One or the Other

When Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Joshua had taken Ai and had utterly destroyed it . . . and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, that they feared greatly . . .”—Joshua 10:1-2 (NKJV) 

The Gibeonites made a shrewd move by deceiving Israel into making a peace pact with them. We can hardly blame them, because Israel proved to be an unstoppable force, having overcome the fortified cities of Jericho and Ai. They understood that it would only be a matter of time before they would also appear on the list of casualties. So, they proactively pursued self-preservation and aligned themselves with Israel.

But word of this spread throughout the hills and valleys of the Promised Land, and it eventually came to a king named Adoni-Zedek who ruled over the city of Jerusalem. He also understood the threat Israel posed, and he was especially concerned because Gibeon was now allies with them. So he did something proactive, as well. 

Adoni-Zedek sent word to four other kings in the region and convinced them to form an alliance with him for the purpose of destroying Gibeon. They agreed it was in their best interest, joined their five forces, and marched against Gibeon (Joshua 10:3-5).  

At this point we need to break away from the historical narrative to consider the spiritual implications that we see here. Keep in mind, the Gibeonites made the deliberate decision to align themselves with the work that God was doing. And in doing so, they became the objects of attack from those who were opposed to the movement of God.

If you’re a Christian, you can probably connect the dots here. We were once of this world; we weren’t aligned with God or active participants in His work. In fact, the Bible goes so far as to describe us as “God’s enemies” (Romans 5:10 NIV)! 

Then something happened. By God’s grace our eyes were opened to the impending consequences of our condition and the work of salvation that He provided through faith in His Son, Jesus. Like the Gibeonites, we made a choice to align ourselves with the great work of God.

Yet at the same time, this decision to side with God opened up a new battlefront for us. There is an adversary, Satan, who is committed to attacking those who belong to God through faith in Jesus. To belong to one is to be an enemy of the other. So as long as we belong to the Lord, we will also have Satan as our enemy.

Christians should not be naïve to this reality! For if we don’t understand the force arrayed against us, we’ll be blind-sided when the attack comes and we’ll be ineffective in countering it.

DIG: What did Gibeon’s alliance with Israel also produce?

DISCOVER: How does their experience mirror the spiritual experience of the Christian? How does knowing this serve to your advantage?  

DO: Pray today for the Lord to help you combat the enemy.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.