Friday, January 29, 2010

By Faith

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down!

What kind of walls are in your life that affects your walk with Christ? By faith you can tear down those walls. The conquest of Jericho is an example of great faith. Just as theses wall came down when Joshua exercised his faith in God the walls in our lives can also come down when we exercise our faith. Joshua had his eyes fixed on the Lord. He exercised his faith and obeyed God before the battle of Jericho at the beginning of the Israelis conquest of Canaan. God gave the battle plan of how the victory was to be won and the Israelites acted on that plan, in faith.  In different books we can read were archaeologists have confirmed the historical accuracy of the Bible account of this in the present day ruins of ancient Jericho.
Today I want to comment and exhort, a little, about the battle of Jericho.  I want to give the Christian encouragement with their daily walk with the Lord. There is much to be learned about the battle. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua and the people of Israel had crossed the Jordan River and now they were ready to begin to conquer and take the land of Canaan.  Joshua was an experienced military leader, but nothing in all his military training could have prepared him for God's plan to take Jericho.  He would have to act on faith and trust God for the victory which was about to take place. He had to decide to either put his trust and faith in God or use his brilliant military mind to defeat Jericho. Joshua put his trust in God, because he knew that with God all things are possible. He had only to believe God for the victory.
Jericho was considered the oldest known occupied city in the world.  Joshua laid siege to the city.  He blockaded the city. The armies of Israel surrounded it so that no one could enter or leave it.  There was not one weapon lifted against the city. Before the battle began, the captain of the host of Israel (Joshua) had an encounter with the captain of the Lord of hosts (Jesus).  Joshua worshipped Him and listened carefully to the battle plan that was laid out by the Lord. He summited to God's authority. The Lord spoke to Joshua as if the battle of Jericho was already won.  This surely had to strengthen Joshua's faith.  He was being told the future before it even happened by God! We too, as Christians, also know who holds tomorrow and who holds our hand! Praise be to His holy Name.
Here was the plan for the victory of Jericho:  For six days the Hebrews would encircle the city once while the priests blew their ram's horns.  The priests with trumpets went first, then the priests which carried the Ark of the Covenant, then the army.  The only sound would be the sound of the horns; no one could speak a word. Then on the seventh day, they would circle the city seven times in the same manner, and then when Joshua gave the signal, they would shout with a great shout. Then the walls would fall flat and they would run into the city and burn everything and everyone in it. Have you ever felt God so strong that you shouted? I have! I have been out in my yard and just felt the Lord's presents so strong that I just shouted to the top of my lungs: "Thank you Jesus for your blessings on me" If you are worldly you will not understand it but if you are spiritual you will know exactly what I'm talking about. Just as the Israelis put their trust in God, my trust is in Him too. During my walk with the Lord He has tour down many a wall and stronghold in my life and he will do the same for you!
Joshua had a great test of faith. He had to make a decision.  Would he try his own well laid out military plan, or totally trust God and obey Him in faith?  He had an intelligence report from the spies, and might have even drawn up some plan of attack.  If Joshua had a hard time believing God, we are not told anything about it in the Bible, but we are told about his faith. Never misjudge the power of faith.
The army of Israel marched around Jericho as God commanded while the priests blew the horns.  They may have been tired of covering the same ground over and over again each day, but they obeyed God exactly as they were instructed. Their trust was in the Lord. As Christians, we may tire of dealing with the same problem over and over again, but we can trust God to help us just as the Hebrews did and the shout will also come from you: Thank you Jesus!". Finally, on the seventh day after the seventh time around the city, Joshua gave the command and everyone shouted as loud as they could shout.  The shout was a shout of obedience and of faith. Then a great miracle of faith happened:  The walls fell down, flat on the ground, making a ramp for the invading Israelite army!  They ran straight in and burned everything.  The only family who survived inside Jericho was Rehab and her family.  She had helped the spies and was later a part of the ancestry line of Jesus, because she had faith to trust God to save her.
Archaeologists (people who dig up old places) have found those ancient walls of brick, and the burned remains of the city.  They found it exactly like that which was recorded in the Bible. We can trust what the Bible says.  The Bible is an accurate record of history. Nothing was taken from the city.  Joshua put a curse on Jericho and no one ever rebuilt on the same site again.  God was determined to wipe out the idol worship and practices in Canaan. God and His people began the conquest of Canaan with this miraculous victory at Jericho, where the walls came tumbling down!  What a faith boosting event!
The walls can come down in our life also just like the wall came down for Joshua and the Hebrew children. All it takes is faith in God. Trust and obedience to God is what it takes for the wall to come down in our life. Trust and obey for there is no other way. The world will never understand these instructions of faith. They will never understand or have any idea what they mean because the natural mind cannot understand the things of God. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:14) It is sad that most people have little or no knowledge or wisdom at all, of the things of the Spirit. That is the difference between being spiritually minded and worldly minded. Their minds are blinded, they only function in the natural world and see only through worldly vision. People who truly serve Christ have a true under -standing of divine revelation and they can see with spiritual eyes. The "natural" man may be educated, easy going, eloquent, or captivating, but the "spiritual" contents of Scripture are totally and completely hidden from him.

1 comment:

Tim Shey said...

"Obedience is better than sacrifice."

Obeying the Lord in even the smallest and craziest details in our lives will always bring victory and glorify His name.

If a Roman or Egyptian or Babylonian army had tried to conquer Jericho, they would have had to lay siege to the city for weeks or months--hoping to starve them out. When Joshua obeyed the Lord and the Israelites obeyed Joshua, they took Jericho in seven days. Praise the Lord!

"Submit" and "obey": two very powerful words in the Christian lexicon.