| Victory At Jericho
In this lesson, we're going to study about one of the greatest victories in the Bible, the victory at Jericho.
1. Take a Risk For What's Right.
1 Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. "Go, look over the land," he said, "especially Jericho." So they went and entered the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there.
2 The king of Jericho was told, "Look! Some of the Israelites have come here tonight to spy out the land."
3 So the king of Jericho sent this message to Rahab: "Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house, because they have come to spy out the whole land."
4 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. She said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they had come from.
5 At dusk, when it was time to close the city gate, the men left. I don't know which way they went. Go after them quickly. You may catch up with them."
6 (But she had taken them up to the roof and hidden them under the stalks of flax she had laid out on the roof.)
7 So the men set out in pursuit of the spies on the road that leads to the fords of the Jordan, and as soon as the pursuers had gone out, the gate was shut.
8 Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof
9 and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.
10 We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.
11 When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
12 Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign
13 that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and that you will save us from death."
C: The victory at Jericho begins with Joshua sending two spies into the city. They went into the house of a prostitute named Rahab (v.1). But the king heard about it, and told Rahab to betray the men (v.3). She did not betray them, however. She told the king that they had gone away, and she hid them on her roof (vv.4-6). So the men were able to escape (v.7, vv.22-24). She knew that God was with these people, and so she helped them. If the king had found out what she had done, he would have killed her. But she had the courage to do what was right, even though she had lived a life of sin before this. God can use anyone to do great things, even someone who has messed up a lot in the past. That is why he used Rahab. She had the courage to stand for the truth.
25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
C: This verse explains that Rahab acted by faith when she hid the men. When we have faith, it is not just an intellectual belief in God. It is a willingness to take risks and face opposition from others because of your faith.
Q: For us as disciples, who are some of the people who might oppose us? [Landlords. Neighbours. Family. Friends. Bosses. Fellow students. Fellow workers.]
C: Perhaps someone has been giving you a hard time about your commitment to Jesus. Learn from Rahab, and take a stand for what is right!
2. Be Patient And Do the Quiet Work.
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."
Q: What did God tell Joshua in verse 2? [I have delivered Jericho into your hands.]
What was God's plan to take the city? [March around it once a day for 6 days. Then march around it 7 times on the last day, blow the trumpets and the city will fall!]
C: Once God gave the promise of victory, it would have been tempting for Joshua to rush into the city and fight. But he believed in God, so he wanted to obey God's instructions.
God wants us to be patient and do things his way. This means prayer, evangelism, follow-up, and building relationships. We can't just blast people with the truth at the beginning. We must do things God's way. This takes preparation and prayer. Joshua was willing to do things God's way, and not rush things.
Sometimes in our lives, we try to rush God. We say, "God, give me a job, today." Or "I want to be married soon." Or we ask God to solve a problem by tomorrow. But maybe God is planning to do it next week, or next month. He is in control, and we must trust his timing and do what is right.
3. Follow Instructions
C: For six days the people did what Joshua said. They marched around the city one time, and then they went home. Let's see what happened on the seventh day.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!
17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.
18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.
19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury."
C: After they marched around the city seven times, the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua told the people to shout, and he reminded them to spare Rahab the prostitute, who had helped them before (v.17). These instructions definitely were from God. They were not military instructions, like "shoot your arrows and take out your swords." "Circle around back and surround them." "Climb the walls and beat them from 3 places." No, these were faith instructions. He also warned them not to take the gold and valuable items for themselves, but to save them for God (v.19). This must have been a challenging command, because it would have been easy for the people to pick up gold or jewellery from the enemy as they ran away.
C: God also gives us instructions. He tells us about right and wrong. Sometimes we may not like or understand God's instructions. But still we must obey them. He wants us to do what he says. He has reasons for all his commands.
Q: What are some instructions of God that are hard to obey for us?
- Give 10% contribution.
- Marry inside the church.
- Come to all the meetings.
- Be sexually pure.
- Don't tell lies.
- Don't hate those who hurt you.
4. By Faith God Gives the Victory.
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
21 They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it--men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, "Go into the prostitute's house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her."
23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord's house.
25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho--and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: "Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates."
27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
Q: Did the people obey the instructions? [Yes. They marched around the city, and the walls fell down!]
C: Can you imagine the sight? The huge walls of Jericho fell down at a single shout. That would be like the Red Fort collapsing because the people shouted around it! And so it was easy to attack the city. They made sure to save Rahab, too. God wants us to keep our promises. It would have been easy for them to forget that woman. But they were righteous, and so they saved her (v.23). God cares about each person. He remembers you and me. He won't let us fall into trouble! Remember that the next time you are feeling down. This victory at Jericho was so famous that it is even mentioned in the New Testament in Hebrews 11.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.
Q: Why do you think it says that "by faith" the walls of Jericho fell? [Because the faith of the people caused God to knock down the walls. God would not have done it if the people had not believed. By obeying his command to march around the city for 6 days, and then to march around it 7 times in a day, the people showed that they totally believed in the word of God. They were willing to obey it even if they looked foolish to others.]
C: If God could knock down the walls of Jericho, then he can give you and me victory in our lives. Think about your life for a moment. What is your Jericho? What challenge is facing you right now?
Let us grow in our faith and zeal.