Summary: Joshua shows us the keys to finding victory in life. This message was written for Super Bowl Sunday.
Five Keys to Finding Victory
February 4, 2007 – Super Bowl Sunday
Disclaimer: Material from this message was adapted in part from messages found on the Sermon Cnetral website.
Today is the biggest day in professional football. Super bowl Sunday and it has been completely filled with hype. Not just the game itself but even the commercials seem to be filled with hype.
How many of you have had someone ask you who was going to win the game? I have been asked that question more times than ever before. This year seems to be filled with more anticipation. Will the winner be Indianapolis or Chicago? Will the Bears be able to beat the Colts? Will the Colts offense overcome the Bears defense? These are the questions that have filled the talk I have heard about the Super Bowl. Even Condelisa Rice, Secretary of State weighed in and gave a prediction.
I am going to go out on a limb this year and actually make a solid prediction about the game. One team is going to win and one team is going to lose. Those are the facts and beyond that we cannot say. There is an absolute obsession about who is going to win the Super Bowl
The great Vince Lombardi once said: Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. This attitude seems to have penetrated our society in the area of competition. We are obsessed with winning but it seems we are focused on the wrong things.
This morning I want to share some things from scripture on the subject of victory. If you have your Bibles with you, please open them to Joshua 6:1-21. In these 21 verses we find five principles for finding victory.
Five Principles for Finding Victory
Background (v 1)
Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
Archaeologists tell us that Jericho was not a big city, covering some 10 or so acres (a bit bigger than the size of our church property) with up to 20,000 inhabitants. It was located about five miles west of the Jordan River and was the spiritual center of moon-worship. Because of its strategic location it controlled a wide area of land and God’s people would have to deal with this city if they were to take possession of the Promised Land. Standing at the foot of the western hills of Canaan, the Israelites couldn’t go into the area with Jericho standing because they would have been attacked.
The city was built to withstand any invasion. The walls were anywhere from 30 to 60 feet high and from 12 to 45 feet thick, depending on which commentator or archaeologist you consult. We do know that the wall was so wide that one could drive a chariot on the top and that Rahab had her house there. Huge gates were reinforced with iron and were impregnable. This city was also important from a morale point of view. This was Israel’s first challenge and if they lost it would be disastrous.
We fight our battles from a position of victory (v 2)
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
The victory was already won before Joshua ever set his foot on the field of battle. Look again at what God told Joshua. God was declaring victory before fighting even began. Jericho was a place of incredible fortifications and had one of the best armies in the region. Jericho would be a challenge of amazing proportions.
Often we hear some athlete say that they are sure to win the game or perform a specific task, like winning a gold medal. When God tells Joshua that Jericho has been delivered it is not some statement of confidence but rather it is a statement of fact. Jericho was already delivered into the hands of Israel. All that was left was the formality of the battle.
God was giving Joshua a sure thing in this battle. The city was going to be taken. The army of Jericho was going to be defeated. The walls were going to fall. Imagine the kind of confidence that Joshua must have felt after god had spoken. The battle was already won.
As Christians, we forget that we live in a position of victory. We often give up or give in, when we should be striving on because we have already won the battle. Think about it. The New Testament makes it abundantly clear that Jesus has defeated Satan and has conquered death. The final victory has already been won. The war is over and the victory has been secured.
How many of you are facing a Jericho in your life?