JERICHO CLAIMING SHADOWS
God had resolved that Israel was to be undisputed champion in a land of giants. Jericho was to prove it to the inhabitants, and to Israel itself. God was going to give a demonstration of how He wants to give victory. The Captain had given orders, and there were to be no trenches, no catapults, no archers, no fight to get in those walls. The Ark of the covenant, and ram’s horns were the articles of power for 7 days. Priests walked around, and a silent army.
God assures them that on the seventh day, after their 13th time marching around the city, the walls would come down flat. This would show the people that it was the Lord giving the victory. The children of Israel had seen waters part, had saw a cloud by day, a fire by night lead them, had seen water flow from a rock, had seen daily manna fall... so can it be too hard to believe that God could make those walls fall?
God wants us to be conquerors, not wimps. God wants us to be war against evil powers, not be abused by them. God wants us to take our inheritance, not sit in pews and vegetate. God illustrates a lesson here, to show Israel how.
Joshua was 86 years old when he accompanied the 13 times around Jericho. He was 110 years old when he died. He was the key person, so God spoke to him. Joshua was given direction by the Lord, the Captain of the army. Joshua was obedient, no matter how foolish it sounded. For it did sound foolish. March priests with trumpets, have the army follow. That is never how a battle against a walled city was ever done.
God seeks for some who will obey, even when it does not make sense. Ezekiel preached to trees, to mountains, and did many other nonsense-ical things. John the Baptist went into the wilderness, and preached a sermon. He must have preached loudly, for crowds would come to see what all that noise was about. Peter needed money and was sent to catch a fish with money in its mouth. God has ways of telling us things that sound totally crazy.
I have been called ‘crazy’ before, many times. I am. I follow the Lord. His ways are not our ways, so when I do things His way, the most of others think I am crazy. In their eyes, sanity is doing the normal, logical, well established way. But God can do anything, so He can send a couple million people into a desert without food and water, for 40 years, and take care of them. Water will flow from a Rock when needed. Manna can fall from heaven when needed. Who are we to question His ways?
Many want everything to make sense. It never will when we do things God’s way. When we depart from God’s ways, things do not go well. God is a Leader, not a follower. He wants to be the Captain, not our private. He wants to direct, not be told ‘its my way, or I am not going’.
God wants people who step out, take a chance, follow God’s direction, and watch God then do the impossible.
JERICHO’s SHADOW TEACHINGS
step 1.. TAKE UP THE ARK
"Joshua said, Take up the Ark of the covenant, and let the seven priests bear 7 trumpets of ram’s horns."
The Ark represents the presence of God. It is a small replica of God’s heavenly throne. God gave directions to Moses on how to build it, and God’s shekinah glory dwelt upon the ‘mercy seat’ of the Ark.
We are to carry God’s presence out to every problem. Not to think God dwells in church sanctuaries only. In the New Testament, we have been taught that we are the ‘arks’ of God now. God’s presence is in us, we are His temples. So, we must realize that even when not in church, we have the presence of God. He is with you when you face your problems. We are to get God’s presence and go with Him.
Seven (7) priests walked before the Ark. They carried trumpets of ram’s horns. They could blow these continually. This is a type of ministers sounding God’s declaration of victory over sin and the devil. So, we this constant verbal proclamation of God’s power, we fulfill this type.
step 2... STAKE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO CONQUER
"pass on and compass the city...’
The children of Israel needed to take Jericho, as the first conquest. What do you want to conquer? What do you want God to do? Don’t pray like ‘bless the missionaries’, and ‘save souls’. NO !!! Be specific. What missionaries do you want blessed, and how do you want God to bless them? Who do you want to see saved? Who do you want healed? What do you need done?
If Israel had prayed let walls come down, and some city in northern Israel had its walls fall, the walls would probably be rebuilt time the army would find out which walls fell where. The same with ‘bless the missionaries’ type praying, surely God is blessing missionaries somewhere, all the time. What missionary has a special problem, that needs immediate attention and a miracle from God. Some are afraid to look, search, and find out, for they fear God may make them part of the answer.
step 3... BE ARMED
"let him tht is armed pass on before the Ark of the Lord...’
