronger. Please turn to the Prophecy of Daniel, Dan 7:21 (2X). And now we have to consider that the devil and all his demons are making an all-out effort to plunge us into sin, so that we would lose our salvation, if that were possible. And since we are approaching the last day the devil has finally wised up. He is no longer attacking the church, but He has sent his right hand man, Antichrist, to join the church. Dan 7:21,

Dan 7:21, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;” The little horn represents Antichrist. If Christ is the Big Horn then Antichrist is represented by the little horn who makes war with the church and prevails against the church. He causes the church to go apostate. He cannot prevail against those who are truly saved, for the elect cannot be deceived, but he will prevail against the church. This is a message which is poorly understood, for the churches do not want to preach this warning. But the same warning is voiced in Dan 7:25, and in Dan 8:11, and in Dan 8:24, and in 2Thes 2:3-12, and in Rev 13:7-8, and in Rev 17:8, and in Rev 20:8, and in many other passages throughout the Bible. It is a great sin that the churches are withholding this essential information from the Bible. Is God the Author of this sin? No! The sin is committed by the preachers in the churches who are falling away. They are hirelings who see the wolf coming, but then they flee.

We know that if Antichrist is joining the church it is great sin. Does God permit Satan to commit this sin? Does God permit mankind to commit sin? For example, did God permit Adam and Eve to commit the sin of eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so that Christ may come?

#3.       The Matter of Permission (Prov 21:1, Matt 26:52-56, Acts 4:24-28, Psalm 115:3)

First of all we should have this thought solidly in our mind: There is only One God, and He is the source of all good, and God cannot be the Author of sin, for sin is of the devil. We also must have in mind the plan of God before He began to create the heavens and the earth. This is called the counsel of God. The counsel of God, or the decree of God, includes literally all things. Nothing ever escapes the determination of that counsel of God. Even the hairs of our head are all numbered. This means that the counsel of God also includes the rational and moral deeds of men and of angels. God also controls all these acts. All the thoughts and intents and the desires of the heart of man are included in and determined by the counsel of God. God says in Prov 21:1, "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will". But since God cannot be the author of sin, do we then in regard to the sinful deeds of men, speak only of God's permission. Let us talk a few minutes about God’s permission, and how that applies to our life.

Does God permit another force that is not His', to do something that displeases God? Does the Almighty permit what He could just as well have prevented? From an ethical viewpoint this is just the same as if God would have committed it himself. But in this way we lose God and His sovereignty, because the word "Permission" presupposes the idea that there is a power outside of God that can produce and do something apart from God, but which is permitted by God to act and operate. This is dualism, and this cannot enter our mind, because it eliminates the complete and absolute sovereignty of God. Therefore we must maintain that also sin and all the wicked deeds of men and of angels have a place in the counsel of God, in the counsel of His will. And this is indeed taught by the Word of God.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel of Matthew, Matt 26:52 (2X). The Lord Jesus was here praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then came Judas Iscariot together with a large number of temple servants to bind Jesus and to bring Him before the Sanhedrin. Peter tried to defend Jesus, but he was a poor swordsman. The servant of the high priest ducked and Peter cut off his ear.

Matt 26:52-56, “52  Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55  In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.”

Look now at these words of Jesus, “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Does this not mean that all these actions of Judas, and of the temple servants, and of Satan who indwelt Judas, were all in the counsel of God from before the foundation of the world? This was their sin, was it not? Does this not mean that the Lord Jesus had to go to the cross because His atonement for our sins was determined from before the foundation of the world? Did God give Satan permission to go ahead with this activity? No! Satan and Judas and the Sanhedrin committed this sin of their own accord. God only timed the stage so that this sin would not be committed at an earlier or at a later time than this, so that Christ would be crucified at the same time that the Passover lambs for the Passover celebration were sacrificed. Therefore we should not speak of God’s permission, but we must maintain that also sin and all the wicked deeds of men and of angels have a definite place in the counsel of God, in the counsel of His will. Can we confirm this with the Word of God?

