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Claiming Your Canaan Series #5

Josh. 6:1-21

HOW TO MAKE YOUR WALLS FALL DOWN FLAT

Intro: Israel has finally crossed the Jordan. They have prepared themselves spiritually and they have, thus far, followed God's orders to the letter. Now, they are ready to begin the conquest of the Promised Land. They are ready to claim for themselves the land that flowed with milk and honey. However, like most things in life that are worth having, it wouldn't come cheap!

For Israel, Jericho would be a benchmark. It was at Jericho that they would flex their muscles and experience military victory and conquest. Now, just for a moment, try to put yourself into the shoes of the average Israelite soldier. For most of these men, Jericho was the first city they had ever sen that was surrounded by huge walls. It must have looked like and absolute impossibility to many. However, they listened to the instructions they were given by the Lord and they saw those massive walls fall down flat.

This morning, many in these services may question the fact that we are preaching from a book that is old and that is all about battles and wars. It is my opinion that the book of Joshua is very relevant to today's Christians. Folk, we are living in days of battle and spiritual struggle. We need to know how to fight. We need to know that our God is able to give the victory. We need to know how to follow Him to that victory. Joshua teaches us those valuable lessons!

Just as Israel faced the formidable walls of Jericho, you and I face walls and obstacles in our lives as well. We need to know how to over come them as we march towards the victory. This passage holds that answer for us today. Let's watch Israel conquer Jericho and as we do, let's let the Lord teach us How To Make Our Walls Fall Don Flat.

I. v.1 ISRAEL HAD A PROBLEM

A. Ill. Jericho is known as the oldest city in the world, in Joshua's day, it was surrounded by a system of two massive stone walls. The outer wall was 6 ft. thick and about 20 ft. high. The inner wall was about 12 ft. thick and was 30 ft. high. Between the walls was a guarded walkway about 15 ft. wide. Israel's problem was that they had a city to conquer, but there were some extremely huge walls in the way.

B. As we go through life, we have obstacles that we face as well. Perhaps it is a lost loved one we would like to see the Lord touch and save, a lost community over which we are burdened, a ministry from the Lord that we feel inadequate about, family trouble that tears at our hearts and leaves us wondering what to do, financial trouble that stresses us to the limits of our patience and faith, a besetting sin that constantly crops us in our life, or any of other a million things!)

C. We must learn not to look upon our obstacles as dead-ends, but as opportunities for the Lord to work in our lives!

(Ill. The great Apostle Paul had such an obstacle - 2 Cor. 12:7-10 - This attitude is foreign to us this morning. Yet, we must come to realize that the power of God is best revealed in and through us when we are unable to handle life. God is more clearly visible when we are totally out of the picture! In a sense, that is what He did with Israel here. As we will see, He completely removed them from the equation! The victory at Jericho was all God!)

I. Israel Had A Problem

II. v.2 ISRAEL HAD A PROMISE

A. As Joshua and all the men of war stood looking at those walls around that great city, God had a word of comfort for their hearts! Here, God promises Israel the victory before they ever attack Jericho! He lets them know about the conclusion before they ever enter into their battle!

B. As we face our obstacles, whatever they may be we can do so with confidence, because we have the Lord's promises as banners to march under:

1. We Have His Promise That Our Weapons Are Powerful Through God - 2 Cor. 10:4-5.

2. We Have His Promise That Our Battles Have All Been Arranged By The Lord - Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17.

3. We Have His Promise That Our Ability Is Limited Only By Our Faith - Phil. 4:13; Eph. 3:20.

4. We Have His Promise Of Power In The Day Of Battle - Eph. 6:10.

5. We Have His Promise Of Ongoing Victory - 1 Cor. 15:57.

6. We Have His Promise That We Will Never Fight Alone - Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.

7. We Have His Promise That When The Battles Are Ended, We will Celebrate The Victory In His Presence - John 14:1-3.

C. As we face the walled cities in our lives, we need to learn to believe the Lord, to take Him at His Word and trust Him for our victories! (Rom. 4:21; 2 Cor. 1:20)

(Ill. I Jesus did not save you for you to be defeated! He saved you for the victory and He will be there all the way to help you secure it for His glory! Will there be trials? But, there will also be victory - Luke 22:31-32.)

I. Israel Had A Problem

II. Israel Had A Promise

III. v.3-5 ISRAEL HAD A PARTNER

A. Israel's partner was none other than God Himself! He was in absolute control of the battle, He was leading them, and He was the guarantee of their victory!

(Ill. The visit of the Captain of the Lord's Host - Josh. 5:13-15. Remember that He came to tell Joshua that He did not come to take sides, He came to take over!)

B. As we face our walled cities and the obstacles of our lives, it is a blessing to know that we do not have to face them alone, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5, or in our own strength, John 16:13; Phil. 4:13!

C. No obstacle is insurmountable as long as we face it in the Lord!

(Ill. A moment ago, we spoke of the power of God's promises. For a moment, let's talk about the weapons we have been given to fight the battles.

