Summary: The walls fall only after the will falls.
Watching the Walls Fall
Rev. Brian Bill
[Video Drama: “The Speculators”]
There’s a big difference between just thinking about something and actually doing it. As we learned last week from the opening chapters of Joshua, God called His people to take the first step if they ever hoped to cross the Jordan River. Now that they’re on the other side, they’re faced with incredible obstacles and amazing opportunities. Likewise, you and I are faced with multiple situations where God calls us to not just think about making a move but to actually do it. Some of us have thought about thinking of doing something but we haven’t moved far from the comfort of our couches.
Actually, before we think about “doing,” God wants us to focus on our “being.” Our work must flow out of our worship, our serving out of our sanctification. We’ll notice that there is something more impenetrable and imposing than the walls of Jericho; it’s the will of Joshua. That must be dealt with first. God wants our wills to fall before the walls that we’re facing will fall. Here’s a one-sentence summary of the sermon today: The walls fall only after the will falls.
Isn’t it tough when we don’t know why God does things the way He does? Many times we’re left in the dark but there are occasions when God explains Himself very clearly. God chose to have His people cross the Jordan when it was at flood stage because He loves to do that which seems impossible to us. He wants our wills to fall in submission to His will and then He does His work. We see two reasons why He did what He did in Joshua 4:24: “He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” Let’s look at God’s purpose for bringing His people into the Promised Land.
Why God Does What He Does
1. To demonstrate His honor to all people. God has a missionary heart; His plan of redemption has always included all the peoples of the earth. That’s one reason we are proposing to take on the support of three new missionary candidates. Each one is working in the least-reached part of the world, commonly referred to as the 10/40 window. The 10/40 Window is an area that contains the largest population of non-Christians in the world. Of the 55 least evangelized countries more than 45 are located in this region. This “final frontier” of missions extends from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator, and stretches from North Africa to China. I encourage you to stop by the bulletin board in the hallway to get to know these couples better. We’ll also be sending information to PBC members before our business meeting on February 13th because we’ll be voting on whether or not to add these servants to our missionary family:
• Mike and Robin Wahls (Ghana)
• Dirk and Jamie Kaiser (Kazakhstan)
• Andrew and Alanna Brown (Turkey)
The pagan prostitute Rahab certainly understood something of God’s greatness when she said in Joshua 2:11: “…For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth above.” We know that the people in the land of Canaan were well aware of God’s power in Joshua 5:1: “Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until we had crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.”
2. To display His holiness to His people. God has chosen to bless the earth through His chosen people but that will only happen if they revere Him. And they won’t revere Him until they submit and surrender to Him. The walls fall only after the will falls. In chapter five we see that before they can conquer others, they must first allow God to conquer them. They have to get some things right with Him before they can fight for Him. The same is true for us. We want to do something for God, or maybe we just think about doing it, and God says, “Slow down. I want to make sure you’ve surrendered your will to my will.” Jericho was the first visible obstacle ahead of them but it was not the first thing that had to be dealt with. The outward never is. The biggest problem is always me and my will. Before Jericho could be taken care of, the junk inside Joshua had to be dealt with. We see three ways in which God begins to break down their wills in Joshua 5.