Awesome Hands – part 168: “It was of the LORD to harden their hearts”

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Awesome Hands – Part 168

“It was of the LORD to harden their hearts”

[Study Aired April 12, 2020

There is nothing like human nature and not learning from history to then go on and repeat it. Our study today continues in chapter 11 of Joshua and the northern Canaanites want to have a go at Israel and Gibeon.

Jos 11:1  And it came to pass, when Jabin king of Hazor had heard those things, that he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph,
Jos 11:2  And to the kings that were on the north of the mountains, and of the plains south of Chinneroth, and in the valley, and in the borders of Dor on the west,
Jos 11:3  And to the Canaanite on the east and on the west, and to the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Jebusite in the mountains, and to the Hivite under Hermon in the land of Mizpeh.
Jos 11:4  And they went out, they and all their hosts with them, much people, even as the sand that is upon the sea shore in multitude, with horses and chariots very many.
Jos 11:5  And when all these kings were met together, they came and pitched together at the waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.

I am not sure if you noticed it or not, but “even as the sand that is upon the seashore in multitude”, is biblical code for “a lot of people” 😊.

These kings had to be out of their minds to gather themselves against the children of Israel after having “heard those things” and still going to fight against Israel and their God.

The truth is, they were indeed “out of their minds” because the Lord had given them a hardened heart that actually worked against their best interests of staying alive, and so it is to this day.

Today, the world celebrates the holiday of Easter while inserting some Christian concepts into this day of worship, yet it is not the “fault” of the world that they do what they do.

The Lord has hardened the hearts of Christians to follow the pagan traditions of those folks that have come before them while claiming to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt there are sincere Christians who also focus mainly on the Christian traditions of this time of year, but still adhere to easter eggs and easter bunnies.

Before I go any further, know that I am not attempting to bash babes in Christ. That would be like trying to spank a baby for soiling themselves. It would make no sense, and I would be the one committing an evil in doing so.

All of these kings and priests had no choice in going to battle against Israel, just as the people today are being sacrificed for our lives.

Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that  have been occupied therein.
Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Our hearts of been established with grace and not with anything that we have done, therefore, we can take no credit in it. However, just because we have been shown grace doesn’t mean that we should remain ignorant to what it all means for us and for them.

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Rom 11:28  As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Rom 11:30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35  Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36  For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The “all things” that are for, to and through Him tells us the real story of why we all do whatever it is we are being caused to do, and that includes the story of Joshua and Israel going to battle with the northern Canaanites.

Just like the Christians today are enemies for our sakes concerning the gospel, the Canaanites were enemies for the sake of Israel, so that the land could be given to the people of God.

Think of all the building of buildings and cultivating of land that occurred before Israel came there just so that Israel could go in to possess a land flowing with milk and honey.

There is a direct correlation between these two events of Easter celebration today (or any holiday for that matter) and the northern Canaanites going to battle with Israel. Everyone is being driven by God to do their part in His plan of ultimate reconciliation.

Jos 11:6  And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire.
Jos 11:7  So Joshua came, and all the people of war with him, against them by the waters of Merom suddenly; and they fell upon them.
Jos 11:8  And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them unto great Zidon, and unto Misrephothmaim, and unto the valley of Mizpeh eastward; and they smote them, until they left them none remaining.
Jos 11:9  And Joshua did unto them as the LORD bade him: he houghed their horses, and burnt their chariots with fire.

Given that I just said and showed that there are babes in Christ who are worshipping another Jesus, but that it is God who caused it, should we not consider them our enemies because God is working with them, too?

Of course not. They are the enemies of the cross without even knowing it, just like the northern Canaanites were enemies to Joshua and Israel even while it is the Lord that hardened their hearts to go to battle.

The truth is there is going to be death in this war the Lord has us in, and the death will either be them or us.

The Truth to understand is that the “them” is the old man in them and the “us” is the new man in us, the true bride of Christ. There are “many virgins” with some being wise and some being foolish.

Mat 25:1  Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3  They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4  But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5  While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6  And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7  Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Mat 25:13  Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

I know I just read from a very famous parable. Yet, sometimes it is hard to see the Truth even when it is staring us in the face. All of the virgins slept and slumbered while the bridegroom tarried.

It was only the virgins that were awakened and had oil that were able to go on to the marriage. All the virgins were awakened from their sleep and slumber, but the difference is in who had oil to burn when the moment came.

See, the fire needs something to burn as fuel, and the physician comes only to those that need Him. Those that don’t need to prepare because they are “good to go” and are healthy won’t need to see the doctor when He is in town.

This parable teaches us that we are not to sacrifice ourselves for the foolishness of others if it means we, too, won’t be able to meet the bridegroom.

In logical practice, this means we do not join in the same excess of riot even while we know that others would think us strange for not doing so.

