Claiming Your Canaan Series #5
HOW TO MAKE YOUR WALLS FALL DOWN FLAT
Intro: Israel has finally crossed the Jordan. They have
prepared themselves spiritually and they have, thus far,
followed God's orders to the letter. Now, they are ready
to begin the conquest of the Promised Land. They are
ready to claim for themselves the land that flowed with
milk and honey. However, like most things in life that
are worth having, it wouldn't come cheap!
For Israel, Jericho would be a benchmark. It was at
Jericho that they would flex their muscles and
experience military victory and conquest. Now, just for
a moment, try to put yourself into the shoes of the
average Israelite soldier. For most of these men,
Jericho was the first city they had ever sen that was
surrounded by huge walls. It must have looked like and
absolute impossibility to many. However, they listened
to the instructions they were given by the Lord and they
saw those massive walls fall down flat.
This morning, many in these services may question
the fact that we are preaching from a book that is old
and that is all about battles and wars. It is my opinion
that the book of Joshua is very relevant to today's
Christians. Folk, we are living in days of battle and
spiritual struggle. We need to know how to fight. We
need to know that our God is able to give the victory.
We need to know how to follow Him to that victory.
Joshua teaches us those valuable lessons!
Just as Israel faced the formidable walls of Jericho,
you and I face walls and obstacles in our lives as well.
We need to know how to over come them as we march
towards the victory. This passage holds that answer for
us today. Let's watch Israel conquer Jericho and as we
do, let's let the Lord teach us How To Make Our Walls
Fall Don Flat.
I. v.1 ISRAEL HAD A PROBLEM
A. Ill. Jericho is known as the oldest city in the world,
in Joshua's day, it was surrounded by a system of
two massive stone walls. The outer wall was 6
ft. thick and about 20 ft. high. The inner wall
was about 12 ft. thick and was 30 ft. high.
Between the walls was a guarded walkway
about 15 ft. wide. Israel's problem was that they
had a city to conquer, but there were some
extremely huge walls in the way.
B. As we go through life, we have obstacles that we
face as well. Perhaps it is a lost loved one we
would like to see the Lord touch and save, a lost
community over which we are burdened, a
ministry from the Lord that we feel inadequate
about, family trouble that tears at our hearts and
leaves us wondering what to do, financial trouble
that stresses us to the limits of our patience and
faith, a besetting sin that constantly crops us in
our life, or any of other a million things!)
C. We must learn not to look upon our obstacles as
dead-ends, but as opportunities for the Lord to
work in our lives!
(Ill. The great Apostle Paul had such an obstacle
- 2 Cor. 12:7-10 - This attitude is foreign to us this
morning. Yet, we must come to realize that the
power of God is best revealed in and through us
when we are unable to handle life. God is more
clearly visible when we are totally out of the
picture! In a sense, that is what He did with Israel
here. As we will see, He completely removed
them from the equation! The victory at Jericho
was all God!)
I. Israel Had A Problem
II. v.2 ISRAEL HAD A PROMISE
A. As Joshua and all the men of war stood looking at
those walls around that great city, God had a
word of comfort for their hearts! Here, God
promises Israel the victory before they ever attack
Jericho! He lets them know about the conclusion
before they ever enter into their battle!
B. As we face our obstacles, whatever they may be
we can do so with confidence, because we have
the Lord's promises as banners to march under:
1. We Have His Promise That Our Weapons
Are Powerful Through God - 2 Cor. 10:4-5.
2. We Have His Promise That Our Battles
Have All Been Arranged By The Lord -
Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17.
3. We Have His Promise That Our Ability Is
Limited Only By Our Faith - Phil. 4:13; Eph.
4. We Have His Promise Of Power In The Day
Of Battle - Eph. 6:10.
5. We Have His Promise Of Ongoing Victory -
1 Cor. 15:57.
6. We Have His Promise That We Will Never
Fight Alone - Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20.
7. We Have His Promise That When The
Battles Are Ended, We will Celebrate The
Victory In His Presence - John 14:1-3.
C. As we face the walled cities in our lives, we need
to learn to believe the Lord, to take Him at His
Word and trust Him for our victories! (Rom. 4:21;
2 Cor. 1:20)
(Ill. I Jesus did not save you for you to be
defeated! He saved you for the victory and He
will be there all the way to help you secure it for
His glory! Will there be trials? But, there will also
be victory - Luke 22:31-32.)
I. Israel Had A Problem
II. Israel Had A Promise
III. v.3-5 ISRAEL HAD A PARTNER
A. Israel's partner was none other than God Himself!
He was in absolute control of the battle, He was
leading them, and He was the guarantee of their
(Ill. The visit of the Captain of the Lord's Host -
Josh. 5:13-15. Remember that He came to tell
Joshua that He did not come to take sides, He
came to take over!)
B. As we face our walled cities and the obstacles of
our lives, it is a blessing to know that we do not
have to face them alone, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5,
or in our own strength, John 16:13; Phil. 4:13!
C. No obstacle is insurmountable as long as we face
it in the Lord!
(Ill. A moment ago, we spoke of the power of
God's promises. For a moment, let's talk about
the weapons we have been given to fight the
1. The Word of God - You and I have been
blessed by the Lord in that He has given us a
perfect, inspired, infallible, inerrant record of
His Word. The Word of God is called the
"logos". This word speaks of the entirety of
the revealed word of God. It speaks of your
Bible. When Paul was listing the armor that is
to be worn by the saints as they battle the
enemy, he mentions the one offensive
weapon we have and that is the Word of God,
Eph. 6:17. You see, the Bible is like a vast
armory. In this armory there are weapons of
every description. They have been
specifically designed to fight particular battles.