Please turn to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 4:24 (2X). It is certainly according to the determinate counsel of God that Christ is nailed to the cross and that Pilate and Herod, with the Gentiles and Israel are gathered together against God’s holy child Jesus. In Acts chapter 4 Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, who threatened them if they continued to preach in the Name of Jesus. Then Peter and John went to the church and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them, and they honored the counsel of God in bringing Christ to the cross. We read in Acts 4:24-

Acts 4:24-28, “24  And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25  Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26  The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27  For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, 28  For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

These are words from God which were prayed back to God. This was written so that we will know that the people crucified Christ, "For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done". God's counsel determined that this had to be done. Instead of speaking about God’s permission, it is therefore much better to say that the Lord also in His counsel hates sin, and determined that that which He hates should come to pass in order to reveal His hatred and to serve the cause of God's covenant. Besides, the counsel of God is immutable, which means “It cannot be changed.” God knows all things and nothing can resist His will. Therefore, the counsel of God is also absolutely effective: "He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Psalm 115:3). Nothing and no one can ever hinder God's purpose. If someone asks you if God permitted these sins to be committed, tell that person that this is the wrong question. God is not the Author of these sins, but God’s counsel determined that these sins must come to pass through the sinfulness of man and through the sinfulness of the fallen angels, for all the Scriptures demand it. The Canaanites opposed Joshua; they went to fight Joshua; that was their sin. But it was in the counsel of God to give Israel the land of Canaan. This was promised to Abraham hundreds of years earlier, and it was written in the law of Moses, and thus their destruction at the hand of Joshua shows us that the Canaanites sinned independently, and their sin was an integral part of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. God was not the Author of their sin. Go did not nudge them to fight Joshua.

Look at all this in another way: The ship of God’s providence takes off from the beginning of God’s creation in Gen 1:1 and goes in a straight line to the end of the world in Rev 22:21.  Nothing hinders the ship of God’s providence and no winds are contrary to it, for God is the Author of all winds. There is only One God, and He controls everything. Even Satan cannot act independently, for Satan is also under the power of God. If Satan would be an independent power we would have two gods. Therefore man is also not a free moral agent, like so many churches teach, for man is not an independent god. Man cannot resist God, and man cannot resist the plan of God and the power of God. And since we are now speaking of the sovereignty of God over mankind and over the fallen angels and over all things, let us also see the Scriptures that speak of the sovereignty of God.

·        A Sovereign God Is on Our Side (Isa 43:1-7, Rom 9:11)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 43:1 (2X). We are here in a section of Isaiah where we clearly see the love of God for those people who are His elect, and God’s hatred of those people who are not His elect. Remember, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated”, and God said this of all His elect who are represented by Jacob, and of all the non-elect who are represented by Esau, and God said this of them before the foundation of the world, and God said this in Rom 9:11 in order that the purpose of God according to election might be made clear. Isa 43:1-7,

Isa 43:1-7, “1  But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. 3  For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4  Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. 5  Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; 6  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; 7  Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”

Look at the love of God for Jacob, or Israel, when God brings events in their life for the purpose of their sanctification: the waters, the rivers, the fire, the flame, are not meant to hurt them, but all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. But now consider carefully verse 3. “I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” God tells us here that to preserve His elect people it was necessary that God gave up the people of Egypt, and of Ethiopia, and of Seba. And today we see in Josh 10 and in the following chapters that God gave up the Canaanites, just to give His beloved people a land of their own which they would inherit as a token of the Kingdom of God. And why would God go to that extreme to sacrifice one group of people for the benefit of another group of people? God explains it in verse 4, and there we read,

Isa 43:4, “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”

Can we imagine that God has such a love for us, here in the New Testament time? But that is true and only in the end of time will we know who had to suffer on our behalf, so that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. What God has done for Old Testament Israel He will do again for New Testament Israel. This love of God for Old Testament Israel does not apply to the entire nation of Israel, but only to the elect within that nation. God does not love those in the nation of Israel who died in unbelief, and clearly there were many in that nation who died unsaved. But for the benefit of the remnant saved by grace God poured all His blessings on them after they left Egypt. And today God’s love extends only to those who are His elect, who love God because God saved them, and who may be in the church, but not necessarily restricted to those who are in the local church. And look now at verses 5 and 6 where God clearly indicates that there will be many more added to the eternal church because there will be many more evangelized and converted to the true Gospel. When people come under the hearing of the Gospel, and it is accompanied by God the Holy Spirit, God uses the principle that “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” God saves only some of those who are under the hearing of the true Gospel. Those who are under the hearing of a maintenance ministry or under the hearing of a false gospel will not hear the true Gospel, and Christ passes them by. They never hear of the love of God for elect sinners, and they never connect themselves to the cursed Gibeonites who found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Pray to God that we may see ourselves in the place of the Gibeonites, and pray to God that we may see how the Lord fights for us like He fought for the Gibeonites. Pray to God that we may see the grace and mercy of God on us, and how He has protected us from great spiritual harm. Pray to God that we may recognize the mighty hand of God on our enemies and the loving hand of God in our life, for our justification and our sanctification. When we are aware that God loves us it brings us exceeding great joy.           AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.