Summary: Israel had an area of defeat -- Jericho. They could never advance in their walk with God until they overcame that obstacle. But it was impossible for them to conquer, on their own. We too have Jerichos that have held us back, but with God they'll fall
UP WITH FAITH, DOWN
A. HUMOR: STRETCHING THE TRUTH, many golfers are known to:
1. At a golf course, four men approached the sixteenth tee. The straight fairway ran along a road and bike path fenced off on the left.
2. The first golfer teed off and hooked the ball in that direction. The ball went over the fence and bounced off the bike path onto the road, where it hit the tire of a moving bus and was knocked back on to the fairway.
3. As they all stood in amazement, one man asked him, "How on earth did you do that?" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "You have to know the bus schedule."
4. Story of Mario Briones hitting crazy shot. Went 50 yards, hit a round stick squarely then bounced wildly back up the hill to stop within 6 inches of the original position!
6:1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city…six days. 4…But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” 8 So it was….9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 10 Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” 14….So they did six days. 15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Josh. 5:15; 6:1-5,8-10,14-17,20.
1. "I have given you the land. Just go in and possess it."
2. There's a catch: to possess it they had to uproot the squatters living there. But the Promised Land is worth the fight!
3. The Promises of God give us everything we need for victory. IT’S YOURS! But hell will erect some Jericho walls around it to keep you from having it.
4. Israel is a picture of your walk in Christ: the EXODUS and their Possessing the Land.
a. You passed through the Red Sea of salvation (1 Cor. 10:4);
b. You've passed through the wilderness of temptation;
c. You've passed by the Mount Sinai of consecration;
d. Next we face the Battles of Sanctification as well as other battles of life.
5. God sent them first to…
I. JERICHO: WHY SO IMPORTANT?
A. BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK
1. The people of God had failed spiritually to rise to victory here 40 years before.
2. For 40 years Jericho stood as the symbol of defeat to the Israelites. 603,548 fighting men died in the desert as wanderers because of their unbelief here.
3. This city was their Achilles’ heel, their nemesis, their Waterloo. To ever get back to where God wanted them to be, they had to overcome this spiritual challenge
B. KEY TO TAKING THE PROMISED LAND
1. One of the oldest cities on earth. It was 2000 years old then! It was a symbol of military might; the Canaanites thought that Jericho was invincible.
a. 2 walls – 32 feet high, 20 foot thick.
b. Strongest, most fortified city in Palestine.
2. LOCATION – it was the KEY/GATEWAY to the whole region. If it was defeated, all the other cities would be a downhill fight. If it was taken, they would split the land in half. The kingdoms to the North and South wouldn't be able to unite.