Ephesians 6 tells us of our spiritual armor. We need a shield of faith to be ready for demonic attacks. We need a ‘breatplate of righteousness’ that makes us realize it is not our righteousness we are protected by, but the Lord Jesus’ righteousness. We need a helmet of the hope of salvation, the hope that salvation has made us conquerors and soon to be raptured/resurrected saints. We need the girdle of truth, God’s truth, speaking in confirmation of all He has promised in it. We need our feet shod with the preparation and study of the Word of God. We need the sword of rhema and prayer to stike back at evil spirits.
step 4... STEP OUT, LEAD OTHERS,
DON’T WAIT FOR GOD TO COMPLETE THE TASK,
DO YOUR PART
"The 7 priests bearing the 7 trumpets of ram’s horns passed on before the Lord and blew the trumpets and the Ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them...’
Too many want to be pew sitters. God’s presence follows those that proclaim His might and power. The Ark followed after the trumpet playing. God has already said ‘take the city’ so He is waiting for you to get up and claim the inheritance. Some want to sit in a pew and wait for God to claim the city for them, engrave their name on the doorposts, and start dinner, before they manage to get up and do anything.
step 5... KEEP PREACHING THE WORD
"armed men went before the priests that blew the trumpets’
The unseen sword that we use Is the ‘rhema of God’. Speak God’s Word, and claim His promises. Claim... bind... loose. Lay claim to what God wants for you. Too many want to claim a mercedes, or a mansion in California, or a yacht in Florida. That is not normally God’s will for us, He may want your family saved, your relative healed, your gospel message shed abroad in your neighborhood or even your workplace.
The trumpets were not the silver trumpets. They were ‘ram’s horn’ trumpets that gave a dull sound, no show, no melodic beauty to it. It is a type of the ‘foolishness of preaching’. God wants us to be constantly, while compassing our problems, to proclaim His Word, His message, His written answer
The Bible declares that the ‘weapons of our warfare ... not carnal... yet mighty...’ (II Cor. 10:4-5) The tumpet sounds were sounding victory to the Israelites, and sounding defeat and doom to the enemy in Jericho.
step 6... OTHERS WILL FOLLOW
"... and the rereward came after the Ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.’
Because not all march with you, do not be discouraged. There will always be some who just folllow, who do not want to bear the Ark, do not wnat to blow a trumpet, do not want to be armed... They follow though. If that is all they can do, at least they are on the right side, and if they see the power of God, perhaps will want to join in more as time permits. Some look at what a prophetic ministry is, and see the heartache, the tears, the attacks from friend and foe, and they then decide to be just a passing acquaintance to you. They fear the heartache and loneliness of the work. They want friends and fun, not lonely hours with the Word, preaching to a people who won’t listen to God, and hate to listen to us even more.
I prefer a ‘front line’ soldier to a ‘rear of the line’ foxhole hider. The ones in the rear of the line don’t hear the trumpet sounding so clearly. God’s presence is seen and felt more in the front where He is.
step 7... WAIT FOR GOD’S TIMING
"Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise withyur voices, neither shall word proceed out of your mouth until the day I bid you shout. Then shall ye shout."
Impatience hinders many. Let God tell you when and till then .. Wait.
Some, (never me, LOL) hurry God, and try to get Him on our time demands. God has 6 days of walking quietly. Six nights of doing nothing. Then on the seventh day, they walk for hours, and hours, and the people probably are tiring after the first or second trip, and wanting to get this over. But God says seven days, seven trips on the last of those days. Impatience was a problem, I am sure. Finally, the people get the time to ‘shout’.
That is all they had to do, when God’s timing is followed. If they had stormed the city, it would have taken archers, battering rams, catapults, etc to bring down the walls after a fierce and deadly battle. But, with patience, it took a while, but it ended the way God wanted. Our impatience is often the reason for our frustration...
