The alliance of kings formed in 10.5 are now on the run and end up hiding in a cave (v.16). They’re found and, simply, held there until the victory is complete (vv.18-21). When it was so, unlike Saul in 1 Samuel 15, Joshua finishes completely the task the Lord has given him.
The kings are brought out of the cave (v.22) and used as an example of what happens to those that disobey, oppose, and ignore God (v.26a). In the midst of all of this, we see a fascinating picture of the antichrist in the king of Jerusalem. David Guzik writes:
The Bible tells us of a coming false messiah (Revelation 13:3), who will rule over Jerusalem (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), who will lead a confederation of kings (Revelation 17:12-13), fighting against Yeshua (Revelation 17:14), resisting His occupation of the land (Revelation 19:19), and hiding in caves (Revelation 6:15-17). All in all, Adoni-Zedek is a fascinating picture of the coming Antichrist.
We again see the truth that Joshua’s victories – and our own – come when God’s power is at work with our participation (v.25b, cf. Nehemiah 4.9). The vanquished are then displayed (as was the brutal custom of the day) as both an example and a deterrent to others of what happens to defeated enemies.
Again in a passage that reads like a military history (and a passage that follows the pattern of other ancient historical accounts from this time period) there is a message for you and for me. We see that, as we read above, the total victory of Jesus over His enemies is foretold through Joshua.
As we move through our lives, day by day, we are presented with an untold number of choices that line us up either with the ways of Jesus and of God’s people, or with the ways of the world and of those who disobey, oppose, and ignore God. As things played out here for Joshua and Adoni-Zedek, so things will ultimately play out between the Lord Jesus and those that stand against Him.
For you and for me, we’ve been given such a wonderful resource in the Word of God to guide us through these decisions that line us up with one side or another. Use it today, and every day, to line yourself up with the Lord.