1. Application

The LORD Listens to the Prayers of His People

Joshua 10:1–43 (ESV)

1 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,

In the defeat of the Amorite kings, we have a very symbolic action from Joshua when he calls the commanders of his armies to place their feet upon their necks (Joshua 10:24). It’s a sign given to Israel to confirm to them that what God has promised will certainly take place. Just as these five kings have been destroyed even though they outnumbered and outmuscled Israel, that’s how certain they can be that the rest of the kings will be no match for them. The Canaanites will be subjugated.

God’s kingdom is coming. The works of the Devil are being destroyed in the here and the now. Through the power of his Spirit, Jesus Christ is preserving and increasing his church, and no one can stop him. We might seem to be weak and outnumbered. You may be the only Christian in your school or university, your classroom, or workplace. But let that not discourage you. The kingdom of God is growing.

As a sure sign of victory, a sure sign that God’s kingdom truly is coming, God has given to us not feet on the necks of our enemies, but the sign of Jesus Christ’s body and blood (Matthew 26:26–29, Mark 14:22–25, Luke 22:15–20; 1 Corinthians 11:24–33). Whenever we celebrate the Lord’s supper we proclaim Jesus’ death until he comes again (1 Corinthians 11:26). We are visibly reminded that Jesus Christ has already defeated death on the cross (Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:54–57), he has crushed the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15) and as it were he is currently standing with his foot on the neck of Satan (Psalm 110:4; Ephesians 1:22). He rules over this world, and even if it might seem to us as if God’s church has no chance of survival, Christ will gather his people to himself. Through the preaching of his Word in the power of his Spirit he is building his church. His kingdom is advancing. His kingdom is coming.

God delights to answer prayers focused on his coming kingdom, and with the defeat of the Amorite kings the Lord shows us that his kingdom is coming.