Summary: Are you ready for the coming conflict? As Christians, we face spiritual struggles and battles...
Marching to a Different Drumbeat
Text: Joshua 1:1-3
Introduction: Are you ready for the coming conflict? As Christians, we face spiritual struggles and battles on a daily basis. That is why Paul was so emphatic in the words he used in Ephesians 6:10-13. He said:
"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand."
Paul is speaking of readiness - preparedness. Being ready in advance rather than being blindsided by the evil one. As we come to our text, we find God’s people in a state of readiness. The 40 year journey they had endured through the wilderness had brought them to a state of preparation for whatever may lie ahead.
Their final preparation for the battle that lay ahead of them was marked by the miraculous crossing of this mighty nation across the Jordan River. They followed this crossing by placing memorials of stone in remembrance. The men had gone through the rite of circumcision to establish their difference from the Canaanites they would soon encounter. The Israelites were coming to understand that they would be marching to a different drumbeat in the conquests that lie ahead. Now, it was time to take Jericho.
Turn with me over to Joshua 6. As we begin our study of this battle, may our hearts be open to glean from it the necessity of readiness, preparedness and obedience. We begin with the:
- vv. 1-2 - "Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites--no one leaving or entering. The LORD said to Joshua, Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you."
A. Jericho had to be taken.
1. This was a strategic move orchestrated by God.
a. Taking Jericho would create a geographical wedge between the northern and southern sections of Canaan.
b. Jericho also had a large military force that needed to be dealt with right off.
B. The problem lay in the fact that for the moment, their was no military force to deal with.
1. The king of Jericho had shut up the city.
2. No one was getting in or out.
3. Jericho had decided they were not going to surrender, but they didn’t want to fight either.
4. Instead, they would just remain behind those grand, formidable walls that were about forty feet tall and thick enough for houses like Rahab’s to be built into it.
5. The people of Jericho intended to wait Israel out.
C. It is important that we understand the flow of conversation occuring here.
1. Back up to chapter 5, verses 13-15 and we read:
"When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in His hand. Joshua approached Him and asked, Are You for us or for our enemies? Neither, He replied. I have now come as commander of the LORD’s army. Then Joshua bowed with his face to the ground in worship and asked Him, What does my Lord want to say to His servant? The commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy. And Joshua did so."
2. Chapter 6 is a continuation of the instruction of the Lord.
3. Note in verse 2 the past tense verbage: "I have handed..."
4. Jericho was theirs for the taking.
But before they advanced any further, they needed to hear the Lord’s:
- vv. 3-5 - "March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead."
A. Definitely not your ordinary war strategy.
1. God’s plan was highly unusual and practically unreasonable.
2. It was definitely unmilitary.
3. No weapons, no battering rams, no scaling ladders.
B. God’s plan was to march.
1. As they marched, they were to blow the ram’s horn.