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Walls

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“IN WALLS WE TRUST

Joshua 6:16-21

SUBJECT:      Joshua

TITLE:        “IN WALLS WE TRUST”

PROPOSITION:  Men have a tendency to place their trust in places and things other than God.

OBJECTIVE:    Remind that God is the only place worthy of true trust.

INTRODUCTION:

1. Read Text (Joshua 6:16-21).

2. Regarding the text:

   (1) The city of Jericho was an important city.

        A. Six miles west of the Jordan it guarded the entrance into the highlands of western Canaan.

        B. Jericho was an oasis situated in a hot plain.

   (2) Jericho was a highly fortified city.

        A. Jericho came to have solid defense ramparts and walls.

           a. The walls = 16 ft. height x 6-9 feet thick.

           b. The city was elevated on a mound making it more defensible.

        B. During this time a “walled” city was viewed as being practically indestructible.  The only real threat of taking such a place was by “starvation.”

        C. To leave such a highly profitable and fortified city behind them would mean problems to them for the rest of the conquest.

        D. Nevertheless it was a “gift” from God.  The city had been given to the children of Israel (Joshua 6:1), and the people are ready to take it.

   (3) The strategy:

        A. This was anything but a conventional attack and did not last the length of time as would a siege.

        B. Two groups of armed men, separated by the ark and the priests, marched around the city once a day for six days.

           a. They were in silence. No words were to be spoken (6:10).

           b. Seven priests did sound a blast on the trumpet.

        C. On the seventh morning the city was circled seven times followed by a trumpet blast and then the entire host of people shouted out.

           a. The actions taken by the children of Israel must have caused a variety of reactions in those behind the walls.

              i.   Amusement.

              ii.  Fear.

              iii. Bewilderment.

           b. Regardless they fell by the sword of the victorious children of God.

3. Regarding STPO:  The title of our lesson is “In Walls We Trust.”  The people of Jericho had six days to react to their fear of God and the children of Israel but they were more content to place their trust (fear, reverence) in the walls of their precious city.

DISCUSSION:   THE WALLS OF JERICHO WERE LAID TO THE GROUND BY THE POWER OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF MEN.  WE NEED TO EXAMINE SOME LESSONS WRITTEN ON THOSE CRUMBLED WALLS...

I.   WE MAY BE RELYING ON AN INSECURE DEFENSE.

     1. Undoubtedly the people of Jericho placed a lot of trust in those fortified walls.

         (1)  They had protected them in the past.

         (2)  They were substantial walls.

         (3)  Because of their preparations there was a measure of safety within.

              A. Water.

              B. Food & provisions.

              C. Shelter.

              D. Companionship.

     2. Man has the ability to delude himself and place his trust upon unstable foundations (cf. San Andreas fault).

         (1)  Finances.     Millions are lost in investment or business deals each day.  I’m sure many never planned for such an outcome. (Illustration: The man in England (?) who killed self because numbers came up on only day he failed to buy.)

         (2)  Social acceptance.  A man can go from popular to the pits overnight (Hugh Grant, O.J. Simpson) due to his own actions, or it may be because his companions “fall from grace” or die.

         (3)  Mental/emotional foundation.

              A. Some relationships are  based solely on physical lust.

              B. Some people look to the stars or psychics to guide their lives.

         (4)  Religion/Salvation.

              A. Men hope to be saved on their own merit.

                 a. They have their own plan of salvation.

                 b. They will be “good” enough to get into heaven.

              B. Some men hope God has not noticed them.

              C. Some hope God is a liar.

              D. Denial of evidence (“There is no God.”)

     3. There is only one place worthy of our trust.

         (1)  “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; he is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (2 Sam. 22:31).

         (2)  “O LORD my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me,(Psa. 7:1).

         (3)  “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psa. 18:2).

     4. You cannot trust in your own ability to save yourself!

         (1)  We are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8).

         (2)  We are save by faith (Eph. 2:8).

         (3)  We are saved by the mercy of God.