It is interesting to note that when Paul
mentions the Word fo God as a weapon of
spiritual warfare, He does not use the word
"logos". He, instead, uses the word "rhema".
This word means a particular Word of God. If
we continue to think of the Bible as an armory
filled with swords of all descriptions, then the
"rhema" would be a particular sword for a
particular battle. This truth is illustrated by the
Lord Jesus Christ on the Mount of
Temptation. When the devil tempted Jesus to
turn the stones into bread, Jesus responded
by saying, "Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceedeth
out of the mouth of God." Here, Jesus also
used the word "rhema". Each time the devil
attacked our Lord, Jesus walked into the
armory of the Word of God and chose just the
right sword for each attack. Each time, Jesus
went into the Deuteronomy section of the
armory and carefully selected just the right
sword He need to stick the devil.
Folk, the same principle will work for you
and me! God has a word for what you are
facing. However, if you don't know your way
around the armory, then you will not be able to
select the right sword. It is imperative that we
learn this Book so that when the day of battle
arises, we will be able to grab the right sword
and vanquish our enemies!
2. Prayer - Far too often we ignore the great
power that has been given to us in prayer!
Prayer is far more than me just taking my
grocery list to the Lord and reading it off.
Prayer is my entering into a conversation with
the God of the universe. I speak to Him and
He speaks to me. I am able to tell Him about
what is on my heart and He is able to tell me
what is on His heart. Prayer has the ability to
get things done! You see, we have been
given some pretty awesome promises in the
arena of prayer.
A. God has promised that He will hear our
prayers - Jer. 33:3; Isa. 65:24.
B. God has promised that He will answer
our prayers - John 14:13-14; 1 John 5:14-15.
C. God has promised that He will help us
pray - Rom. 8:26-27. (Ill. Essentially all
true prayer begins with God. He speaks to
our hearts and we offer the prayer He lead
us to pray back up unto Him. This is the
way to pray in the will of the Father!)
(Ill. The power of our prayers - J. Sidlow
Baxter - "Men may spurn our appeals, reject
our message, oppose our argument, but
they are helpless against our prayers!" (Ill.
Hannah, Samson, Elijah, Elisha, Abraham,
etc. Thank God, prayer has the potential to
change any situation! It is sad, however, that
prayer is given such a minor role in the
modern church. The old fashioned prayer
meeting has gone the way of the horse and
buggy. But, you mark it down, those churches
and individuals who have held onto the
promises, power and the practice of prayer
are seeing their walled cities conquered!)
I. Israel Had A Problem
II. Israel Had A Promise
III. Israel Had A Partner
IV. v.6-21 ISRAEL PREVAILED
A. Ill. The context. Israel marched around the city in
obedience to the Lord and they prevailed! (Ill.
The absurdity of the command! Can you imagine
how the people in Jericho must have reacted?
They saw the armies of Israel approaching their
city and they probably thought that they were
about to be invaded by the enemy. Then, just as
Israel came near the city, they turned and began
to march around the walls. I can see those inside
Jericho as they ran to see where the Israelites
would mount their attack. However, instead of
attacking, the soldiers, and the priests merely
marched around the city one time. All that was
heard was the sound of the ram's horn trumpets
and the pounding of the soldier's feet upon the
ground. This was repeated for 6 days. By this
time, the people in Jericho were no doubt
mocking and jeering the Israelites. Then on the
seventh day, they compassed the city seven
times. When they had finished that seventh lap,
the priests gave a long blast on the trumpets and
the people of Israel shouted with a great shout!
It wasn't the shout of an attacking army, it wasn't
a shout of fear, but it was a shout raised in
praise to their God Who had promised them the
victory. When the people shouted, the walls fell
down flat and Israel ran into the city and utterly
destroyed it. Their's was a great victory!)
B. There are some reasons why Israel experienced
victory at Jericho:
1. They had a Word from God - (v.2-6) 2 Tim.
2:15; John 16:13
2. They believed God - (v.8-20) God said it,
that settled it! Do we really believe God?
Mark 11:22; Matt. 21:21-22!
3. They acted in faith - (Ill. Heb. 11:1; 11:6) (Ill.
I John 5:14-15, James 1:8)
4. They did it God's way - (Ill. This is the secret
to success!) His way may seem too hard, too
slow, or as in this case too foolish, but His
way is always the best way! (Ill. Isa. 55:8-9)
5. God gave them the victory - (v.20-21)
C. God's church will prevail, Matt. 16:18; God's
people will prevail! You can prevail in whatever
situation you are facing right now! Take a lesson
from Israel, God has promised us the victory - 1
Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 John 5:4
Conc: What kind of walled city are you facing right now?
Does it appear to be unconquerable? Do the walls look
too high and do they appear too thick? Does it seem
that victory is absolutely impossible in your case? Let
me remind you that if your walls haven't already fallen
down flat, they can! They can fall right now! You need
to take a lesson from Israel and start handling your
Jericho's God's way. Will you come before Him this
morning with whatever your need is? Will you bring it to
Jesus right now! He excels in doing the undoable! He
can poss the impossible, think the unthinkable, do the
undoable! He is still a miracle working God! Greater
than obstacle, able to move any mountain, stronger
than any barrier you might face today. Bring it to Him
and watch Him work it out!