What does Jericho signify about our walk with God?
the things that we should not covet?
expect us to keep our word?
We often hear that faithfulness
and obedience is defined in terms of familiar things that Christians usually do
regularly. But for godly men and women in the Bible, faithfulness meant obeying
God’s challenge to do something they
had never done before and usually nobody had done before and possibly something
nobody would ever do again. To have faith in God and to obey God for creative
people meant doing something new. When Jesus taught how to disciple He said put new wine into fresh wineskins Matt 9:17.
The apostle Paul said …if any man is in Christ he is a new
creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come. 2 Cor.To the Ephesians Paul wrote and put on the new self . We look forward to a new heaven and a
new earth 2 Pt and at the end
of the Bible God says I am making all
things new Rev 21:5. God commands Joshua and Israelites to do something new
that would require obedience and trust in God.
1. GOD’S STRATEGIES REQUIRE NEWNESS AND DEMANDS
Joshua had been part of the
conquest of several cities with Moses for 40 years. But he had never taken one
by marching around it and blowing on horns. Yet that was the formula had had to
obey to capture Jericho.
Jericho tightly shut1The reason it was shut is
because of the sons of Israel.
Gilgal was within two miles of Jericho
on the same flat plain. The inhabitants of the city had every right to shut
themselves within those walls since they heard of the exploits of these people
for over 40 years and the recent Jordan
experience. Plus their hearts had melted at this news. No one in or out
emphasizes impossibility of penetrating this city. It reminds me of the battle
deep in the Lord of the Rings. All they can do is shut themselves
up inside the fortress while the enemy assembles before them preparing to
attack. A few against overwhelming odds.
Lord instructs about attack on Jericho 2-5 There are five stages for these
instructions: (1) Men of war are to march around the city, once a day, for six
days. (2) The 7 priests are to carry 7 trumpets in front of the Ark. There are
7 priests, trumpets, days, circuits of the wall on 7th day. 7 symbol
of completeness. (3) On 7th day were to march 7 times and blow trumpets.
(4) When they make long blast on trumpets people are to shout. (5) Walls will
fall flat down and people should go straight ahead in front of them. No battle
strategy appeared more unreasonable than this one. But obedience and
faithfulness had little to do with keeping traditions, being conservative,
staying out of danger or doing what everybody else was doing. Joshua instructs the people 6-16 Here is
what Joshua did: (1) He gave God’s
instructions to the people 6-7. (2) He added 2 things; a. the trumpets were to
be blown continually vs 9 b. that the people were to
be completely silent until the last day vs 10.
Neither violated what God commanded, but Joshua added them without changing God’s intent. We should never add to or take
away from the Word of God. But in applying it, we will add certain things to
flesh it out in our particular situation to fit it and use it. Joshua did not
change God’s Word but he applied it
with some things God had not specifically said. The difference is, those who
violate Deut 4:1-2 & -19
change the intent of God and give it a different
meaning than God intended. They are still attacking Jericho
but Joshua added some details in their application of God’s command. (3) Josh rose early in the
morning and carried out the 6-day march around the city 12. (4) On 7th
day they marched around 7 times. (5) He commanded the people to break the
silence and shout 16. It is clear that the strategy was not only military but
religious in nature. The prominent place given to priests and the ark show God
leading them into battle not Joshua or soldiers. So things
like faithfulness, obedience and trust for Joshua and the people also meant
doing something new. Usually something new that noone
had ever done before. We are often slow at changing ourselves, habits,
patterns, values, paradigms, attitudes, perspectives. We are comfortable with
familiar and routine. So God may involve is in taking extraordinary steps of
faith into new ideas and realms that require us to trust Him and motivate us to
try something new. He did so with Noah, Abe, Joseph, Moses, Rahab,
Daniel, Mary, Peter, & Paul that required risk and newness. 2. DON’T COVET WHAT GOD HAS
Joshua gives the people two more
(1) Anyone found in Rahab’s house
shall live and not be killed. In keeping with the biblical pattern, Rahab and her family were spared from divine judgment like
Noah & ark Gen 7:1; Lot & family Gen 19:23; righteous remnant Eze 11; rapture 1 Thess 5:9
because of their faith. Judgment was upon sin and God delivers righteous first.
Rahab’s history an example of grace of God operating in lives of a person
and her family. She became part of line of Christ Mt 1:5 the mother of
Boaz who married Ruth had Obed who had Jesse father
of David. Rahab was prostitute who joined Israel
and her God, believed, got married and used by God. Your past does not have to
keep you from being used in marvelous ways by God.
(2) A ban on the city, things
were not to be taken. Specifically, do not covet those things and take them,
they are designated to go into the treasury of the Lord. The contents are to be
given to the Lord including silver, gold articles of bronze and iron. So do not
covet what God has conquered. God has overcome the world so do not covet the
things in the world. One way we do that according to James is by living in
luxury James 5:5-6. Living in luxury is living with more than we need. What you need is what you need to fulfill your calling
which includes your opportunities, work, situation, personality, gifts. Talents). When we live beyond our needs it leads to pride
James 4:1-6, self-indulgence James 5:3-4, spiritual dullness Rev 3:15-18,
insensitive to priorities of kingdom of God Lk 16:21;
Js 5:6. The question is ‘what do you need to do your calling?’ It is always a judgment call and you alone get to make it before God.
3. DON’T COMPROMISE
WITH SIN BUT WAR AGAINST IT 20-27
the walls came down and eberyone, people and animals
were killed because: (1) Moses said these were wicked people being judged by
God. Israel was instrument to carry out that justice Deut 9:5. Whenever God brot justice to Israel he used surrounding nations to do
that. But when those nations
refused to acknowledge God and instead gloat over their victory, God brot judgment upon them too. (2) So the Canaanites ways
would not be an influence on Israel Deut 20:16-18. We must go to war against
sin in our lives determined to have complete victory. Sin must be overcome and
never accepted or compromised. At best some sin we can never conquer this side
of the grave but will fite against it for life. The
secret to success in this campaign was not Joshua’s military genius,
army’s skills in warfare. Victory came because he and the
people fully trusted God in something new, and obeyed His commands.1. Every command from God, like go make
disciples of all nations or love your enemies, is like Joshua’s in that God gives us a command and He brings the result 1-2. 2. God
involves all His people in His work. Josh, priests, armed men, all the people
marched and participated. Today we all have spiritual gifts to be used some
way, but no one is left without an essential task. 3. Be
sure you keep your word as Joshua did with Rahab. Your no better than your word.