Safety in numbers?
In Joshua 10:1-5 one finds the following words;
As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them,
2 he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors.
3 So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying,
4 “Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel.”
5 Then 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 their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. (Jos. 10:1-5 ESV)
Adoni-zedek, King of Jerusalem gets word of how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction. He hears what Joshua did to Ai (killed all living things, destroyed the city, killed the king, piled a heap of rocks as a memorial). He hears what he had done to Jericho and its king (destroyed it, killed the king). He heard how the Gibeonites had made peace with Israel and were among them.
And what is his response to this news?
Verse 2 states that “he feared greatly” because Gibeon was a great city. It was like one of the royal cities. It was greater than Ai and Ai had be destroyed by Israel. All of Gibeon’s men were warriors. All of these realities factored into Adoni-zedek’s response of fear. They all served as the occasion of his being fearful of Gibeon’s new alliance with Israel.
So what does he do? Does he call out to God for mercy, for salvation?
In his fear, he sent to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon calling them to come help him strike Gibeon because it had made peace with Joshua and Israel. The kings respond by joining Adoni-zedek. All five kings gathered their forces and went up with their armies, encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.
Friends, in Adoni-zedek, we see that fear often leads to sin. Out of fear, the king of Jerusalem does not cry out to God for mercy but rather seeks salvation in a coalition of kings. He foolishly thinks he can save himself by joining with other kings in the area to fight against Joshua and Israel. He thinks by closing ranks with others opposed to God that he has strengthened his position and will win the battle. Friends, it doesn’t matter how many you have on your side if you stand in opposition to God. Adoni-zedek heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai and how Gibeon, a great city, greater than Ai, that was full of warriors had made peace with Israel and he feared greatly. So, he gathered to himself others who opposed God and set out to make war. Church hear this again, it doesn’t matter how many people you have telling you that what you are feeling is ok, or what you are saying is ok, or what you are doing is ok, if what you are feeling, saying, doing, desiring, is opposed to God. You can gather a whole army of people around you to go to war against God and his instruments, but you will lose. Salvation is not found in a coalition of sinners. Redemption is not found in a coalition of sinners. Salvation and redemption are found in God.
By His Grace Alone,