The Walls Come Tumbling Down

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Joshua 6:1-2 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Psalm 46:10-11 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Israel has crossed the flooded Jordan, God parting the waters and making it dry land. Israel has gone to Gilgal – a town called Rolling Wheel – and has honored God by setting up a monument to God’s glory there. Israel has honored God with their lives and with their bodies. They are now in a proper Covenant relationship with God.

You Are Saved By Faith, But Blessing
Requires A Covenant Relationship With God!

In a proper Covenant relationship Israel heads to Jericho. Jericho. The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that Jericho is “one of the earliest continuous settlements in the world, dating perhaps from about 9000 BC.” The name “Jericho” (יְרִיחוֹ Yᵉrîychôw, [pronounced yer-ee-kho’]; or יְרֵחוֹ Yᵉrêchôw; or variation (1 Kings 16:34) יְרִיחֹה Yᵉrîychôh) means “it’s moon” or as the Arabs call it “city of the moon”. That is very illustrative of what Jericho was. Think for a moment about the earth’s MOON.

The Moon reflects the light of the Sun.
The Moon has no light of it’s own.
The Moon is
unfriendly to life.
The Moon is a dead place.
No life was discovered there when
Apollo 11 landed there July 20, 1969.

There is no life in Jericho. There is PHYSICAL life, but no SPIRITUAL life. Jericho , like the Moon of earth, was Canaan’s “Moon”. All the was evil and dead was reflect – like dark light – from Canaan to Jericho. The Canaanites practiced child sacrifice, and like the Moon Jericho more than likely reflected this practice. The Canaanites worshiped many gods and goddesses, including Asherah and Ba’al as well as Dagon – over 35 different idols. Jericho reflected this. Since Jericho was an ancient and well established city, with fortified double walls all around it’s perimeter. Someone – probably an unfaithful Israelite – had told Jericho that that they were coming. I have often heard that “it is not the amount of water OUTSIDE the ship that will drown those on it, but the water INSIDE the ship”.

What Did God’s People SEE?

Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

Matthew Henry in his commentary says: “.. it did shut up itself, being strongly fortified both by art and nature, and it was shut up by the obstinacy and resolution of the inhabitants, who agreed never to surrender nor so much as sound a parley; none went out as deserters or to treat of peace, nor were any admitted in to offer peace.” The city was a fortress. It was absolutely impossible at this point for anyone – no matter how strong – to get inside this city.

Earlier I said there was no spiritual life in Jericho.
That’s not entirely true.
There was RAHAB.

God the Holy Spirit reached out and brought life to a tiny part of Jericho in the home of Rahab the Harlot. God through His people had promised to save Rahab and her family (Joshua 2:18, 21; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:24-25). God couldn’t just destroy Jericho like He did Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord will not destroy the innocent with the guilty (Genesis 18:23-25).

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

God had angels take Lot and his family out of Sodom before He destroyed it. But Jericho is shut up. It is sealed off. None can enter, and none are allowed to leave. The gates are shut, and NO ONE can come in. But God tells Joshua:

Joshua 6:2 …The LORD said unto Joshua: See

I love what God told Joshua. I LOVE this text! In the original language the word LORD is YHWH or YAHWEH. The word JOSHUA literally means YAHWEH SAVES. So we read:

YAHWEH said unto YAHWEH SAVES:
“SEE”

The Eternal God – Yahweh, our Creator and Savior – His first word is “SEE” – רָאָה râʼâh, (pronounced raw-aw’)“Behold – look – consider this”. What God is telling His servant Joshua is “Don’t look at the fortified walls. Don’t look at the huge locked gates. Don’t look at the Archers and mighty men of valor who have guarded this city for years. Don’t look at the impossibility of this. LOOK AT ME. HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING. CONSIDER MY WORDS.

