Joshua v. Jericho (Joshua 6)By Pastor Boffey on Sunday, April 25, 2010.
JOSHUA v. JERICHO (Joshua 6) I. Joshua is spelled Jesus in the N.T. ACT 7:45; HEB 4:8. A. Joshua's life and leadership of Israel in securing them a habitation in Canaan much typifies Jesus Christ's work in: 1. securing our eternal habitation in the heavenly Canaan, something the law of Moses could never do. ROM 8:3. 2. using the N.T. church to conquer the Gentiles with the gospel. 3. purging the heavenly Canaan of contrary elements to make it a fit and accessible haven of rest for the saints. REV 12:7-10 c/w HEB 10:19-22. B. Mind that this was Joshua's second coming into Canaan. The complete overthrow of the wicked and their works shall likewise be at Jesus' second coming. II. vs.1-21. The Lord here directs Joshua in the battle format against Jericho and Israel enjoys a glorious victory. A. Jericho was still as it was earlier: in paralyzed consternation. v.1 c/w JOS 2:9-11. 1. Curiously, when our Joshua made His first appearance on earth, it was Jerusalem that acted something like this. MAT 2:1-3. 2. Mark the similar reaction of the wicked of this world at the second appearance of our Mighty Joshua with His army. MAT 24:30-31; REV 6:15-17. 3. God forbid that saints should retreat and hide behind the walls of a hardened heart or long-held beliefs or self-righteousness when Jesus and His gospel come to rout their sinful tendencies and cast down their imaginations. 2CO 10:5. B. Though Jericho was still secure, God told Joshua, “See, I HAVE GIVEN into thine hand Jericho” (v.2). 1. What God has covenanted to do is as good as done. ROM 4:17. 2. Joshua would here be shown to be a man of faith by which he saw what his eyes could not see. 2CO 5:7; HEB 11:1, 7. C. Jericho was not about to be overcome because of the goodness of Israel, but because of its own wickedness. DEU 9:4-6. D. God selected here a most unusual way of destroying Jericho's walls. vs.3-5. 1. Who would think that priests (ministers of God's word), rams' horns and shouting would have any effect on such a fortress? 2. So, too, with gospel preaching. 1CO 1:21-23. E. The priests and the company were to circle Jericho for seven consecutive days bearing the ark of the covenant. 1. This would require the weekly sabbath command to be broken. 2. These Israelites did not seek to stone their Joshua for this “breach” of the Sabbath law. ct/w JOH 5:18; 7:23-24. 3. Neither had Israel yet made a god out of the ark. 1SAM 4:3. F. Seven priests; seven trumpets; seven days. Truly this victory would be complete and bear the signature of God. G. Compare the elements of Jericho's destruction with that of the wicked at our Joshua's second coming. 2TH 1:7-10. 1. Trumpeting and shouting shall be the order. 1CO 15:52; 1TH 4:16; REV 19:6. 2. At that time also, the church shall indeed “ascend up every man straight before him.” v.5 c/w 1TH 4:16-17. Joshua v. Jericho Page 1 of 3 3. Israel was to hold its tongue until the moment of victory. v.10 c/w MAT 28:18-20; REV 18:20; 19:1-2. H. God was here going to deal with the chief trust of Jericho---their wall. Without that, Jericho was finished. 1. Take out Goliath and the Philistines flee. 1SAM 17:51. 2. Take out the pillars of Dagon's house and the enemy is crushed. JDG 16:26-30. 3. Apply this principle in gospel contention. Go for the main foundation of an error and the rest crumbles. 4. And be not surprised if God takes issue with the precious stronghold in your life that is key to your complete submission to Christ. 2CO 10:4-5. I. The priests, men of war and the people did as Joshua commanded. See here a beautiful picture of a church that will accomplish great things. 1. The church has a Joshua for its leader and commander. ISA 55:4. 2. The church follows God's ministers who lead with the word of God. HEB 13:7, 17. 3. There is accord and walking in unity of faith. HEB 11:30; PHIL 1:27; EPH 4:13. 4. That type of church sees God work wonders. J. Jericho was slated for total destruction. No mercy was to be shown unto any (except Rahab and her house). No personal prizes or spoils of victory were to be taken. vs.17-19. 1. Later, spoils of conquest were to be enjoyed by Israel. JOS 8:2. a. But Jericho was the firstfruits of Canaan and the firstfruits belong to the Lord. GEN 4:4; PRO 3:9. b. This hearkens back to God's laws concerning things totally devoted to God. LEV 27:28-29. (1) The same Hebrew word (cherem, SRN # 2764) underlies “accursed” in JOS 6:17-18 and “devoted” in LEV 27:28-29. (2) To covet or secure that which was under such a curse would invite cursing from God. v.18 c/w DEU 7:26. 2. No partiality was to be shown to Jericho's inhabitants, regardless of age. vs.17, 21. a. By this we are reminded that we may not show any partiality in forsaking all things for Christ. MAT 10:37-38. b. The dangers of sparing when God says “Don't spare” are very real. 1SAM 15:3, 9, 23; JER 48:10. (1) Parents, take heed! PRO 19:18; 13:24. (2) Ministers, take heed! ISA 58:1; 2CO 13:2; 1CO 9:16. (3) This “harsh” principle is the basis of eternal salvation. ROM 8:32. K. Six days of marching saw no results, nor did six more circuits on the seventh day. vs.12-16 c/w 1KI 18:43-44. 1. But with the completion of the thirteenth circuit and the climactic shouting and trumpeting, Jericho's wall fell down flat (triskaidekaphobia types: take note!). v.20. 2. By this we learn perseverance in prayer and duty. JDG 8:4; 2SAM 23:10; LUK 18:1; 1TH 5:17; GAL 6:9; HEB 6:11-12. 3. By this we learn patience in awaiting final victory. HEB 10:36-37; JAM 5:7-8. III. vs.22-25. According to the previous agreement (JOS 2:12-21), Joshua faithfully provided for Rahab and her family's deliverance. A. Thus, the harlot who feared and believed entered into the kingdom of God. Joshua v. Jericho Page 2 of 3 c/w MAT 21:31; HEB 11:31. B. She experienced the blessing of Abraham ( GEN 12:3) and for her faith was blessed with faithful Abraham. GAL 3:9. IV. vs.26-27. Jericho was to remain levelled and a curse would attend its rebuilder. c/w 1KI 16:34. A. It is not wise to rebuild that which God has destroyed. 1. The O.T. law, its service and its weakness should remain as history for this very reason. EPH 2:14-15; COL 2:14-16. 2. Likewise our former ignorance and sinning ways. GAL 2:17-18. B. In Christ we may found ourselves cast down but NOT destroyed. 2CO 4:9; 7:6.