Laying Siege to Jericho
It is said that Mary, Queen of Scots, feared the prayers of John Knox more than she feared the armies of her enemies.
John Knox knew exactly who is enemy was. His enemy was not Mary, but the god of this world. He understood that he was not facing an earthly monarch, but that he was opposing Satan himself.
Today we are going to look at an epic battle which took place at Jericho. This battle was over before it even began. This battle was planned out by the Captain of the Host of the LORD. God had promised to Abraham that his seed would inherit the land. God renewed this promise to Moses and later to Joshua and, finally, in Joshua 6, we see this promise fulfilled. Look at Joshua 6:1 ...these people were terrified. Why? Joshua 5:1 They were scared because they saw what God could do!
Church, God hasn’t changed, but we have. There was a time when God’s people saw a challenge and met the challenge head on! There was a time when the church took a stand against sin and said, “No. The buck stops here.” There was a time when the world feared the church. Now, the church fears the world.
The Bible says when the people of Jericho saw the Israelites they were afraid. They locked themselves up inside their walled city and prepared for war. That city represented the world and its hatred for God. That city represented a religious system of evil and persecution. Those walls represented all the strength and power that the world could produce. But, newsflash, those walls and that city, they were about to fall!
Church listen to me, we cannot bow down to this world. We cannot give into its demands that we become like it. We, like the children of Israel, MUST lay siege to our Jericho.
This world has put up walls to keep us out, but those walls are no match for our God! The next time you are tempted to say the words “I can’t” to the walls of this world, remember these words: God can.
What must we do to see God bring down the walls in our life? First, like Israel, you must...
Be Persuaded vv. 1-2
Be Persuaded vv. 1-2
That God is going to do what He said. On the eve of battle Joshua saw the Lord. God spoke to Joshua and gave him some words of encouragement, church how we need this encouragement today! Notice the first encouragement:
The Victory has Already Been Won!
We see this in the tense of the promise
“I have given...”
In God’s eyes this battle was already over!
The word “given” has the idea of being placed
God is saying to Joshua, I have placed the enemy into your hands
God had literally handed over the city, the soldiers, and the king to Israel!
We are living in a world that is walled in by Satan…but don’t forget, God has promised the victory!
He is building up walls in our homes to divide parents and children
Mom, dad, I’m going to get right in your business right now
But, do you know what your children are doing behind the closed doors of their bedrooms?
Do not let those doors become a wall built by Satan
He is building up walls in our schools to cover the bases he misses in the homes
Look up CRT
Look up progressive sex education
This is what school boards across the nation are trying force into kindergarten classrooms…kindergarten!
Satan is building up walls in the government to keep God out of every area he can
Ronald Reagan once said, ‘If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.’ 1984
Joe Biden, in quoting from the Declaration of Independence said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created… by the — you know — you know, the thing.” 2020
How it actually reads as penned by Thomas Jefferson, We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Satan can build all the walls he wants, as high as he wants, because God can bring everyone of them down! That’s what He promised Israel, and guess what?
All Israel Needed to do was Believe it!
I’m afraid this is where the church today is struggling
We’re convinced that our opinion doesn’t matter
We’re afraid our voice will not be heard
I will remind you, Mary queen of Scots, what did she fear?
She feared the prayers of John Knox, more than the armies of her enemies!
This world may try to build up walls to keep us out, to keep us silent, to keep us powerless, but God is in the wall tearing down business!
This world is busy telling us that we can’t
Church, it’s time we began telling the world that God can!
Not only must we be persuaded, that is trust God, but we must...
Be Prepared vv. 3-9
Be Prepared vv. 3-9
IF we are going to have the victory over the walls in our lives, we must be prepared to do what God says. Let the record show that God’s methods are not man’s methods. Consider these verses...
Isaiah 55:8–9 (KJV 1900)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are my ways higher than your ways,
And my thoughts than your thoughts.
God’s way is ALWAYS best! Remember when you’re facing walls...
There are no shortcuts v. 3 - those walls were not coming down until those seven days were done. Christian, if not now, then one day you will face walls in your life. They will come down, but not on your time table, but God’s....but you MUST be willing to march.
There are no exceptions vv. 4-7 - This venture involved all the people of Israel. They did not all fight, they did not all march, but they all shouted! We’re not all pastors, deacons, teachers, children’s ministry workers, but we all have a part to play.
There will be no failure v. 20 - This world says to us “We’re bigger than you, we’re stronger than you, you’ll never stop us, you’ll never beat us.” That’s when we look at them and remind them, “We can’t, but God can.”
You can’t bring those walls down, but God can. If you want the walls in your life to come down you must be persuaded, that is believe that God will keep His promises. You must be prepared, knowing that God’s ways do not always make sense to us! Lastly, if you wan’t God to bring down those walls in your life you must...
Be Persistent vv. 10-27
Be Persistent vv. 10-27
Sure God said “March around the city once for six days, the seven times the seventh day…but what if we...”
That is not how it works. Persistence means, “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”.
The Israelites refused to back down to the walls of Jericho. They knew that Jericho was against them, they knew that if they bypassed Jericho they would pay for it later. They knew that the army, the king, the walls of that city were no match for their God.
For seven days they marched around and on the the last day they shouted the victory cry and saw God deliver their enemy into their hand. Christian, God can do the same for His church today, but we must remain faithful to Him! We cannot back down to this world, we must continue to lay siege to our Jericho if we ever want to hear the words of Joshua 6:16 “And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city.”
Church Satan has successfully raised walls in our world today. These walls are intended to not only keep us out, but to intimidate us, to frighten us away. Remember, our God is bigger. Remember when you can’t, God can!
How are we going to see God bring down the walls we are facing? How are we going to see the victory? By...
Being persuaded that God will keep His promises. We do not simply fight for victory, we fight from victory.
Being prepared for the battle. Our confidence does not come from within ourselves, but from our Savior.
Being persistent. Don’t quit. Don’t be lazy. Keep moving forward.
When does this start? Right here, right now. It starts with God’s people saying “Enough is enough. I will not go quietly, I will not go down without a fight.” Christian, are you willing to stand up and say that? Are you willing to say that your voice will be heard? Are you willing to stand up for your family, your church, your faith? Are you willing? No one is looking around today, why don’t you go ahead and raise your hand if you’re ready to take a stand?
One more question, “where” does it start? It starts with you being in a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. I’ll ask and then we’ll sing, do you today know that you are saved? Do you have the assurance that if you died right now you’d be in heaven? If not, would you like to know that today?