Contributed by Jerry Dunn on Jul 26, 2002 (message contributor)
Summary: This sermon’s title was taken from another contributor: Glenn Queener. The body of the message is not at all the same as his outline. It is a message preached to challenge my people to move forward in the construction of our new facility even though there
Vision + Faith + Action =Victory
Joshua 6:1-5; 20
The text for the message this morning is one that is quite familiar to all of us. As children we used to sing songs about “Joshua and the battle of Jericho,” and how those walls came “a tumblin’ down.” This is, without question, one of the most exciting stories in the Bible in which the mighty, supernatural power of God is displayed in response to the obedience and faith of His people.
Oftentimes, familiarity with something causes us to take it for granted, or to hold it in low esteem; but not so with this tireless story where there are yet lessons to be learned by the church whose desire it would be to accomplish much for the glory of God.
As we look at this passage of scripture, we find that the children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, are about to enter the land of promise. All they have to do is cross the swelling Jordan River by following the ark of God as it is carried by the priests. God has already told them that the land was theirs for the taking, and that their possession of the land was limited only by their vision to obtain it. In Joshua 1:3-5 God told Joshua:
“Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Now, I want you to note something here! God made a promise concerning their possession, and of their protection, but He did not promise that their possession of the land would be without a fight! It has often been said that “Anything worth having is worth fighting for.” This is especially true in the spiritual realm because we are engaged in spiritual warfare against a powerful enemy who is determined to thwart the plans and purposes of God in his attacks against God’s people. Just as the land of Canaan belonged to Israel….but to receive its benefits and blessings they would have to conquer many enemies….so new experiences through the gaining of new ground belongs to us, but there are enemies to be fought, and walls to be torn down.
Jericho was a fortified city. There were two walls that surrounded the entire city, and each wall was posted with sentinels. The outer wall was six feet thick, and the inner was purportedly twelve feet thick. As far as mere man was concerned the walls were impregnable! But, with God all things are possible! And, as we will see the walls fell flat before the children of Israel, and every man went straight in to conquer the inhabitants.
How was it that Israel experienced such victory? Well, it began as only it could have: with a God-given vision. In Joshua 6:2 God said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, it’s king, and it’s mighty men of valor.”
The word see comes from the Hebrew word râw-âw, and it means to envision something: to see far beyond the physical realm of present reality to see something as it can, and will be. God’s call for Joshua to envision the fall of Jericho was based not upon Israel’s power and might, but upon God Himself, as He declared unto Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand…”
Joshua knew what it meant to have vision of future things. He and Caleb were two of twelve spies sent in to spy out the promised land some forty years before. Like the others, Joshua and Caleb saw the inhabitants of the land; they had seen the fortified cities; but they also saw the blessings of God that lay before them, and while ten spies saw themselves as nothing more than grasshoppers in the eyes of their enemies, Joshua and Caleb were visionaries, and tried to encourage the people to move forward to receive God’s blessings.
Solomon, in his great wisdom, declared in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” The word vision is defined as simply a dream, or a revelation. I cannot help but think of the late Dr. Martin Luther King who often proclaimed: “I have a dream!” His dream, or vision was for equality for men and women of all races. Well, long before God appointed Joshua to succeed Moses and lead the nation Israel into the promised land, Joshua had a dream! His dream was to possess the land of Canaan. His dream was to receive and enjoy the promise of God. His dream was to live in a land of plenty in peace. It was something that he longed for so badly that he could taste it. He lived and breathed the dream.