Intro: The Jordan has finally been crossed by Israel. They have spiritually prepared themselves and have up to this point strictly followed God's instructions. They are now prepared to begin conquering the Promised Land. They are prepared to claim the land of milk and honey for themselves. However, like the majority of worthwhile possessions, it would cost a lot!
Jericho would serve as a benchmark for Israel. They would demonstrate their strength and experience military victory and conquest at Jericho. Try for a second to imagine yourself in the shoes of a typical Israelite soldier. The majority of these men had never seen a city with such extensive walls before Jericho. Many people must have thought it was completely impossible. They did, however, follow the Lord's instructions and witnessed the massive walls collapse flat. It's possible that many people at these services this morning will wonder why we're preaching from an old book about wars and battles. The book of Joshua, in my opinion, is very relevant to Christians today. Folks, these are the days of spiritual and physical conflict. We must be able to fight. We need to know that God has the power to win. How to follow Him to that victory is essential. Those valuable lessons are taught to us by Joshua! You and I face barriers and walls in our lives, just as Israel did with the formidable walls of Jericho. As we move toward victory, we must know how to defeat them. This passage provides us with that response today. Let us observe Israel's victory over Jericho and allow the Lord to instruct us on how to make our walls collapse as we do so. I. v.1 ISRAEL HAD A PROBLEM A. Ill. Jericho, the world's oldest city, was surrounded by two massive stone walls when Joshua lived there. It had a 6 foot outer wall. about 20 feet thick. high. About 12 feet of inner wall was there. was 30 feet thick. high. A 15-foot-long guarded walkway ran between the walls. wide. Israel's issue was that they had to conquer a city, but huge walls stood in their way. B. We all encounter challenges as we go through life. It could be a lost loved one we would like the Lord to touch and save, a lost community over which we are burdened, a ministry from the Lord about which we feel inadequate, family problems that tear at our hearts and leave us wondering what to do, financial problems that test our patience and faith to the breaking point, a gnawing sin that plagues us on a regular basis, or any one of a million other things!) C. We need to learn to see our challenges not as dead ends but rather as opportunities for God to work in our lives! (Ill.) Paul, the great apostle, faced such a challenge - 2 Cor. 12:7-10: This way of thinking is new to us this morning. However, we must come to the realization that when we are unable to handle life, the power of God is most clearly demonstrated in and through us. When we are completely absent, God appears more clearly! That is, in a sense, what He did here with Israel. They were completely eliminated from the equation, as we will see! God alone was responsible for Jericho's victory! First, Israel had a problem. Israel had a promise in verse 2: A. God had a word of comfort for Joshua and the war men as they gazed at the walls surrounding that great city! Before Israel ever attacks Jericho, God promises victory here! Before they even begin their battle, he informs them of the outcome! B. We can face our challenges, whatever they may be, with confidence because the Lord's promises serve as our marching orders: 1. According to 2 Corinthians, He has promised that God will make our weapons effective. 10:4-5. 2. We have His assurance that the Lord has planned all of our battles - Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17. 3. Phil: He has promised that our ability is only limited by our faith. 4:13; Eph. 3:20. 4. In the day of battle, we have His promise of power—Eph. 6:10. 5. 1 Cor. says that he has promised us ongoing victory. 15:57. 6. He has assured us that we will never fight alone, according to Hebrews. 13:5; Matt. 28:20. 7. According to John 14:1-3, He has promised that when the battles are over, we will rejoice in His presence. C. We need to learn to believe the Lord, to take His word for it, and to trust Him for our victories as we face the walled cities in our lives. Rom. 4:21; 2 Cor. 1:20) (Ill. Jesus didn't save you to make you lose! He saved you so that you could win, and He will be with you every step of the way to help you do so for His glory! Do you anticipate trials? However, victory will also come (Luke 22:31–32).) First, Israel had a problem. Third Promise: Israel Verse 3-5: "ISRAEL HAD A PARTNER A." God Himself was Israel's partner! He was in complete command of the conflict, leading them, and ensuring their victory! (Ill. Josh, Captain of the Lord's Host, paid a visit. 5:13-15. Keep in mind that He came to inform Joshua that He was not siding with anyone—rather, He was coming to take control!) B. Knowing that we are not alone as we confront our walled cities and life's challenges is a blessing, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5, or John 16:13, "in our own strength"; Phil. 4:13! C. As long as we confront it in the Lord, no challenge is insurmountable! (Ill. We just talked about how powerful God's promises are. Let's briefly discuss the weapons we have received to fight the battles. 1. The Bible: The Lord has blessed you and me by providing us with a flawless, inspired, infallible, and inerrant record of His Word. The "logos" refer to God's Word. This word refers to the whole of God's revealed word. It references your Bible. The one offensive weapon we have is the Word of God, Eph., which Paul mentioned when he was listing the armor that the saints are to wear as they fight the devil. 