Faithlife Sermons

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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 ()
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 ()
:
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()
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:
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?
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
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
Do you think the conversations took a shift at this point?
Joshua had a few more instructions...
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.
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