Summary: Part #3 of "Josh's Journey" series which looked at 3 different scenes from Joshua's life. This message has a bottom line of "Obedience is Trust Tested"
This is week #3 in a 4-week series on the Old Testament character, Joshua, called “Josh Journey”.
• He was one of the 12 spies that checked out Canaan.
• He was the one that led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
• The Jordan River parted for him
• He led the Israelites into victory over Jericho
• They lost to a much inferior city, Ai, then rebounded to beat them
• The sun stood still during one of their battles
Josh had quite the journey! Two weeks ago we talked about how all 12 spies were in the same place, saw the same people, experienced the same sights, sounds and smells but 10 of them had a much different report from Caleb and Joshua. We learned that:
WHEN YOU SEE WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SEE, YOU CAN DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO
Last week we looked at the first chapter of Joshua, when they were on the verge of crossing the Jordan. When God spoke to Joshua. It was critical that Joshua not only HEAR what God said, but BELIEVE. And for us to:
BELIEVING WHAT GOD SPEAKS, GIVES STRENGTH AND
COURAGE TO THE WEAK!
It’s NOT ENOUGH to HEAR what God speaks. We must BELIEVE! We looked at many of the different things that God has said about US as followers of Christ and I challenged us to BELIEVE what God has said, instead of what others or ourselves have said.
Today, we are looking at the most famous snapshot of Joshua’s life. JERICHO!
Before I read our passage, have you ever been having a conversation in a loud environment, when the noise suddenly stops? Or heard someone talking excessively loud in a restaurant or in church? Or maybe hearing someone answer their phone IN church and talk to the person as they are walking out or worse yet, talk to them WHILE they stay in church? No matter what your culture, it is important that you understand that there is a time to be silent and there is a time to speak. There is a time for reverence and there is a time to shout. That truth is played out in our text today.
What I want you to notice in this story is that there was a time to be silent and there was a time to SHOUT. BUT the key to their victory wasn’t in the silence or the shout! Why all the drama in the story? Why all the instructions? They could have just showed up, rang the door bell and God bring the walls down right then and there. But instead, there were clear instructions:
• The army was to march around the city once a day for 6 days in absolute SILENCE
• Seven priests were to walk ahead of the ARK blowing Ram’s horns.
• On the seventh day, 7 laps with the priests blowing the ram’s horns.
• On the signal, everybody shout with a GREAT SHOUT!
Why not just do it the easy way? BOOM! DONE! NEXT!
Do you remember the old cereal commercial?
KIX – Kid Tested Mother Approved
In this case, I think it’s
OBEY – TRUST TESTED FATHER APPROVED.
God was testing their obedience. WOULD they follow Him? Why? The Omniscient One didn’t know? NO, because THEY needed to know IF they would be faithful!
OBEDIENCE IS TRUST TESTED
Can you imagine what the people thought when Joshua, who had led the Israelites in several battles under Moses, told them the battle plan? “Hey guys, for 6 days we are going to do a lap a day around the city of Jericho with no noise except for ram’s horns. On the seventh day, we are going to do 7 laps, so we need to get an early start. And as we finish the 7th lap, we will SHOUT and we will win!”
“We’re going to do WHAT?” What Joshua knew and trusted is found in vs. 2 – “But the LORD said to Joshua, “I HAVE GIVEN YOU Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.” Joshua BELIEVED God, TRUSTED God and OBEYED God!
Now, some people have a difficult time believing God had a role in the fall of Jericho, except as an adviser so they try to explain how this could happen scientifically.
“Thousands of men marching lockstep six times, over a space of six days, around a city wall constructed of baked mud: mechanical resonance.
Thousands of men marching lockstep around the same walls seven times in a single day: mechanical resonance.
A unified blast from the ram's horns as thousands of men raise their voices and yell in unison: a shattering blast of acoustic resonance to walls weakened over a week's worth of mechanical resonance.
Notice too that every man charged straight in – which means that they didn’t batter down a section of the wall, but all the walls shattered at once – like a glass shattering under acoustic resonance, so that everyone in the long line had access to the city immediately.”