6:17. The Bible, then, is like a vast arsenal. There are weapons of every kind in this armory. They were made with the intention of winning particular battles in mind. It is interesting to note that Paul does not use the word "logos" when he refers to the Word of God as a tool for spiritual warfare. Instead, he employs the term "rhema." This word refers to a specific divine word. The "rhema" would be a particular sword for a particular battle if we continue to view the Bible as an armory full of swords of all kinds. The Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount of Temptation serves as an illustration of this truth. Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," when the devil tried to make the stones into bread. Jesus also used the term "rhema" here. Jesus entered the Word of God's armory and selected the appropriate weapon for each devil's assault on our Lord. Each time, Jesus carefully selected the appropriate sword from the Deuteronomy section of the armory in order to defeat the devil. Folks, the same principle applies to both of us! God has a word for your situation. However, you will not be able to select the appropriate sword if you do not know your way around the armory. It is absolutely necessary for us to learn this book so that, in the event of battle, we will be able to grab the appropriate sword and defeat our foes! 2. Prayer: Far too frequently, we overlook the immense power that prayer has given us! I don't just hand the Lord my grocery list and cross it off when I pray. My beginning a dialogue with the God of the universe is prayer. He speaks to me and I to Him. He can tell me about what's on His heart, and I can tell Him about what's on mine. Things can be accomplished through prayer! See, in the realm of prayer, we have received some pretty incredible promises. A. Jer, God has promised to answer our prayers. 33:3; Isa. 65:24. B. According to John 14:13–14, God has promised that He will answer our prayers; 1 John 5:14-15. C. According to Romans, God has promised to assist us in prayer. 8:26-27. ( Ill. God is the foundation of virtually all genuine prayer. We pray the prayer He instructed us to pray back to Him after He speaks to our hearts. This is how to pray in accordance with the Father's will! "Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, and oppose our argument, but they are helpless against our prayers!" (Ill. The power of our prayers - J. Sidlow Baxter) Ill. Abraham, Samson, Elijah, Elisha, and Hannah, among others Thank God that prayer can alter any circumstance! However, it is regrettable that prayer plays such a minor role in the contemporary church. The horse-drawn buggy has replaced the traditional prayer meeting. However, as you can see, those individuals and churches that have clung to the promises, power, and practice of prayer are witnessing the conquest of their walled cities! First, Israel had a problem. Third Promise: Israel Israel Had a Fourth Partner. v. 6-21 ISRAEL PREVAILED A. The setting. They prevailed because Israel followed the Lord and marched around the city. Ill. The command's absurdity! Can you imagine the reactions of the people in Jericho? They probably thought they were about to be invaded when they saw Israel's armies approaching their city. Israel then turned and began to march around the city walls as they got close to it. I can see people running inside Jericho to see where the Israelites would launch their assault. However, the soldiers and priests simply marched once around the city instead of attacking. The soldier's footsteps and the trumpeting from the ram's horn were the only sounds that could be heard. For six days, this was done again. Jericho's inhabitants were undoubtedly mocking and jeering the Israelites by this point. They then circled the city seven times on the seventh day. The priests blew loudly on the trumpets after they had completed the seventh lap, and the Israelites yelled loudly! It was not the cry of an invading army or a cry of fear; rather, it was a cry of praise for the God who had promised them victory. Israel ran into the city and completely destroyed it when the people shouted, and the walls fell flat. Their victory was tremendous!) B. Israel won the battle of Jericho for the following reasons: 1. They heard from God (v. 2–6) in 2 Timothy. 2:15; John 16:13 2. They trusted God because (verses 8–20) God said it, and that made it official! Do we really have faith in God? Mark 11:22; Matt. 21:21-22! 3. They acted based on faith (Ill. 11:1; 11:6) (II John 5:14–15, James 1:18) They followed God's instructions (Ill. This is the key to success!) Although His way may appear to be difficult, slow, or, as in this instance, foolish, it is always the best way! Isa. ill. 55:8-9) 5. They won because of God (verses 20 and 21) C. Matt. promises that God's church will prevail. 16:18; The people of God will win! Whatever circumstance you are in right now, you can win! God has promised us victory, so learn from Israel, according to 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 John 5:4 explains: Which kind of walled city are you currently facing? Is it apparent that it cannot be overcome? Do the walls appear to be too high and too thick? Does it appear as though you cannot win in your situation? Let me remind you that your walls can collapse flat if they haven't already! Right now, they might fall! You must learn from Israel and begin managing Jericho in God's way. Will you present your requirements to Him this morning? Will you immediately bring it to Jesus? He does the impossible very well! He is capable of the unthinkable, the impossible, and the impossible to accomplish! He is still a God of miracles! Stronger than any obstacle you might face today, capable of moving any mountain Bring it to Him and watch as He solves the problem!

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