1Pe 4:4  Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

Or as is said in the “God’s Word” translation:

1Pe 4:3 You spent enough time in the past doing what unbelievers like to do. You were promiscuous, had sinful desires, got drunk, went to wild parties, and took part in the forbidden worship of false gods.
1Pe 4:4 Unbelievers insult you now because they are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of wild living.
1Pe 4:5 They will give an account to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1Pe 4:6 After all, the Good News was told to people like that, although they are now dead. It was told to them so that they could be judged like humans in their earthly lives and live like God in their spiritual lives.
1Pe 4:7 The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
1Pe 4:8 Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins.

The oil that the five virgins had allowed them to “go out and meet” the bridegroom. This number five is a sign of grace. However, this number five is also a negative symbol of the lack of grace given to the other five virgins.

In other words, five of the virgins were sacrificed so that five virgins could become wives in marriage. Ultimately, this marriage is what is going to save everyone involved, including the virgins the Lord says He doesn’t know. Therefore, it is so important to do what the Lord says to do and not only whatever it is we think we can do to worship Him.

Mat 25:11  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Luk 6:47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
Luk 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

The only way for us to know the Lord is to do what He instructs us to do. One of the things He tells us to do is slaughter everything that breathes. They are a sacrifice to the Lord.

Jos 11:10  And Joshua at that time turned back, and took Hazor, and smote the king thereof with the sword: for Hazor beforetime was the head of all those kingdoms.
Jos 11:11  And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe: and he burnt Hazor with fire.
Jos 11:12  And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword, and he utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.
Jos 11:13  But as for the cities that stood still in their strength, Israel burned none of them, save Hazor only; that did Joshua burn.
Jos 11:14  And all the spoil of these cities, and the cattle, the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves; but every man they smote with the edge of the sword, until they had destroyed them, neither left they any to breathe.
Jos 11:15  As the LORD commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the LORD commanded Moses.

For us today, the Lord doesn’t want us to compromise on things like Easter. As an example, for many of us, Easter traditions are hard to give up because we generally have pleasant memories of times we have spent with family during this celebration.

However, we know that the celebration is very much linked to worshiping pagan gods and throwing some Christian traditions in the mix.

I look at it from the practical standpoint of how it is we have gotten to this point as Christians. As an example, a long time ago Christians were threatened by the pagans that lived around them and had lived around them for a long, long time. When Christianity comes on the scene, there would have been much death and chaos as a result of pagans and Christians competing for the same resources and also for the minds and hearts of the people.

Adding in some pagan traditions with the Christian religion would have seemed like a good idea so that pagans could “get saved” because it would be very, very hard for pagans to give up their false gods.

If you doubt this, then look around you today because that is the same exact spirit we face with our Christian brothers and sisters today. Without the mind of God, you CANNOT please Him. You cannot do what He says to do. Why?

You can’t do what He says to do because He HAS HARDENED YOUR HEART, and God is NOT DIVIDED AGAINST HIMSELF! He is unified in His will.

Mar 3:24  And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mar 3:25  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Mar 3:26  And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

You might say to yourself that this is Jesus talking about Satan. He is talking about the kingdom of God, too! They were saying that what Jesus was doing was the work of Satan, but Jesus is telling them that the kingdom of God is NOT divided.

Therefore, our part in having the oil and power of God is to let the fire BURN brightly from it, “and he burnt Hazor with fire”.

Jos 11:16  So Joshua took all that land, the hills, and all the south country, and all the land of Goshen, and the valley, and the plain, and the mountain of Israel, and the valley of the same;
Jos 11:17  Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baalgad in the valley of Lebanon under mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them.
Jos 11:18  Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.
Jos 11:19  There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
Jos 11:20  For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

“There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel”, tells us how the Lord sees the battle we have we the enemies of the gospel of the good news.

There simply will be no peace with someone that does not have the mind of Christ. They will never accept that you do not believe as they do.

There are always times when there is a perceived peace, but that is because there are seasons to all things, but there is never peace between the old and the new man.

Giants never make peace with grasshoppers.

Jos 11:21  And at that time came Joshua, and cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the mountains of Judah, and from all the mountains of Israel: Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities.
Jos 11:22  There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod, there remained.
Jos 11:23  So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.

The giants in our lands are in the mountains, that is to say in type and shadow they are nearer to the heavens than those that we battle on the ground. Giants in the land can be eradicated if it be the Lord’s will, but there are always lots of battles with the inhabitants of the lands before we start to face the giants. Why is this?

Even David had to fight a lion and a bear, and do other things to “prove himself” before he was given faith and grace to go on to slaying Goliath.

With your family and loved ones, be patient when it comes to holidays, and today, Easter. Do not give in and do what they want by participating, because that would be the children ruling the house (babes in Christ), but also realize they are where they spiritually are for the benefit of the entire kingdom of God.

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