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The Walls Came Tumbling Down

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=MsoNormal align=right style='text-align:right'>1) 6-22-08…AM…SBC     2)“The Walls Came Tumbling Down”

Joshua 6

Introduction:               We pick up with this narrative story after witnessing God’s Sovereign hand of control in…

Ø      The Promises to Joshua                                   Ch 1

Ø      The spying out of Jericho                    Ch 2

Ø      The Crossing of the Jordan                  Ch 3

Ø      The Divine Encounter                          Ch 5

 

With God as the main character of each and every narrative story in Joshua we now see the Divine destruction of Jericho

Transition:       Through this narrative story we learn that…


Proposition:                Obedience emerges from a proper fear of God.


 

6:1 - This verse sets the stage for the episode at Jericho[1]

1- The problem is stated: Jericho was “tightly shut up.”[2]

a-      this was a two-fold problem

1.      this is both a problems for Jericho (confinement) and for Israel (more difficulty in battle)

Ø      Just like in 3:15 (the Jordan River Crossing) we have a great potential obstacle that is then overcome effortlessly by a mighty act of God.[3]


Bible Geography:      Why was Jericho such a great obstacle?                             (Source: The Walls of Jericho Article)

  • there have been plenty of skeptics when it comes to the walls of Jericho spontaneously falling down

Ø      In Deut 9:1 Moses told the people that the Promise Land had cities that had walls reaching to the sky

Dimensions     (Show picture #1)      Bryant Wood:    recognized authority on the archeology of Jericho

                                                                        (he is the director of the Associates for Biblical Research)

 

-          The retaining wall was some four to five meters (12–15 feet) high.

-          On top of that was a mud brick wall two meters (six feet) thick and about six to eight meters (20–26 feet) high.

-          At the crest of the embankment was a similar mud brick wall whose base was roughly 14 meters (46 feet) above the ground level outside the retaining wall

-          Within the upper-wall was a nine acre area of living space

-          Excavations tell us that people there was also a living are between the two walls

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Ø      Humanly speaking, it was impossible for the Israelites to penetrate the impregnable bastion of Jericho

Transition:  Humanly speaking it might have been impossible, but this is exactly what God wanted everyone to see

Verses 3-7 =       God’s Instructions to Joshua

 

            Encouragement: (v2)   Prophetic Perfect – As good as done in the mind of God

Ø      The Army was to march around the city once each day for six days   v3

Ø      Only on the 7th day were they to march around Jericho 7 times with the priests blowing the trumpets

    • after one long trumpet blast the people were to shout and the walls would come crashing down

Read verse 5:  “fall down flat” = literally “fall down under itself” (implode)

Ø      Joshua relayed the instructions to the priests and then to the people    v6-7

 

 

Verses 8-11        =                 Day #1                 (circle once and go back to camp)

Verses 12-14      =                 Day #2-6             (the presence of the Lord was the Ark)

Verses 15-21      =                 Day #7                (God’s Faithfulness prevails)

Ø      Joshua’s speech           v16-19

    • All the spoils of this victory were to be devoted to God – no one was to taken anything for themselves  

o       the annihilation of everything, included killing all the people in it to prevent Israel’s spiritual contamination (Dt. 20:16–18)[4] as well as their payment for their own sinful practices (idol worship, child sacrifice) - only Rahab and those in her house were to be saved from destruction       v17

Ø      The walls came tumbling down          v20

 

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Bible Geography:      Is there archeological evidence for all of this destruction?                (Show picture #2)

1-      All archeological evidence from the 1930’s, 1950’s and as early as 1997 point towards heaps of clay bricks on top of a heap of stone bricks - this supports the reading of the text as “fell down under itself”

2-      At the North end of Jericho archeologists have made some amazing discoveries (1907-1909)

a-      there was a stretch of the lower city wall that had not fallen down as everywhere else

b-      a portion of the mud brick was still standing at a height of over 8 ft

c-      this is quite possibly the house of Rahab – which would support Joshua 2:15 that her house was built into the outer wall

3-      As the city wall fell, archeology supports the text by showing that the collapsed brick walls formed a ramp up into the city of Jericho                   v20b

4-      When archeologists reached the ground level they found a layer of burnt ash and debris about 3ft thick - 6:24


 

TransitionWhat beneficial application is there for the Christian today?

 

Conclusion:    We can learn that obedience emerges from the heart that properly fears God.

Show slide:

1-      Seeing God’s Faithfulness (to Israel and to us)

2-      Must lead to a proper fear of God

3-      Which must lead to obedience to God

God’s Faithfulness:

Ø      Only as He is faithful will His promises stand

Ø      Only as we have complete assurance that He is faithful may we live in peace and look forward with assurance of the life to come

 

Is your life peaceful?--Does peace flood your soul when you think about dying?--Are you worrying?--Are you fearful?--Are you tempted to lose your faith?

                                                                              Come to the Savior!

Fear of God:

Ø      The goal is seeing God’s faithfulness is to establish a daily tradition of growing in our fear of God

Ø      To increase in your fear of God you must increase in your knowledge about God (Proverbs 1:7)

Ø      How consistent are you in your knowledge of the Holy – Do you know what he demands of you?

Ø      What does the fear of God look like?  Proverbs 8:13 “to hate evil”

Obedience to God:

Ø      Joshua’s fear of God lead him and Israel to obey every command in the battle of Jericho

Ø      When the strategy of conquering Jericho was absurd they obeyed God

·         they remembered the Red Sea Crossing

·         they remembered the manna

·         they remembered the Jordan River Crossing

·         they remembered all that God was and all that God did

·         and they obeyed!

 

Does your Knowledge of the Holy One prompt you to obey by…

 

1- Submitting to Christ for the salvation of your soul – the reality of hell

2- Fighting against getting angry at circumstances that are out of your control

3- Fighting against lustful looking

4- obedience to your parents

5- love for your neighbor

6- submission to your husband

7- obedience in church membership

8- obedience in financially giving back to a faithful God that has given so much to you

 


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[1]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 168.

[2]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 168.

[3]David M. Howard, Jr, vol. 5, Joshua, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1998), 169.

[4]D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, Rev. Ed. of: The New Bible Commentary. 3rd Ed. / Edited by D. Guthrie, J.A. Motyer. 1970., 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Jos 6:15.

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