1. The Word of God - You and I have been blessed by the Lord in that He has given us a perfect, inspired, infallible, inerrant record of His Word. The Word of God is called the "logos". This word speaks of the entirety of the revealed word of God. It speaks of your Bible. When Paul was listing the armor that is to be worn by the saints as they battle the enemy, he mentions the one offensive weapon we have and that is the Word of God, Eph. 6:17. You see, the Bible is like a vast armory. In this armory there are weapons of every description. They have been specifically designed to fight particular battles. It is interesting to note that when Paul mentions the Word fo God as a weapon of spiritual warfare, He does not use the word "logos". He, instead, uses the word "rhema". This word means a particular Word of God. If we continue to think of the Bible as an armory filled with swords of all descriptions, then the "rhema" would be a particular sword for a particular battle. This truth is illustrated by the Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount of Temptation. When the devil tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Jesus responded by saying, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Here, Jesus also used the word "rhema". Each time the devil attacked our Lord, Jesus walked into the armory of the Word of God and chose just the right sword for each attack. Each time, Jesus went into the Deuteronomy section of the armory and carefully selected just the right sword He need to stick the devil.

Folk, the same principle will work for you and me! God has a word for what you are facing. However, if you don't know your way around the armory, then you will not be able to select the right sword. It is imperative that we learn this Book so that when the day of battle arises, we will be able to grab the right sword and vanquish our enemies!

2. Prayer - Far too often we ignore the great power that has been given to us in prayer! Prayer is far more than me just taking my grocery list to the Lord and reading it off. Prayer is my entering into a conversation with the God of the universe. I speak to Him and He speaks to me. I am able to tell Him about what is on my heart and He is able to tell me what is on His heart. Prayer has the ability to get things done! You see, we have been given some pretty awesome promises in the arena of prayer.

A. God has promised that He will hear our prayers - Jer. 33:3; Isa. 65:24.

B. God has promised that He will answer our prayers - John 14:13-14; 1 John 5:14-15.

C. God has promised that He will help us pray - Rom. 8:26-27. (Ill. Essentially all true prayer begins with God. He speaks to our hearts and we offer the prayer He lead us to pray back up unto Him. This is the way to pray in the will of the Father!)

(Ill. The power of our prayers - J. Sidlow Baxter - "Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our argument, but they are helpless against our prayers!" (Ill. Hannah, Samson, Elijah, Elisha, Abraham, etc. Thank God, prayer has the potential to change any situation! It is sad, however, that prayer is given such a minor role in the modern church. The old fashioned prayer meeting has gone the way of the horse and buggy. But, you mark it down, those churches and individuals who have held onto the promises, power and the practice of prayer are seeing their walled cities conquered!)

I. Israel Had A Problem

II. Israel Had A Promise

III. Israel Had A Partner

IV. v.6-21 ISRAEL PREVAILED

A. Ill. The context. Israel marched around the city in obedience to the Lord and they prevailed! (Ill. The absurdity of the command! Can you imagine how the people in Jericho must have reacted? They saw the armies of Israel approaching their city and they probably thought that they were about to be invaded by the enemy. Then, just as Israel came near the city, they turned and began to march around the walls. I can see those inside Jericho as they ran to see where the Israelites would mount their attack. However, instead of attacking, the soldiers, and the priests merely marched around the city one time. All that was heard was the sound of the ram's horn trumpets and the pounding of the soldier's feet upon the ground. This was repeated for 6 days. By this time, the people in Jericho were no doubt mocking and jeering the Israelites. Then on the seventh day, they compassed the city seven times. When they had finished that seventh lap, the priests gave a long blast on the trumpets and the people of Israel shouted with a great shout! It wasn't the shout of an attacking army, it wasn't a shout of fear, but it was a shout raised in praise to their God Who had promised them the victory. When the people shouted, the walls fell down flat and Israel ran into the city and utterly destroyed it. Their's was a great victory!)

B. There are some reasons why Israel experienced victory at Jericho:

1. They had a Word from God - (v.2-6) 2 Tim. 2:15; John 16:13

2. They believed God - (v.8-20) God said it, that settled it! Do we really believe God? Mark 11:22; Matt. 21:21-22!

3. They acted in faith - (Ill. Heb. 11:1; 11:6) (Ill. I John 5:14-15, James 1:8)

4. They did it God's way - (Ill. This is the secret to success!) His way may seem too hard, too slow, or as in this case too foolish, but His way is always the best way! (Ill. Isa. 55:8-9)

5. God gave them the victory - (v.20-21)

C. God's church will prevail, Matt. 16:18; God's people will prevail! You can prevail in whatever situation you are facing right now! Take a lesson from Israel, God has promised us the victory - 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 John 5:4

Conc: What kind of walled city are you facing right now? Does it appear to be unconquerable? Do the walls look too high and do they appear too thick? Does it seem that victory is absolutely impossible in your case? Let me remind you that if your walls haven't already fallen down flat, they can! They can fall right now! You need to take a lesson from Israel and start handling your Jericho's God's way. Will you come before Him this morning with whatever your need is? Will you bring it to Jesus right now! He excels in doing the undoable! He can poss the impossible, think the unthinkable, do the undoable! He is still a miracle working God! Greater than obstacle, able to move any mountain, stronger than any barrier you might face today. Bring it to Him and watch Him work it out!



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