Summary: Some of God’s blessings are unconditional, and some require that we meet certain conditions.
God in the City Series
Walls Do Fall Down
June 8, 2008 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A We’ve seen Rahab’s faith, & today we’ll see the faith of a nation.
1 Not just ancient history-it’s about your life/church.
a What God wants to do here & now, with you & me, those who trust Him.
b In the Christian life, you are either an “overcomer”, or you “overcome”.
2 With move forward in belief, or backward in unbelief
B Some of God’s blessings are unconditional (believe); while others require that we meet certain conditions.
1 Not “meeting” the conditions to earn God’s blessing; we’re “making” our hearts ready to receive the blessing God is going to give .
2 Today, we’re going to see how the sons of Israel prepared for the blessing of God knocking down wall after wall after wall.
3 Let’s look at how they prepared their hearts to receive the blessing of broken walls.
I The walls of a broken past
A Israel had come to a point where they either had to move forward in belief or backward in unbelief.
1 The Jordan River (10 miles from where Moses died) was a physical barrier that separated the sons of Israel from entering the land of their inheritance (Promised Land).
a Similarly, the Red Sea had separated their fathers from breaking free of Pharaoh’s grip.
b As they stood on the banks of the Jordan, the land behind them gave 40 years of testimony concerning their broken past (rebellion, idolatry, disobedience, wandering, broken fellowship).
2 As they entered the Jordan in faith (...and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.Josh 3:15-16 (NASB)), God was about to break down a wall of the broken past of the sons of Israel.
a While God was breaking the wall, Joshua built two walls.
aa First, in the middle of the Jordan River (12 stones-our past is being buried, funeral). It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD had come up from the middle of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before. Josh 4:18 (NASB)
bb Secondly, at Gilgal to remember the wonders (Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." Josh 3:5 (NASB)), & also to remind them that they weren’t going back to where they left (meant nothing to the Amorite, Canaanite, Jebuzite).
B What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:1-4 (NASB)
1 I’m not going back
a Separated from the old life, bondage of sin, deeds of the flesh, & broken past.
b Today, I lay claim to my inheritance as a child of God.
2 My broken past is buried & washed away in the blood of Jesus.
a East to the West, forgiven & forgotten my sin
b Restored me!
II Walls of broken promises
A The Promised Land was an inherited piece of land God gave Abraham, that was to be passed down to his children forever.
1 To be counted among the “chosen”, you were to do two things that were agreed upon by God, Abraham, & Moses:
a Circumcision (a religious ritual that Israeli males did to show loyalty to YHWH). (Gen. 17:10-11, 21:4; Lev. 12:3)
aa For the forty years the sons of Israel wandered, nobody was circumcised.
bb At that time the LORD said to Joshua, "Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time." 5 For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised. 7 Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised ; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way. 8 Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed . Josh 5:2, 5, 7-8 (NASB) Broken promise