Summary: A look at Josh and Jericho and removing obstacles in your life
TEAR IT DOWN
The story of Joshua and the city of Jericho (found in chapters 6 and 7) is one of those stories that are familiar to all of us. It is an amazing story. As I have looked at this passage, I have found some very profound spiritual lessons, but one more than any other seems to stick out. The spiritual lesson that I have found is this (three words): TEAR IT DOWN
READ JOSHUA 6:14-27
The situation that Joshua faces with the city of Jericho gives us a platform to talk about this spiritual lesson. Joshua faced obstacles and he overcame them; in fact he tore them down!
I. THE FACT OF THE MATTER: THERE WILL BE OBSTACLES
ILLUSTRATION… “Mistake Out” Crossroads, Issue No. 7, pp. 3-4
Bette Nesmith had a good secretarial job in a Dallas bank when she ran across a problem that interested her. Wasn’t there a better way to correct the errors she made on her electric typewriter? Bette had some art experience and she knew that artists who worked in oils just painted over their errors. Maybe that would work for her too. So she concocted a fluid to paint over her typing errors.
Before long, all the secretaries in her building were using what she then called “Mistake Out.” She attempted to sell the product idea to marketing agencies and various companies (including IBM), but they turned her down. However, secretaries continued to like her product, so Bette Nesmith’s kitchen became her first manufacturing facility and she started selling it on her own.
When Bette Nesmith sold the enterprise, the tiny white bottles were earning $3.5 million annually on sales of $38 million. The buyer was Gillette Company and the sale price was $47.5 million.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Christian life is that once you become a Christian, all your problems and stress just float away. Jesus never promises that out lives would be free from obstacles. How we face our obstacles separates the faithful from the faithless. Obstacles give us an opportunity to grow, stretch, strengthen, and learn.
Joshua and the people of Israel were given the task of entering the Land of Canaan, taking it, and settling it. This was the time when all of God’s promises about the “Promised Land” would come true. The land flowing with milk and honey would be their homeland. But, there were obstacles. There were already inhabitants living in the land who did not want to move, nor would they accept the Word of God. They had armies. The Canaanites had huge walled cities such as Jericho, which had to be defeated before the people of Israel could be safe and settled. What were they to do with these obstacles?”
Obstacles and hindrances have a history of impeding walks with God and hampering spiritual progress. Genesis 19:26 records that Lot’s wife could not overcome the obstacle of love for the world, and she looked back to Sodom and Gomorrah and was turned into a pillar of salt. 1 Samuel 17:39 tells us that Saul wanted young David to wear his armor and use his weapons to fight Goliath… Saul was not trusting in the power of God to win the fight. Nehemiah and those rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem (Nehemiah 4:10) had their hammers in one hand and swords in the other because of the obstacles and opposition they were facing from enemies. Matthew 19:22 illustrates for us that riches and material goods are often an obstacle when the rich young ruler chose his wealth over following Jesus. Sin, guilt, and other emotional weights are spoken about in Hebrews 12:1 as hindrances to the believer in the Christian life.
The fact of life, whether you are a Christian or not, is that you will encounter obstacles. Some will be of your own making and because of mistakes made. Some will happen to you because we live in a fallen world because of sin. Nevertheless, the obstacle is there.
II. WHAT IS YOUR OBSTACLE?
1) Family Conflict 5) Anger or Frustration 9) Lack of Prayer
2) Money Matters 6) Spiritually Lazy 10) Hard Relationships
3) Guilt over sin 7) Addiction of some kind 11) Selfishness
4) Depressed because of health 8) Anxiety and Worry 12) Worldly Vision
What is the obstacle in your life that is preventing you from enjoying the fruits of the Promised Land? Jericho was standing in the way of progress for the Children of God. Jericho’s walls and the armies and people inside were an obstacle that Joshua and the Israelites had to overcome.
What is standing in your way of a Godly relationship with your husband or wife or children or grandchildren?
What is obstructing your view of God?
What hurdles must you jump to strive to be more Christlike?