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Killing the Kings

Words of Faith Final

Killing the Kings

Words of Faith 9-18-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 10

    [16] Now the five kings had fled and hidden in the cave at Makkedah. [17] When Joshua was told that the five kings had been found hiding in the cave at Makkedah, [18] he said, "Roll large rocks up to the mouth of the cave, and post some men there to guard it. [19] But don't stop! Pursue your enemies, attack them from the rear and don't let them reach their cities, for the Lord your God has given them into your hand."

    [20] So Joshua and the Israelites destroyed them completely--almost to a man--but the few who were left reached their fortified cities. [21] The whole army then returned safely to Joshua in the camp at Makkedah, and no one uttered a word against the Israelites.

    [22] Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave and bring those five kings out to me." [23] So they brought the five kings out of the cave--the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon. [24] When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, "Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings." So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.

    [25] Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight." [26] Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening.

    [27] At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day.


       It was a grim setting.  The sun had stopped, and Joshua took advantage of the miraculous extended day to capture Canaan's five strong kings.  Joshua was determined to prevent them from retreating back to their walled cities. 

       When word came that the five kings had hidden in a cave, Joshua vigorously pursued the Amorite soldiers, killing all but a few who escaped to their fortified cities. He then returned to the guarded cave, brought out the captured kings, and executed them. Following a custom of conquerors often pictured on Egyptian and Assyrian monuments, Joshua instructed his commanders to put their feet on the kings' necks. This was a symbol of the complete subjugation of the defeated enemy.


      Using words identical to those God had given him, Joshua urged his soldiers not to be afraid or discouraged, but to be strong and courageous. The victory over the Amorite kings was a sample of Israel's future victories in Canaan. This is what the Lord does to all the enemies you are going to fight.

       The bodies of the kings were exposed by hanging till sundown. Then they were thrown into the cave, which was blocked by great rocks, as had been done earlier. The rocks became another memorial of Israel's victorious march through Canaan.


      Wow.  What can we learn from this?  Perhaps it is that there are some enemies for which there is no mercy.  Some enemies must be executed and then thrown in a cave.  There are some enemies for which there is nothing more fitting than a foot upon the throat.  Who could these enemies be?

      Well, for us, these are not human enemies. We are to treat our human enemies with mercy. Jesus said: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you" (Luke 6:27-28).  In most situations, with the sort of human enemies we might confront, we return prayer and blessings. 

      Obviously, in the time of Joshua, these enemies were different.  The kings who occupied the land represented strongholds in the Promised Land that could not be compromised or negotiated. Perhaps the same is true with us today in the realm of the Spirit.

      There are enemies in our lives that we cannot negotiate with or be merciful toward.  Some enemies have established strongholds that must be rooted out of our lives.  Some kings must be executed.  Who are they?

      The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians that "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires" (Galatians 5:24).  Who are the "kings" of the flesh?  They are the kings who have strongholds in our sinful nature. Paul mentions five: "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry" (Col. 3:5). 

      There are certain "kings" that rule our flesh.  They fall into these five areas.  These must be put to death by the Spirit. "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live" (Romans 8:13).

      There can be no mercy for these enemies.  No coddling.  No blessing.  These are the enemies of the Spirit-- sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry. These are the five "kings" that must be put to death and thrown into a cave with a victory declaration.

      Are you struggling with these "kings" and their strongholds?  The struggle may take the form of addiction, overspending, stealing from God, pornography, illicit activities, selfishness, or even unfair business practices.  These kings are at war with the Spirit.  There is no place for "mercy." They must be executed and sealed away. 


     Father God, put to death in me the strongholds of the sinful nature.  Execute the kings that I have allowed to rule in me.  By Your Spirit, close them off from me and cause me to walk in New Life. Show me where I might need help in gaining continued victory. In Jesus' name. 


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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2005, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.