Wait for God’s timing. He has a reason for everything He does. There were probably spies from the Canaanites watching daily what Israel was doing. The first six days, they probably laughed themselves to sleep. The seventh day, the report those spies had to take back to those with sore sides from all their laughing, was a report that made all them fear the God of Israel. For obviously, God was going to assure victory for the Israelites.
That and other reasons were likely the cause of why God chose to do it this way.
The people had to be quiet in their impatience. As impatient as they were, being quiet kept them from murmuring, complaining, angering God by their doubts and complaints.
Since the ram’s horn was the only sound to be made, it was all they could listen to... So, since it represents the presentation of the gospel message, we are shown that we need to quiet the voices that speak other than His message. We shut out political arguing, we eliminate bickering and murmuring, we stop fighting and complaining, etc.
Ever step into a church vestibule, and listen to what they are talking about? If you hear murmuring, complaining, gossiping, arguing, etc, then you are in the wrong church. If you hear talk of Jesus, worship, praise, discussion of the sermon, etc. well, stay there, but don’t ruin it, for that church is going to have miracles.
Jesus is the ‘ram sacrifice’ for us. The ‘ram’s horn message is His message. We need to be quiet and hear it, and tune out all other voices, if we are laying claim to a miracle. The man of God may be speaking His message, the saintly intercessor of the church may be praying faith upon the needy. The message of Jesus should be flowing around the time of our seeking to bring down the walls of our Jericho’s.
The preaching of the Word may be foolishness to many, but Jericho people probably laughed for six days, and for most of the seventh day. Yet, their view of things suddenly changed.
Keep listening to the Word of the Lord, read it, quote it, speak it out. The Word of God will do wonders. In the early church the ‘signs and wonders’ followed the preaching of the Word of God.
step 8... EXPECT PERIODIC DELAYS
"came into the camp and lodged in the camp...’
Every night, they had to return to the camp and wait. No more marching for the day. No more trumpets sounding though the night. Just waiting. Soemtimes we don’t like ‘waiting’ and the dark night. They are tests of our faith. Our resting is important for we need to be ready for tomorrow. The resting will get more necessary every day, for we need to be really ready for the seventh day of more marching and then claiming the city. God knows how to give us the rest we need. He knows what is going to be needed.
step 9... PROPERLY RETURN TO YOUR JERICHO
"Joshua rose up early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.’
‘...so they did 6 days...’
Each morning, they had to restart their spiritual engine, and not do what they may have wished they could do on that day. Too often the consistency is not found in Christians. They can mow the church lawn once a summer, but upon finding how hard it is, they conveniently find other things to do on following times. In spiritual matters, God wants to build a consistency in Christians, to restart on the same project, day after day. Keep God first, and after a brief rest period get back at the Work of the Lord.
We shall ‘reap if we faint not..."
Notice they ‘rose early’. Put the conquering of the city in number one priority. Do not do it as an afterthought following other duties, but make it number one priority to be done.
One of the seven days had to be a ‘sabbath’. They had to disobey sabbath laws to march as they did on that day. They did what the law forbid. God never intended laws to bind us from doing good. Laws that forbid our own works, but not God’s work. Jesus confronted the pharisees on that. The pharisees knew that if their oxen had fallen into a ditch on the sabbath, they would retrieve it even though it involved work. The Lord wants us to know that ‘the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.’
The Jews teach that it was the sabbath on the day that they walked around seven times. It is not considered a breaking of the law by them. It is probably because it was accompanying the Ark, when they made those seven trips. Yet, when the walls fell, they had to claim the land, kill the enemy, etc on that day. So, Sabbath laws, in God’s eyes were far different that what mankind perverted them to be.
To refuse to walk that seventh day, in fact, due to it being the Sabbath, would have eliminated one of the greatest miracles of the Bible. We often do not study the ‘whole’ Word of God to find the complete and unadulterated meaning of things.