Oh Beloved, if we would seek God and hear His Word, how we would be blessed on the earth. Yet many of us – believer and unbeliever alike – put a wall around our hearts of unbelief. We look at the wrong thing. We consider the obstacle before us and are defeated in our hearts before we ever start. The Bible tells us that:

2 Corinthians 5:7 … we walk by faith, not by sight!

  • Jesus told the Apostle “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29).
  • While the Apostle Peter had His eyes on Jesus he could walk on water (Matthew 14:28):

Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.”

Jesus said “Come” and Peter come out of the boat, and walked on the water to go to Jesus (Matthew 14:29). But then Peter looked at the wind and the waves. Peter probably heard a “faithful friend” call out from the boat, “Peter have you lost your MIND? People don’t walk on water!”. Oh, how terrible the discouragers are who cry out from the safety of the boat! Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and started to sink. But at least Peter had the sense to cry out “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). And Jesus saved him!

  • What do YOU see, dear Church? What do YOU see, dear Israel? What do YOU see, dear America? God said “See”. So not see the walls. Do not see the impossibilities. See this. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).

SEE THE PROMISE Not The PROBLEM

Joshua 6:2 …The LORD said unto Joshua: See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

God tells Joshua “I have given”. Beloved, that is PAST TENSE. Not “I WILL give”, but “I HAVE given”. God has promised this land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God has promised Joshua the land. He has said “everywhere you step will be yours”.

Faith is not a full bank account.
Faith is not knowing every detail as to how I will do it.
Faith looks UP, not AROUND.

Hebrews 11:1 … faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is when you hear God’s Word and believe what HE SAYS – not what the circumstances are saying.

  • FEAR says “Jericho is shut up. It is fortified. It has it’s own water supply, and enough food on hand to last over a year. Jericho cannot be beaten by human power.”
  • But FAITH says God can. God can open those gates. God can shut off the water supply. God can take away the food. God can tear down those walls. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down these walls! God can save Rahab. God can!” The Bible says:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith Does God’s Work God’s Way

God told Joshua that the city was already his. But then God tells Joshua:

Joshua 6:3-5 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

God expects His people to do what He says. God expects His people to WORK! Every believer in Israel had a job to do for the Lord.

Thus shalt thou do six days

The work that God’s people are to do is to obey God DAILY. Too many who profess Christ as Savior are on what I call the welfare rolls of Heaven. God does not call a person to serve but once in a while. He calls His people to DAILY service. Israel was to walk around the city walls of Jericho DAILY and in one accord. God did not exempt ANYONE from service. “All ye men of war”. Every able bodied person was to walk. The priests were to walk, carrying the Ark of the Covenant – an Old Testament picture of Christ – on their shoulders. This was a UNIFIED group of believers. Some of you think that your entire calling of God is to SIT and SOAK in a pew, hearing the message preached. The Bible knows nothing of this type of faith. The Scripture says:

Colossians 1:10 … {you} walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Ephesians 4:1-2 … walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

We who are Christ’s walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
We who are God’s walk in love, as Christ loved us (Ephesians 5:2).

 All must walk around Jericho. All must serve God – together. All. All. When Jesus fed the 5000, did He use only one of the fish – or ALL? Did He use a little of the bread – or ALL? God uses all of His people together to do His will His way. We are all called to be responsible citizens of His Kingdom. We are all called to service.

One of the most beautiful countries I was ever stationed in while in service to our nation was Germany. Germany is a beautiful place. It is made more beautiful by the fact that the Germans will not allow litter in their country. I have seen store keepers sweep out their stores, then sweep the sidewalk as well as the road in front of their stores. The German people love and are proud of their country. When driving on their highways I never saw garbage strewn about as I do on American roads. Why? Because the German people are TOGETHER in correcting litterbugs. If you are caught by even a citizen tossing out a cigarette butt, you would find yourselves chastised by the citizens who saw you.

If every Christian would fulfill his or her calling for Christ then what a difference this would make. In the days of Nehemiah God’s people each put their hand to the plow. Nehemiah 3:28 says “Each one repaired the section immediately across from his own house”. God does not expect one person to do it all, but each believer to pitch in and do their part. We are each called to work for the glory of God and do our part. You cannot expect to be blessed if you do not follow God’s Word.

