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Joshua Fought the Battle at Jericho

Joshua: Faith & Fear  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Joshua fit the battle of Jericho Jericho Jericho Joshua fit the battle of Jericho And the walls come tumbling down
Battle of Jericho - Hugh Laurie
- Battle of Jericho - Hugh Laurie
The story of the destruction of Jericho is one of the oddest military campaigns ever undertaken. Odd from man’s perspective but certainly not from God’s.
And in spite of what the lyrics of the old song say, Jericho was less Joshua’s battle than it was God’s battle.
Joshua was near Jericho scouting out this fortified city with his own eyes. At this point he had no knowledge of how God might intervene in the battle. He only knew that the battle was imminent.
Now when I say large fortified city, don’t think of a large city like Houston.
Jericho was more like a fort roughly the size of Walmart here in Los Fresnos.
The city was surrounded by two sets of walls and the city was densely populated. People even lived in housed built into the walls.
Even though this fortified city might be considered small by today’s standards it was well protected. In fact it was considered impenetrable at the time and was undefeated.
Jericho was a large fortified city on the edge of the Plains of Moab just across the Jordan River.
Now when I say large fortified city, don’t think of a large city like Houston.
Jericho was more like a fort roughly the size of Walmart here in Los Fresnos.
The city was surrounded by two sets of walls and the city was densely populated. People even lived in houses built into the walls.
Even though this fortified city might be considered small by today’s standards it was well protected. In fact it was considered impenetrable at the time and was undefeated.
As Joshua was observing the city of Jericho, something unexpected happened...

I. Joshua’s Encounter With God ()

I. Encounter With God ()
Joshua 5:13–15 NASB95
13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” 14 He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” 15 The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
This captain is certainly an imposing figure and immediately gained Joshua’s attention.
Jericho was a large fortified city on the edge of the Plains of Moab just across the Jordan River.
Now when I say large fortified city, don’t think of a large city like Houston.
Jericho was more like a fort roughly the size of Walmart here in Los Fresnos.
The city was surrounded by two sets of walls and the city was densely populated. People even lived in housed built into the walls.
Even though this fortified city might be considered small by today’s standards it was well protected. In fact it was considered impenetrable at the time and was undefeated.
In fact, Joshua doesn’t know whether to fight or stand down. He asks him “are you with us or against us?” Joshua might be considering that this man was here to join the battle on Israel’s behalf. Or he could have been from Jericho coming to discuss terms of the battle.
But this warrior was neither of those things. He was somebody else altogether and clearly had his own agenda in mind.
While the New American Standard uses the phrase “captain of the host of the Lord” the original Hebrew word is closer to the word “commander” or could even be “prince” of God’s army.
Joshua immediately realized that he was in the presence of a divine representative from God and bowed down in deference to the commander’s leadership.
It’s important to take note of Joshua’s reaction to this man.
Recognizing God’s leader, Joshua displayed:
a humble, expectant, obedient attitude
a recognition of the warrior’s superior position
a recognition of his inferior position
his willingness to do whatever he was asked
Who is this Commander of the Lord?
God’s messenger (angel)
God himself
Preincarnate Christ
Scripture is actually silent on the identity of this warrior beyond the phrase “commander of the host of the Lord”, leaving this question open to speculation. However, the revelation that Joshua is standing on Holy Ground indicates the divine presence of God. This statement is not usually associated with God’s messenger angels, but with God himself. But God does not normally interact with humans this way, taking on human form (except in the case of Jesus Christ). This role seems to be more fitting of the person of Jesus Christ. Though we cannot be certain without further revelation.
What can we take away from this encounter?
PRINCIPLE God can show up in any way, at any time that He chooses.

II. God’s Strange Instructions ()

Joshua 6:1–7 NASB95
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 3 “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 “It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” 6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord.”
Joshua 6:1–5 NASB95
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 3 “You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 “It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
:
PRINCIPLE God’ plans often seem crazy in the face of whatever problems we face. But by trusting in God, we can take action on His plans without fear.

III. Conquering Jericho ()

A. Day #1()

Joshua 6:6–11 NASB95
6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord.” 8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
Joshua 6:6–11 NASB95
6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord.” 8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
On the first day they did exactly as Joshua told them:
All the men of war marched first around the city
The seven priests carried the seven trumpets made of rams’ horns
They blew the trumpets loudly
More priests followed along behind them carrying the ark of the covenant
And a rear guard followed the presence of God
Joshua had given the people very specific instructions in Joshua 6:10:
Joshua 6:10 NASB95
10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!”
This caravan followed the instructions given them precisely. After circling the city one time on the first day, they returned to their camp and spent the night.
This whole event prob
Can you imagine the conversations in Jericho that night?
Joshua 6:11 NASB95
11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
Can you imagine the conversations in the Hebrew camp?

