Hamstring the Horses – In this battle, Joshua was told to focus on the horses and chariots before he focused on the actual warriors. The children of God were to go for the horses first. As a horse drawn chariot passed, the children of God were to Hamstring The Horses. The tendon and muscles in the back of the thigh was severed crippling the horse and removing its ability to pull the battle chariots. By doing this, the enemy lost its ability to maneuver. Sometimes, we are not to attack the obvious, but rather immobilize the enemy. There are things in our lives needing to be hamstrung. Hamstring The Horses?
The Book of JOSHUA – POSSESSING THE KINGDOM
By Pastor Delbert Young
Hamstring the Horses
Hamstring the Horses
Scriptures: Luke 16:16, Joshua 10:5, Luke 17:21, Joshua 10:6, Joshua 10:7, Joshua 10:9, Joshua 10:12, Joshua 10:13, Joshua 10:14, Joel 2:25, Joel 2:26, Joshua 10:40, Joshua 10:43, Joshua 11:4, Joshua 11:5, Joshua 11:6, Psalms 147:10, Psalms 147:11, Joshua 11:14, Joshua 11:23
In a scene from the movie “First Knight,” Lancelot read the inscription on the Round Table. It said, “In serving each other we become free.” In the same scene, King Arthur said, “A man who fears nothing is a man who loves nothing and if you love nothing then what joy is in our life?” My point is we don’t serve out of fear. We serve out of love. I can tell what you love by observing what you serve and so can the Lord.
We are in our series called POSSESSING THE KINGDOM, which we are taking from the book of Joshua. Jesus told us we must take the kingdom by force.
Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
Have you ever had a time when you felt you were trying to force your way into the kingdom and live for God and do things right, but it seemed everything was going wrong? You had received Jesus as your Lord and savior and your intention was to serve him forever, but several major things began going wrong. Perhaps you or someone in your family became sick. The car broke down. The children began giving you fits. Things went bad at work. You lost your job, or lost a big contract, or something else crazy happened.
This is exactly what happened to the Gibeonites. They had made a covenant with God and the people of God to serve the community and at the house of God. Immediately, they were attacked by five kings.
Joshua 10:5 Then the five kings of the Amorites… joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
They had five major problems coming against them all at once.
We know the kingdom of God is within us.
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
When you make a decision to serve God by reaching your community and serving at the altars in the house of God, you will be attacked by every stronghold within you. You are allowing God to get closer and the kingdom of darkness is threatened.
I have been the pastor of this church for a long time and I have both experienced it and seen this happen again and again. Many times it is here people will give up. I have seen one spouse make a covenant with God to serve him only to watch the other spouse attack the commitment and become bitter. I have seen people make a commitment to be faithful to Sunday service when suddenly they are expected to work every Sunday. I have seen people make a covenant with God to tithe and be faithful with their giving only to watch them lose their job and go into financial difficulties. I have seen people make a commitment to raise their children in a godly way only to watch their children go into horrible rebellion. My point is we can and should expect attacks when we make a covenant to serve Jesus.
I want to talk today about the principle in defeating the attack of the five kings, but not only this attack. I want to show you the principles of warfare Joshua used to POSSESS THE ENTIRE KINGDOM. Hamstring The Horses.
God gave and Joshua used different and specific strategies for every major battle. For example, Jericho fell with the blast of the trumpets and shout, but Ai required a 3-way ambush. A different strategy will be used against the five kings and yet a different strategy will be seen to conquer the southern region and yet a different strategy will be used to conquer the northern kingdom. God shows us FIVE STRATEGIES necessary to POSSESS THE KINGDOM.
First, let’s get the principle of the defeat of the five kings. The Gibeonites had made a covenant with Joshua to SERVE, but was now under severe attack. We need to know serving Jesus is not easy, but has tremendous covenantal benefits. The enemy will come against you with everything he can to get you back and keep you from serving. We can learn much from what both the Gibeonites and Joshua did.
