AMERICA’S SEED; AMERICA’S HARVEST
So the five kings of the Amorites,
the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron,
the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish,
and the king of Eglon, gathered together and went up,
they with all their armies, and camped by Gibeon
and fought against it. Joshua 10:5
The people of Gibeon were recent allies to Joshua and Israel. Though they became allies through deception, they were neighbors of Joshua and now under a covenant agreement with them. They entered an unholy alliance to defeat Joshua and now find themselves reaping a harvest.
Unable to handle the yield of the harvest, the Gibeonites have call for the sharecropper. They send for Joshua and company to help them defend their home. Joshua, learned from the previous deception immediately goes to God in prayer. God gives him a confirming word and Joshua gather the Lords army and marches to Gibeon to fight!
Marching for Gibeon!
I find it so appropriate in this time to address the marching on God’s army. Led by Joshua, they marched 3 days to Gibeon to fight to save the people of Gibeon. These same people had collaborated to deceive Joshua and now they are in danger of being destroyed.
Some of you reading would have stayed home and called this justice, but not Joshua! Joshua considered this behavior of an unrighteous man. We like Joshua must be obedient to the Word we preach and teach. God gave us instructions on how to treat neighbors and enemies. Both of these ways are merciful and involve much self reflection. God cares about how we treat others. He set’s an example of this in how He treats and interacts with us. God understands that there are times for war and times for peace, but encourages us to do what we can to live at peace with one another.
Fight or Flight?
Both Peace and War are relatives to circumstances, but both are still a choice. Joshua, knowing that war was being perpetrated with his new ally had to make a choice, fight or flight. He could fight for the lives of Gibeon or flee from the instructions of God and the responsibility of the Covenant. Joshua had the responsibility to defend his neighbor and to stand for the righteous treatment of people even though not deserving.
Joshua as a Seed Sower!
Joshua as a leader had sown many seeds into the Kingdom through Moses and through Israel, and now he will sow further into those that surround him. Joshua would reap this harvest as he lead God’s people. He had experienced the challenges of sowing and the patience that must be had by the one sowing seeds, but was now reaping a mighty harvest from his efforts. Gibeon, sadly is reaping a harvest from its deception, but Joshua is compassionate towards them.
America’s Seed & Strongest Crop
As America ages, we are further troubled by the seeds sown into the ground. This country continues to reap discord because of the seed of racism, an American manufactured seed that was planted in the soil of capitalism, continues to reap a harvest of greed and hatred. The harvest on which we all dine can not be fully enjoyed because it has bitter roots that nourish the fruit that is produced.
Joshua Marched for Gibeon and for Joshua
Joshua avoids planting seeds of hatred by placing value on the life of his ally. Like him, we must be willing to march to Gibeon, risking our lives to protect those who are being persecuted. We too must gather our resources, and use our skill and technique to insure that the needs of the less fortunate are met. We must march and use the voice given to us, and the name licensed to us to give volume to the chords of those who have lost their voice screaming in the wilderness.
Part of what we must understand is marching for Gibeon is marching for Joshua. Remember, Joshua is still leading! Joshua is still setting an example for how to live and how to forgive. Joshua is setting a standard as God’s spokesman as to how generations to come will respond and live out the Word of God. His actions will lead them to build a Holy City or another Sodom & Gomorrah. You aren’t just marching and fighting for today, you are fighting for tomorrow. Thus, marching for Gibeon is also marching for future Generations!
It’s not You, It’s Me!
Poor Gibeon, I thought. The 5 kings are only attacking them because they know they can not defeat Yahweh and Joshua. They are being persecuted unlawfully. They are being killed out of frustration. They are being oppressed because the 5 kings fear loosing their kingdoms and becoming common.
Waiting on the Savior!
Poor Gibeon, I thought! All they can do is hold on! All they have is hope! All they have is their faith! They sent word for Joshua! They cried out for the savior! They are defending themselves as best they can. They are utilizing every resource within their reach to survive. Poor Gibeon, holding on the hope that Joshua will honor his covenant. Poor Gibeon, having to endure the attacks while waiting for Joshua to arrive. Poor Gibeon, watching it’s citizens die at the hands of the 5 kings, and hoping they can avoid extinction.
Poor Gibeon! Reaching out to a neighbor
that speaks righteously, and having to
wait to see just how righteous righteous is.
Fight for Us and We might Fight for You!
Sadly, this country that boast of freedom and liberty but never intended it to be for all people. It has been willing to send people into war to defend freedoms which are denied to them. It has sacrificed lives for capital that has not be offered in equal shares. It has build democracy and equality in foreign land, and restricted human decency on its on soil.
Each century we see voices rising from the earth requesting basic human rights, and having to march and fight to get them civilly. Every centuries we watch marginalized groups have to prove they are worth citizenship and to be recognized as civilized or a part of humanity.
He’s Not after You, He’s after Me!
Sadly, we often watch the church:
1. Justify the Actions of the 5 kings
2. Protect Itself and watch Gibeon Perish.
And after acting unjustly, we lift our hands as the standard of Christ as though Christ saved himself and allowed the world to die or allowed the world to get what it deserved. He did nothing of the sorts! He left his Gilgal and met us at Gibeon, gave a voice us all, fight for us by standing in the gap, and then sacrificed His life making sure that we could experience life and life to the full.
He Died so we Could Obtain Citizenship!
We forget the selflessness of Jesus, who was the sole heir (if you will) to the Kingdom. He came into earth and dwelt among those who had been enemies and law breakers in the Kingdom. He then marched for us, and sacrificed His life to make them citizens on the Kingdom and heirs. As a Gentile nation, we should understand what its like to be a stranger without rights who gained citizenship from the sacrifice of another.
Joshua arrives and defends those He is in covenant with! I am so glad that we serve a God that is marching towards us! I am so glad we serve a God that honors His covenant! I am so glad we serve a God that allows us to make a new start. I am so glad we serve a God that looks past our past. I am so glad we have a God that is willing to walk with us into a marvelous future!
Cheer up Gibeon, Joshua is on the Way!