Treading the Necks of Kings

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

 Then Joshua said, "Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings to me out of there." That is what they did. They brought the five kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon to Joshua out of the cave. When they had brought the kings to him, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the military commanders who had accompanied him, "Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings." So the commanders came forward and put their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid or discouraged. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord will do this to all the enemies you fight."- Joshua 10:22-25 HCSB

The first time God commanded the Israelites to cross the Jordan River and begin taking possession of Canaan, the people had balked. They considered the giants that were in the land, the huge fortified cities and the large professional armies and were too afraid to proceed. So, God made them wander in the desert for forty years until that entire generation died. Then He tried again. The next generation was made of sterner stuff and went about the task enthusiastically if not always intelligently.

But apparently, there was still a residual fear because Joshua himself had to be reminded several times to be courageous. Here, after a tremendous battle that involved taking on five armies at once, Joshua felt it was necessary to provide a visual lesson in courage.

The five kings they had fought against had deserted their armies and were hiding in a cave. Joshua ordered the people to wall it up so they could finish dealing with the armies. When the battle was over, they took the wall down and dragged the kings out. By making the captains place their feet on the necks of these proud kings, Joshua was hammering home the fact that these kings had no real power over God’s people.

What a lesson! We may not be fighting human armies, but we struggle every day with sin and the evil influences that pervade this world. And so many times, we run when we should be triumphantly placing our feet on their proud necks. We are opposed and persecuted and we run away caterwauling like a little baby when we should be spiritual warriors! God has already given us the victory – all we have to do is claim it!

Surely there is a mountain you can claim? Is there not one giant that you could dispatch? Are you truly content to remain safe and sound in the wilderness, to simply survive and wait for death?

Be strong and courageous, for you are destined to gain victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. Study the Bible continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey it well. Only then will you succeed. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Go place your feet on the neck of some proud king. See what God can do – through you.

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