Joshua 10:6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
The first thing the Gibeonites did was call for reinforcements from covenant people. What I mean by “covenant people” are people you know you can depend upon concerning anything. They will stop their worlds to help you. Some struggles we go through we can tell anyone i.e. “I have a cold.” However, some attacks we cannot, i.e. a person has a serious drug addiction. Some attacks can only be told to special covenant people. Usually there are only a few people and sometimes maybe only one person with whom we are in this type relation.
So, let me ask you, with whom do you have covenant? I know you have a covenant with the Lord Jesus, but with what people do you have covenant? Joshua alone could not help the Gibeonites. It took Joshua and people. It will take Jesus and people in our lives to always have victory over “THE FIVE KINGS OF THE AMORITES”.
Often people will “hole up” during times of attack and wait until it is too late. A lot of Christians do not want others to know they are struggling. It’s PRIDE. Instead of calling for Jesus and covenant relations, they attempt to fight all alone. We need to send for our covenant relations and, if they are, they will drop everything and come immediately.
Joshua 10:7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men.
Joshua 10:9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.
I have a very close friend who lives several hours away. Once, he and his family were under serious attack. He called and we were on the road going to them within thirty minutes. This type relationship takes the enemy by surprise. The enemy is not prepared to fight against covenantal relationships.
I read an article from Readers Digest talking about the giant Sequoias of California. They are around 3,000 years old and over 250 feet tall; they have very shallow root systems extending just barely below the surface. It sounds impossible because we all know trees need deep roots to withstand drought and wind, but sequoias are most unique. They only grow in groves where their roots intertwine and their limbs interconnect with each other. THEY HOLD EACH OTHER UP WHEN STRONG WINDS BLOW.
It’s this way with us. With the help of others with whom we interconnect our limbs and intertwine our roots, we grow tall and withstand any storm. Imagine the storms those giant trees have experienced in 3,000 years! Yet no storm took them out. With whom do you lock limbs and intertwine your roots? It will truly mean the difference of your success or failure in your marriage, raising your children, finances, work, and even your health. It will literally determine if you maintain a life in the kingdom of God or if the kingdom of darkness captures you back.
I want to take this to one more level before moving on. With whom do your children covenant? Do they understand the importance of relationships? Do they understand the people with whom they run will take them up to success in life, or take them down? Parent, you know this is true. Look back at your life and THINK! It’s this way with your child. Think of a child who stopped serving the Lord and tell me why? You can’t pick their friends, but you can help them understand. If you do, they will defeat the FIVE KINGS OF THE AMMORITES.
One of the greatest miracles recorded in the Bible is connected with this covenant relationship principle. The battle with the five kings was ferocious. The victory was coming. The enemy was on the run, however night was coming and the enemy would escape.
Joshua 10:12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “O sun, stand still over Gibeon, O moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
Joshua 10:13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
Joshua 10:14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
God will show off when we link up in covenant. Time stopped! I meet so many people who look back at their lives and see so many wasted years because of so many bad decisions and lost battles. Can I encourage you today? God will stop time for you if you get in the correct relationships. He will redeem and restore even years for you.
Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm…
Joel 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and BE SATISFIED, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall NEVER BE ASHAMED.
God will stop time and restore your years. My point is God does his greatest miracles when covenant people link together against the enemy.
I want to encourage you today. Some of you are going through some real attacks. The five kings are trying to take you back. Lock your limbs and entwine your roots with people going in the correct direction. SERVE the altars and the community. When you do, you will have victory. “IN SERVING EACH OTHER WE BECOME FREE.”
Joshua 10:40 So JOSHUA SUBDUED THE WHOLE REGION, including the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills and the mountain slopes, together with all their kings. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Amazingly, after Joshua came to the aid of the Gibeonites, victory after victory followed.Not only are we victorious by covenant relations coming to our aid, we are victorious when we serve and aid others.