It is not known how far a walk, the walk around Jericho was. But even if it were only a five mile walk, that meant the last day was a 35 mile walk. That would have been long and tiring. Just wehn we’d like it to line up with our interpretation of sabbath law, it seems harder considering that point. The hardest day to walk, the day when the excuse to not walk was very easy to claim, on that kind of day, God asks the most of us. Don’t quit, push on in your conquering Jericho’s.
There is a typology lesson here too, besides the living lesson we are discussing.
The seen days represent the seven church ages.
The seventh day, the last church age, they marched seven times, representing the final revival period.
The shout represents the rapture.
The walls falling represent the defeat of satan, the resurrection of the bodies, the entrance to heaven.
step 10... KEEP LISTENING ... EXPECT
"when the people heard the sound of the trumpet...’
Stay tuned to God, to His Word, to His prophets. There will come a sound of trumpets in the last days, sounding messages from God for this great reival period. They listened because they expected a sound,
and today we need to expect the sound of trumpets. God is announcing the last day events, one by one, His prophets are preparing His people for these events by passing on messages given by God on what is happening. So, keep listening. Check everything by the Word of God.
Expect God to move mightily, for He has promised He will.
step 12... VICTORY PROMISED
"wall fell down flat...’
Scientists tell us that excavation of this site has shown a wall, but the
top of the wall is the level of the city structures. The walls go down, uncrumbled, still whole, but have gone down into the ground. This has archaeologists puzzled, at least until they learn to believe the Bible.
God gives total and complete victory. The top of the wall became the paved road for the Israelites to enter. They did not have to climb over
stones of crumbled walls.
step 13... GO AND CLAIM YOUR INHERITANCE
"they took the city...’
Don’t just stand there in surprise. God loves doing miracles that shock. He wants us to be expecting them, so we are not as surprised as the heathen. Some watch God do a miracle, and they stand there with their mouths open, acting more surprised than some heathen do. The reason walls fall, is because God wants you to take the city. The reason miracles happen today, is God wants us to use that in our witness to win the lost.
"And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.’
Some wonder why they had to kill man, woman, and even children. The devil had corrupted the human race before the flood of Noah’s time, with angelic dna. God wiped out all those of Noah’s day, for that would have kept Jesus from being able to come as the seed of Adam and Eve, and able to save all mankind. The devil did it again after the flood, but had the giant offspring of such unions of angels and women of earth, kept in the promised land, where Satan hoped to corrupt the seed of Abraham, so the Messiah could not come as promised. God told Israel to wipe out all these corrupted beings, so Jesus could be born of the uncorrupted seed from Adam, and be able then to die for all of mankind.
The city of Jericho became a ‘cherem’, meaning a ‘devoted thing.’ For what once was sinful, courrupted, owned by those within the devil’s plan, now could be the treasure of God. Even Rahab, being not of the giant seed, became part of the lineage of Christ. One free from that tainting of man’s dna, was right in their midst, and God’s saving power was demonstrated. Jericho also became one of the cities of the Levites, where priests were trained.
Rahab’s revival meant not just Rahab was saved.
"the young man that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that he had, and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Iarael."
Why were the others in Rahab’s house? She had obviously shared what God was doing, how she was to be saved, and invited them to share in God’s plan. She probably went out and ‘compelled’ them to come, so those in her home could be saved. All the walls had gone
down but the part of the wall where Rahab’s home was located, so it was obvious that her and her family had been spared by God. God is working, and if we let Him work His plan, our families can be saved too. If we intercede, and follow God’s plan, we can see many of our loved ones come to Jesus.
Rahab became the wife of Salmon, the mother of Boaz, who later married Ruth. She is in the ancestry of Jesus (Matthew 1:5)
The world will know if God is with you. It will stand out plainly. No one could doubt that God was helping Israel here. It was plainer than daylight.
"So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was noised throughout all the country."
We don’t do it for fame, but when a man follows God, many will attack, but all will end up knowing that God is His God.