Summary: A look at the progression of events that led to the walls of Jericho coming down.
STEPS TO THE WALLS COMING DOWN:
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
1. Crossing of the Jordan on the 10th day of the first month. 4:19
a. Just before Passover was to be observed, God brought them into the place of holding/preparation for the next step.
b. READ JOSHUA 3 – the challenge to truly believe. Would they step out?
c. This was a huge deal, because the people of God had become a shell of their former selves. It had been quite some time since they had seen a display of God’s power. Sure, they ate daily of manna from heaven, but that had become so commonplace to them that it didn’t carry the same meaning. They were challenged to step into the waters of Jordan at flood stage and trust that God would deliver them. The adult generation that had crossed the Red Sea had passed on and the memories of that event were just stories. Could God really do it again?
d. The church today has become a mere shell of her former self. We only talk about the power of God that used to be. Can we still trust God to display His power and glory? MANY WITHIN THE BODY HAVE BIGGER MEMORIES THAN THEY HAVE DREAMS.
e. God works all things out in His perfect timing. Our job is to be ready and available when that time comes. I believe that God waits on us much more than we wait on Him. He had to wait for an entire generation to die.
2. The enemies of the people of God were in fear and on the defensive. – 5:1 & 6:1
a. The enemy was trying everything to not only keep Israel out but to also keep everyone who was bound in.
b. The enemy is more aware of the power of the church than the church is. We need to gain an understanding of what is available to us and what we are capable of so that we can truly go into the enemies camp and take back what was stolen from us in the first place.
3. Circumcision – renewal of the covenant – 5:2
a. Cutting away of the world. This was God’s identifying mark for those that were His own.
b. The men would have needed 3 or 4 days to heal up so this took place on the 10th or 11th, just before Passover.
c. Consecration unto the Lord.
d. They camped at Gilgal, which is the region Abraham was in when God gave the promise that the land would be given to his offspring. (Genesis 12:6-7)
4. The reproach of Egypt was rolled away. – 5:9
a. The children of Israel were finally ready to let go of yesterday to claim their today and step into their tomorrow.
b. It wasn’t until the children of Israel made a show of commitment unto the Lord that He removed the world from them. He had taken them out of Egypt by His power, but it was necessary for them to make a personal commitment to Him and His ways before Egypt could fully be taken out of them.
5. Celebration of the Passover. – 5:10
a. Recommitment to God and His provision.
b. Leviticus 23:5-6 tells that the Passover takes place on the 14th day and the 15th day begins the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
c. The next day was a memorial of the day they were delivered from Egypt and had to take their bread without leaven. No longer were they going to “enjoy” or “partake” of the leaven of the world. They were going to eat the bread of promise.
d. Israel would have celebrated the Feast of Firstfruits here, b/c they were commanded to not eat of the land until they had offered first unto the Lord (Leviticus 23:14).
e. The very next day, the manna stopped and the Israelites ate from the Promised Land.
6. The Lord appears – 5:13
a. The response of Joshua determined the role of the Lord.
b. The plan of attack/possession is given. If Joshua had not listened and followed the plan of the Lord, the Israelites would have never possessed the land of promise.
7. The people walk out their obedience.
a. Verbal obedience is useless without the action of obedience to accompany it.
b. Joshua didn’t just say he would do what the Lord had commanded, he led the people forward into actually doing what God had said.
c. It may not always be easy to do what God has commanded, b/c it may not always make the most sense. We can often be guilty of trusting our own instinct rather than God Himself.
8. The people shouted.