We Must Be Driven By “It Is Written”?

Joshua 6:6-11 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord. 7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the Lord. 8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rearward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. 11 So the ark of the Lord compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.

Joshua had the people do exactly as God directed. The Bible tells us:

Psalm 27:14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 62:1, 5 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. 5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

To “wait on the Lord” does not mean to do NOTHING. It means to heed God, to seek his face, then to let HIS WORD drive you.

Joshua told Israel exactly what God told him to say. He aligned the people as God said. Joshua LISTENED to God then did EXACTLY what God said. But Joshua added one requirement that was not in God’s instructions. Did you catch it? Joshua told the people:

Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout

Did you catch that? What Joshua told the people was “You are ALL to stay in a state of silence. You will not say ONE SINGLE WORD until the day I tell you to shout. THEN and only then YOU WILL SHOUT!” Why do you think Joshua did this? I’ll tell you why.

  • The man of God or woman of God knows that the only way you can serve God is to HUSH. To BE STILL. To WAIT on God. To WAIT for His Voice. In our world today we are terribly impatient. We think we know it all. In fact, we are certain of that. But Beloved, we do not know it all. We know very little, but God knows ALL THINGS. God says:

I know the end from the beginning … Isaiah 46:10

God knows. We do not. If Joshua had let the people talk two things would have happened. First, you cannot hear God while you are talking. He will not speak to you unless you get still and quiet and know that HE and HE alone is God.

  • We are as humans notoriously IMPATIENT. Israel would have done well to walk around Jericho the first day. Perhaps they would do well on the second day. But around the fifth day unbelief would have spoken. Someone would have said to someone else:

We’re walking around this stupid city everyday!
What are we doing? Nothing!
What is John doing? Nothing!
Where did James go? He’s helping John. We’re doing NOTHING!
Not one rock has moved. Not one stone has turned.
We look STUPID doing this!

The murmuring would have grown. Like leaven in dough the unbelief would have spread. Perhaps some would have broken ranks. As the muttering grew by the seventh day the few Israelites left probably would not have marched around the city seven times. They may have compassed it only 4 times on the 7th day. I’m sure there would have been a few who – like children in music class – would have tooted their horns EVERY DAY and not just on the 7th circuit of the 7th day. What would have happened had Israel NOT done as God said?

The walls would NOT have fallen!

The Bible tells us to not be weary in well doing, for in DUE SEASON we shall reap, if we do not faint (Galatians 6:9). We must do God’s work God’s way. It is not the FASTEST runner who wins the race, but the runner who stays on the course and finishes well. C. H. Spurgeon put it this way:

Faith is not a fool. Faith does not shut her eyes to difficulty and then run head foremost into a brick wall. Never! Faith sees the difficulty, surveys it all, and then she says ‘BY MY GOD I WILL LEAP OVER A WALL!’”

Faith waits on God. It listens to Him, and then does as He says. Faith is not embarrassed by doing what God asks. God never asks us to do a foolish or wrong thing. Faith does not try and help God out. I imagine someone would say “Why didn’t God give them a rope ladder, and an iron hook, and let them climb over the wall?” Do you know why? Because then YOU would be glorified and not God. God will do what He says He will do. Let us heed Him. Let us “be still, and know that He is God”. Let us be like Mary who sat at the feet of Jesus listening while Martha ran about with busy work. Jesus told Martha:

Mary has chosen that good part that cannot
be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42)

Joshua listened when God spoke, and relayed what God told him to the people. And praise God, the people listened. The Scripture says:

Joshua 6:15-17 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. … 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. 22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot’s house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.

God did what God said He would do. God always will. God destroyed the city. God saved Rahab and her family. Israel triumphed because our God is so faithful. Let us be faithful in following Him. May the Lord draw us all close to Him in obedient service. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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