Joshua experienced victory in the southern region of the Promised Land. The strategy here was the sun and moon standing still. Have you ever had a battle seemingly will never end? We see it as a bad thing. We are happy if the enemy simply retreats, but God has stopped the sun so you can have total victory and never face this enemy again. He wants the enemy annihilated.
Joshua went back to Gilgal after he defeated the entire southern region of his Promised Land.
Joshua 10:43 And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp to Gilgal.
Gilgal was the place of memorial stones, circumcision, healing, and communion. No matter how victorious we feel we have become, no matter how strong in the Lord we think we are, we must come back to Gilgal. We must again present our hearts to the Lord for continued circumcision. Hearts get hard in battle. We need to let God circumcise and heal us. We must spend time in communion with the Lord.
Have you ever noticed a believer who has just experienced a great victory in life, but suddenly is taken out by a sniper? I have many times. They went through the entire battle unscathed, but shortly afterwards, they are gone. What happened? They did not return to Gilgal. They did not allow the Lord to circumcise their heart, heal their wounds, and renew sweet communion with him. These are special times of rest we have to enjoy and heal.
The northern region still remained. There is still more to do.
Joshua 11:4 They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots – a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.
Joshua 11:5 All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom, to fight against Israel.
Will it ever end? When will the enemy surrender? Can I tell you the enemy will never surrender? You will have to destroy him.
All the forces of hell were coming against Joshua. It was an army as numerous as the sand of the seashore.
Joshua 11:6 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain. YOU ARE TO HAMSTRING THEIR HORSES AND BURN THEIR CHARIOTS.”
Hamstring The Horses? What does Hamstring The Horses mean?
Have you ever felt like every demon in hell was coming against you, your family and your church? I have. This is how Joshua felt. However, the Lord told Joshua not to fear… instead attack and Hamstring The Horses..
Hamstring The Horses? We see a different strategy for this battle. In this battle, Joshua was told to focus on the horses and chariots before he focused on the actual warriors. As they entered the battle, the children of God were to go for the horses first. As a horse drawn chariot passed by, the children of God were to HAMSTRING THE HORSES – meaning the tendon and muscles in the back of the thigh were severed, crippling the horse and removing its ability to move. Next, the chariots were set on fire by throwing crude oil on the chariot, those in it, and then igniting it. By doing this, the enemy lost its ability to maneuver and those in the chariots were literally set on fire. Sometimes, we are not to attack the obvious, but rather immobilize the enemy. There are things in our lives that must be hamstrung and burned if they will ever be defeated. Hamstring The Horses.
Psalms 147:10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man;
Psalms 147:11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
When we have an unfailing love for Jesus, we get the strategy for victory in every situation. “A MAN WHO FEARS NOTHING IS A MAN WHO LOVES NOTHING AND IF YOU LOVE NOTHING THEN WHAT JOY IS IN OUR LIFE?”
Joshua 11:14 The Israelites carried off for themselves all the plunder and livestock of these cities, but all the people they put to the sword until they completely destroyed them…
Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.
There are 5 strategies for victory given us in Joshua. Which strategy do we use? The answer is all of them. (1) Shout the prophetic trumpet at Jericho. Hear nothing but this prophetic word. Speak to your mountain and it will move. (2) Ambush Ai with a 3-way ambush of your spirit, soul and body. (3) Make certain you are in covenant relationships who will march all night to your rescue. Link limbs and entwine roots. (4) Count on God stopping the sun and moon for you so you can get the victory. He will recover the time the enemy took. (5) Hamstring the horses. Immobilize the thing giving the enemy power to work in your life. Burn it up. Take away whatever it is giving the enemy power. If we will do these things, we can be guaranteed victory over each and every battle. You will POSSESS THE KINGDOM. Today we Hamstring The Horses.
How many want a life giving you satisfaction and abundance and a life of which you will never be ashamed? Give the Lord a handclap and shout and go Hamstring The Horses! Amen.
Other Related Sermons:
Readers Digest, May 1989, pg. 48