Summary: Jericho was an impediment to Israel's inheritance. It was the symbol of the enemy¡¦s strength and power. It had a reputation for being indestructible. Yet God said: ¡§Go Take it.¡¨ Faith will make others laugh at you. Yet it is the beginning of exploits.
WHEN NOTHING GOES IN AND NOTHING COMES OUT...
1. Joshua 5:13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ¡§Are you for us or for our enemies?¡¨ 14 ¡§Neither,¡¨ he replied, ¡§but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.¡¨ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ¡§What message does my Lord have for his servant?¡¨ 15 The commander of the Lord¡¦s army replied, ¡§Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.¡¨ And Joshua did so.
2. Joshua 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.
INTRODUCTION: WHEN NOTHING GOES IN AND NOTHING COMES OUT...
Regarding Vision: 3 Different Types Of Churches And People:
1. The Under-Taking Church ¡V Looking Back: The undertaking church is one that is always looking backwards. While you can learn from the past, you can¡¦t live there. Psalm 137:1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. 4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds.
2. The Care-Taking Church ¡V Looking Present: The care-taking church is always concerned with pressing issues. The number one question is always ¡§Do we have the money now to do this¡¨? Matthew 15:32: The people needed food. Jesus told his disciples to provide. They began discussing the problem, not a solution. "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" These people walk by sight, not by faith.
3. The Risk-Taking Church ¡V Looking Future: The risk taking church is always looking forward. They invest today to be all God wants them to be tomorrow. Examples: Walt Disney Was Fired By A Newspaper Editor For Lack Of Ideas. He Went Bankrupt Before He Built Disneyland. Michael Jordan Did Not Make His High School Basketball Team His Sophomore Year. Henry Ford Failed And Went Broke 5 Times Before He Finally Succeeded! Thomas Edison Failed 3000 Times Before He Succeeded In Discovering The Light Bulb. Jonas Salk attempted 200 unsuccessful vaccines for polio before he succeeded. By faith Noah went and built an ark - invested everything he had in something that seemed completely impossible for 120 years. By faith Abraham left his home and went to the promised land. Though he was living in a tent he saw the future city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
Sarah Laughed: Genesis 18:9-15 / Romans 4:17-24: In life, if they do not laugh at you, you have not started trusting God. Hebrew 11:1: Now Faith is substance of things hoped for, evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.¡¨
JERICHO WAS DESIGNED TO BE A PROBLEM TO THE ISRAELITES.
Jericho Was The First City After Israel Crossed Jordan. It was the oldest and most protected city. A strategic stronghold that needed to be defeated in order to possess the land. The Jews had prepared themselves spiritually and followed God¡¦s orders to the letter. Now they are ready to begin the conquest of the Promised Land. However, as it is with most things, it wouldn¡¦t come cheap. Archaeologists tell us that Jericho was not a big city - covering some 10 plus acres with up to 20,000 inhabitants. It was located about 5 miles west of the Jordan River and was the spiritual center of moon-worship. Standing at the foot of the western hills of Canaan, the Israelites couldn¡¦t go into the area with Jericho standing because they would have been attacked. The city was built to withstand any invasion. It had 2 walls surrounding it - anywhere from 30 to 60 feet high (about 6 stories high) and from 12 to 45 feet thick. The wall was so wide that one could drive a chariot on the top and Rahab even had her house there. Huge gates were reinforced with iron and were impregnable. This city was also important from a morale point of view - Israel¡¦s first challenge and losing it would be disastrous. Jericho was a benchmark. At Jericho they would flex their muscles and experience military victory. Now, for just a moment, try to put yourself in the shoes of the average Israelite soldier. For most of these men, Jericho was the first city they had ever seen with fortified walls all the way around it. It must have looked like an impossible city to conquer. Jericho was a fortress city, It was the symbol of the enemy¡¦s strength and power. Jericho stood directly opposed to Israel¡¦s inheritance. It had a reputation for being indestructible. Yet God said: ¡§Go Take it.¡¨