Faith to Conquer

Hebrews 11:30 Joshua 6:1-21

People of God were given a commission – go and possess the land owned by God and given to them (Deut. 1:19ff). Sent 12 scouts to reconnoiter, bring back information from which to develop a strategy.

Two came back – “God is giving us a good thing; let’s do it!”

Ten said – “You don’t understand; this is impossible.

there are more of them than us;

they’re bigger than we are;

their cities are too large and well defended;

we even saw GIANTS there.”

The people listened to the ten who focused on circumstances and obstacles, not the two plus Moses who emphasized God’s promise.

God’s consequence for unbelief: only the two will enter that land ( Deut. 1:35-36); not even Moses could more than see the land. Forty years, a year for each day they spied out the land ( Num 14:34) they would wander in the wilderness.

A full generation later – mantle of leadership passed from Moses to Joshua. New leader, same God,same commission, same promise.

Get up, cross the river, possess the land; everywhere you step I (God) have given you. Josh. 1:1-5

Same obstacles: people, walls, giants. Different response to the commission.

With the river behind them, the land before them, Joshua reminded he is under the authority of the Commander-in-Chief ( Josh 5:13-15). God then reminds Joshua of his appointed task, the means God intends to use, and the result He has promised.

A. God’s Appointed

task v. 2

conquer Jericho, its king and its warriors

not make an alliance or peace treaty or non-aggression pact

not attempt to marginalize or go around it

compromise is never God’s appointed task

man is the one who changed at the Fall

God and his standard are unchanging

as Sovereign Ruler, God subdues his enemies, makes peace on his own terms with his children

means vv. 3-5a

marching, trumpeting, shouting in the appointed sequence

warriors

priests with trumpets

ark of the covenant

rear guard (unarmed Israelites) behind

no weapons or tactics of war in use – siege engines, trebuchets, battering rams, ramps

only trumpets and voices

inseparably connected to both task and result

God-given task often has God-appointed means associated with it

result is conditional – dependent on use of means

designed to make it obvious who really gained the victory

remember the “odd” response to Joshua’s question – “are you on our side or theirs?”

God’s intent in giving the land to the Israelites – also bring glory to himself

same with our salvation – given heavenly Promised Land by grace so we cannot boast in ourselves but only in Christ ( 2 Cor 10:17“Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”)

result v. 5b

obstacles and opposition eliminated

wall will collapse (fall in its place)

man’s best efforts at defense cannot frustrate God’s purpose

God will bring about his appointed result at the appointed time

B. Israel’s

obedience to the task vv. 6-11

Joshua communicated God’s command to the people

verse 8: just as Joshua commanded, or when Joshua had spoken, …they advanced

didn’t argue, second guess, develop plan B just in case

maintained faith in God’s promise to use appointed means

faithfulness to the means vv. 12-19

marched once around daily for 6 days

7 times around on the 7th day

priests blowing trumpets, people silent, until…

victory the result vv. 20-21

the wall fell flat

no obstacle to hinder direct advance into the city

complete lockdown ineffective

C. Our Appointed

taskMatt. 28:18-20

conquer the world

meansMatt. 16:15-19 & 1 Cor. 1:18-21

on the foundational Rock of this exclusive message: salvation is found in Christ and only in Christ

foolish message spread through the foolishness of public proclamation

resultRev. 15:1-4Psa 72:8-11, 17-19

even the gates of hell cannot withstand the power of the Gospel

all people of all nations will worship the true God

Satan’s lockdown of the world and man’s contribution to that effort will be just as ineffective as that of Jericho

responsibility

corporate

obedience to the command of Christ to proclaim a true Gospel that gives genuine hope to lost sinners

faithfulness to use the means God has appointed

and not get innovative

not falling into the trap that a good end justifies means of our own making

remembering that God’s blessing accompanies the use of his means

individual

obedience to the command of Christ to live out the Gospel

using every means at our disposal to bring others to hear the Gospel, to sit under the means of grace

faith He will bring about the promised result

Christ through his church will have dominion over all things – all authority has been given him and he will exercise it

if we have faith Christ will keep his promise and are faithful to fulfill our responsibilities, we will experience God’s blessing on our lives individually and as a church family

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