Nerf War - Battle Plan

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This sermon is about God's battle plan for Joshua's leading Israel into battle against Jericho.

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God’s Battle Plan

We are going to have a great time tonight. before we get going in our lesson I need to ask you one question: WHO IS EXCITED TO BE HERE TONIGHT?!?!
What tonight is going to be like
Everyone is going to come into this room (you all did a great job!)
We are going to have a bible lesson about God’s battle plan
We will go over Nerf war rules
We will have the best nerf war we have ever been a part of!
God is using the nation of Israel to bring glory to Himself. Much of the world at this time was not following God and so God used Joshua and Israel to point others to God.
God lead Joshua and the nation of Israel to a greatly fortified city called Jericho. Some of you may know a little something about this city. In all the world there was likely no other city quite like Jericho.
-Jericho is placed in an area known as the hill country. in other words, they have the high ground against any enemies coming in to attack them. This also means they would see people coming for miles off and could prepare to protect themselves with ease.
-When Jericho recieved a threat or felt they needed to protect themselves, they would completely close their gates blocking off all outsiders from coming into the city. Thy had everything they needed inside the city so they didn't have to open their gates and leave for any reason.
- When spies went to look at the city they returned saying “Jericho has walls that reach to the sky!”
The Commander
Joshua lead the Israelites not far out from Jericho.
Seeing this, of corse, Jericho was in full lockdown mode. Its like having an older sibling look at you and say “I’m gonna get you!”
that use to terrify me when my brother would threaten me! I would go to my room and hide.
Jericho saw the threat that Joshua and his army posed. so they closed Israel off completely.
As he prepared to lead his men into battle, Joshua spent some time alone. While Joshua was alone he looked up and sees a man with his sword drawn. Joshua had no idea who it was that he was looking at so he said “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” If the man was part of the Israelite army he was about to be in a lot of trouble because he had drawn his sword on the leader of the army of Israel. If he was an enemy then He would still be in trouble because Joshua was ready to fight!
“Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”
The man’s response was not at all what Joshua expected. He said
No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord.
Joshua immediately realized who he was talking to. This was actually Jesus who was appearing to Joshua here just outside of Jericho. Because Joshua realized that God was literally standing right in front of Him, He fell to the ground bowing in the presence of his great God.
Joshua’s Response

What does my lord say to his servant?”

Joshua is not just curious about what Jesus is thinking, he has a great desire to know what God wants him to do and, as the leader of the army of Israel he bows and says “what would you have me do?”
This can be one of the hardest things to remember when we don’t know what to do, when we feel scared, when we feel lost. It is believing that God has a plan and that plan is BETTER than ours!
God’s Battle Plan
Jesus tells Joshua the battle plan in 6:2

2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”

“See, I have given Jericho into your hand”
What an incredible moment as Israel looks onto the mighty city of Jericho. Jericho was truly in their comfort zone behind their impenetrable walls. Jericho has been in this situation before. This is the moment when God speaks to Joshua as we see in verse 2. God says “I have given Jericho into your hands”. The interesting thing about this statement is that it had not happened yet! Israel looked on concerned for their own ability to take on such a city and God tells them that, like a gift, the city of Jericho already belongs to Israel. God is speaking to Joshua as if God gave them a gift in years past and all they have to do is unwrap it! The catch here for the Israelites is that Jericho did not feel like it belonged to them. They still remained outside of the walls, the city was still filled with other people. Simply put, God is speaking past tense about a future event. That is something that only God has the power to control.

You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how weird this is?
I cannot imagine how awkward this would feel to have as a battle plan. God is on a pretty incredible path at this point in the mission. He tells them of this great plan and gift he has for them, He tells them that it is already taken care of, and then he tells them to walk in some circles for 6 days in a row.
This is like having a lock, locking yourself out, and then saying, well I don’t have my keys, but i know a trick, lets walk some circles around it and it and see if that works! NO! That is not a thing!
We still have some awkward plans today don’t we? There are some things we know we need tot do to follow God, but they can just be weird.
Talking differently than others
Sharing the gospel with our lost friends
Inviting people to church showing love to someone when they show us nothing nice at all
Praying for our food and thanking God before we eat it.
Finding time to read out Bibles and spend time with Jesus everyday.
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