         (4)  We are saved by the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).

         (5)  We are saved by the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

         (6)  We are saved by the gospel (Rom. 1:16).

         (7)  The word saves (Jam. 1:21).

         (8)  Calling on the name of the Lord saves (Rom. 10:13).

         (9)  Believing on the Lord saves (Acts 16:31).

     5. You cannot escape God’s notice (Heb. 4:13; 2 Cor. 5:10).

     6. God is not a liar!  He means what He says.

     7. All the evidence points to:

         (1)  The existence of God.

         (2)  The Bible is His inspired word.

         (3)  There is no way to eternal life except through God’s Son (Jn. 14:6).

     8. Trust your life to walls built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ.  “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

     9. Trust your life to walls built upon a rock (Mt. 7:24).

     10. Be careful about how secure you think your defense is!

II.  OUR DEFENSES (WALLS) HAVE A HABIT OF CRUMBLING RATHER SUDDENLY.

     1. It was at the moment that the trumpets sounded and the people joined in with a shout that the walls of Jericho fell outward.

         (1)  The moment was one of sweet victory for the Israelites.

         (2)  It must have been sheer terror for the inhabitants of the city.

              A. This was the seventh day of such nonsense.

              B. Many were undoubtedly sitting down to an enjoyable meal or conversation.

              C. Who would have dreamed?

     2. Disaster has a way of arriving without warning.

         (1)  Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes.

         (2)  Violent crimes, accidents.

     3. The walls of defense that you erect in your life as a defense against God will crumble.

III. THE WALLS OF JERICHO FELL BY FAITH BUT AN ADDITIONAL REASON CAN BE FOUND IN THAT SOME MEN INSIST ON FIGHTING GOD.

     1. God has the power and ability to accomplish His will in the lives of men, NO MATTER WHAT path they choose to use.

     2. The people of Jericho were not engaged in hand to hand combat with God but nevertheless they were fighting against Him when they opposed His children.

         (1)  The people could do just as Rahab did.  They had that opportunity.

         (2)  They knew about Jehovah God!

     3. If you have built a wall of defense about yourself, against God, then you are fighting against God. 

         (1)  You are fighting God if you are actively doing wrong.

              A. “Do you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4).

              B. Notice Col. 1:21.  “...who were once alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works.”

              C. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4).

         (2)  You are fighting against God if you fail to do right.

              A. Somehow many of us get this notion that the Bible teaches if we avoid all these various wrongs then we are safe, but such is wrong!

              B. The people of Jericho were just sitting behind those walls!

              C. “To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17).

              D. You are fighting against God if:

                 a. You can come to worship but don’t.

                 b. You can increase your contribution but won’t.

                 c. You could volunteer your services but you will sit and watch someone else do it.

                 d. You don’t pray.

                 e. You don’t speak up for Him when others blaspheme Him or rail against Him.

                 f. You are going places that Christians should not, dressing in a way that Christians should not or doing things that Christians should not.

     4. If you insist on fighting against God, YOU WILL LOSE!  THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD (1 Sam. 17:47)!

         (1)  REPENT and seek forgiveness.

         (2)  Those walls may or may not crumble in this lifetime but they will most certainly crumble before your very eyes when you stand in the presence of the Lord.

 

CONCLUSION:

1.   Once the walls of defense at Jericho fell down it was too late to change.

2.   The only place of safety at that time was in the home of Rahab just as God prescribed.

3.   The people of Jericho placed too much trust in the walls around them.  Where is your trust?  I remind you:

     (1)     You may be relying on an insecure defense.

     (2)     Our defenses have a way of crumbling suddenly.

     (3)     The walls of Jericho fell by faith, but they also fell because men insisted on fighting against God.

4.   The only safe place when the walls fall is where God says.

     (1)     That is in the church.  Just like it was within the walls.

     (2)     That is in Christ.  Just like it was within Rahab’s house.

     (3)     That is in the institution covered by the red blood of Jesus Christ.  Just like the red cord covered Rahab’s household!

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