Summary: Joshua made a convenant with the Israelites that Jericho wouldn’t be rebuilt, for its ruin should always be a reminder of God’s power. In life, what God destroys in our lives, He intends to stay in ruins.
The scene of the text was one of destruction, fire, ruin. But, for the children of Israel, it was a scene full of victory. God had done a mighty work that He promised He would do on behalf of His people. He said Israel would possess Canaan and would destroy all those who oppose His plan. So after they had crossed the Jordan river (on dry ground), the first thing they laid eyes on was the mighty city of Jericho.
For this new generation of Israelites, the site of Jericho’s great size, not to mention its huge walls, was very disheartening. Even though God had told them the land was theirs, it was hard to fathom while starring at walls 50 ft. high/50 ft. thick. But, once again, God would honor His word with faithfulness to move on their behalf. And before you know it, these great falls had fallen straight down, the people slaughtered, and the city burned with fire, as God destroyed this mighty city.
As they sat outside the ruin, Joshua stopped to make a powerful statement in v. 26, “cursed be the man that rises up and builds this city Jericho…”. He was so sincere about it, that he made them make an oath (adjured them) they would not do so. God would have it to remain in its ruins a standing monument of his wrath against the Canaanites, and of his mercy to his people when the time had come for their settlement in Canaan. Joshua said if you do it, you will be under a great curse: his eldest son shall die when he begins the work, and, the finishing of his work shall be attended with the funeral of his youngest.
For one to understand the sincereity of this verse, you must realize some thing. GOD DESTROYED THAT CITY!! Man didn’t do it, God did. And God said if you go against something I did, I will cause you to live under a curse. God intended for it to stay that way, or else He never would have destroyed it.
***If you go against something God has done, you WILL live under a curse***.
In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.
Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever."
**It is a dangerous thing to attempt the building up of that which God will have to be destroyed.**
What did God do for us? Well, He tore down the walls of our lives. Ephesians 2:14 says, “he has broken down the middle wall of partition between us…”. And He intends for it to stay that way. Yet for some reason, before you know it God finds us with picks, shovels, hammers, and nails. What are we doing? We are rebuilding our Jericho. The place God destroyed, we are trying to put them back together.
Why does God not us to rebuild Jericho?
(1)If you do, it will be a constant reminder of the past life. And not only will it remind you or the past, but as long as it is there, you will always have the temptation to go and habitate that place again. But, if it destroyed, you can’t go live there anymore.
**Be Reminded!!! Micah 7:19 says he casts our sins into the depths of the sea, and David said in Psalms as far as the east is from the west…. God destroyed the past. Don’t go and rebuild that place again. It isn’t worth it!!
(2)As long as the city remained in ruins, it would be a constant reminder that God is who He says He is. But, if the city is rebuilt, then people can easily look and say, I thought your God was really something, but I guess not… But, if we don’t rebuild the Jerichos of our life, we will be living testimonies that God truly is all powerful, all knowing, all glorious, all favorable, all honored, and all truth!
**If you rebuild the walls, you defame God, the church, the Bible, and every other Christian who is walking in the light.**
(3)If you rebuild, you will hinder others who come along behind you to be hindered from making it to the promised land. As they are attempting to make it to their journey of spiritual freedom, you are standing in their way with your great walls and city.