B. Days #2-#6 ()

Day #2 dawned and it was an exact repeat of Day #1.
And so was Day #3, and #4, and #5, and #6...
Joshua 6:12–14 NASB95
12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.
Joshua 6:12–14 NASB95
12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.
Joshua 6:12-14
How do you think the conversations changed in camp on those nights?

C. Day #7 ()

Day #7 dawned and the assembly gathered just like the other days...
Only this time instead of marching around Jericho one time and returning to camp, the assembly marched around Jericho seven times....
How do you think the conversations changed?
And after this seventh time around Jericho on the seventh day, Joshua gave a new command...
Joshua 6:16 NASB95
16 At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.
Joshua 6:16
Do you think the conversations took a shift at this point?
Joshua had a few more instructions...
Joshua 6:18–19 NASB95
18 “But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19 “But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.”
Joshua 6:18-2
What was this ban?
Back in the book of Deuteronomy God had commanded that certain things should be set apart for destruction. If they were not set apart properly then they entire camp of Israel would be put at risk of destruction.
These things to be destroyed were made of silver and gold, therefore they had some value, but many of them were used in the sacred rituals of the pagan gods. Therefore God was protecting the Israelites from their own destruction. We’ll see a story coming up next week that will illustrate this for us.
therefore
The people followed Joshua’s instructions...
Joshua 6:20–21 NASB95
20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. 21 They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
Joshua 6:16
The outcome of the entire event had been announced to Joshua before the battle ever occurred. God had given Jericho entirely into Joshua’s hands back in verse 2. (Actually previously, it had been promised to Moses before it was lost.)
Joshua 6:15–21 NASB95
15 Then on the seventh day they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times. 16 At the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 “The city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 “But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19 “But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” 20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. 21 They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
The outcome of the entire event had been announced to Joshua before the battle ever occurred. God had given Jericho entirely into Joshua’s hands back in verse 2. (Actually previously, it had been promised to Moses before it was lost.)
In fact this “battle” was never really a battle at all. The fortified city of Jericho fell without any armed clash of opponents at all. It was a complete and utter destruction in the city after the people of Israel shouted. All the walls just fell and flattened the city like a pancake.
And you have to remember that these walls were filled with people who were living in their households. They were very likely sheltering there waiting for the pending attack from Israel.
So, the walls fell flat and the warriors rushed in and slaughtered every person and animal in the city. Except for Rahab and her family, who had won God’s grace.
Why did God instruct them to destroy everything?
Deuteronomy 7:1–5 NASB95
1 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. 3 “Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. 4 “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you. 5 “But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.
Deuteronomy 20:16–18 NASB95
16 “Only in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you shall not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 “But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has commanded you, 18 so that they may not teach you to do according to all their detestable things which they have done for their gods, so that you would sin against the Lord your God.
Politically Correct Thinking
The problem with the Bible today is that too many people are coming to it with a politically correct way of thinking.
PRINCIPLE We try to impose our modern sensibilities upon the Bible… upon God. This is a problem.
In this event God had been attempting to draw the people of Jericho to himself for well over 400 years. But they were resistant to his drawing. God had moved to warning them of His destruction. So when Jericho fell, God’s orders were to completely destroy every living thing.
Some people will come to this story and think, “the people of Jericho deserve grace.
Why does God want to destroy them?
God had already given Jericho grace for 400 years. The time for grace had passed. The time had come for judgment.
God has two reasons to destroy the people of Canaan:
They are worshipping other gods… what you and I know to be demons… “the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” ()
He wants to protect His people, the Israelites, from the influence of these false gods, these false religions.
This battle was God’s battle, not Israel’s to win with glory and honor.
This battle was God’s battle, not Israel’s to win with glory and honor.
God fought this battle effortlessly.
It simply happened as God commanded it to be.
This battle was won because the people of Israel followed God’s instructions to the letter.

IV. Joshua’s Curse on Jericho ()

Joshua 6:26 NASB95
26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.”
What does Jericho look like today?
Jericho was completely destroyed. It was flattened. And it still sits flattened today even though modern day Jericho bustles around it.

What kind of walls do you have in your life?

Job
Finances
Marriage
Relationships
Children
Friends
God can overcome these walls and He can tear them down.
In fact, God delights in giving you these things when your purposes are aligned with His.
Romans 8:28 NASB95
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
I encourage you to give over the “walls” or troubles in your life to God and let Him handle them in His way according to His purposes.
Joshua 6:22–25 NASB95
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
Joshua 6:22-25
V. Taking the Oath ()
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