Promises and Power – Message 5
February 5, 2023
I. Introduction: We continue our series,
Promises and Power.
- We receive God’s power to fulfill His promises.
A. The title of today’s message is Conquest, which refers to
defeating the city of Jericho.
- Hebrews 11:30 (NLT)— It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho…
Jericho, 8 acres in size, is one of the oldest, and the lowest city on
earth (750 ft. BSL).
It occupied 8 acres, is located W of the Jordan River and ten miles NW of
the Dead Sea.
It is nearly 3,500 feet below Jerusalem (17 mi. away. Luke10:30: traveling… down to Jericho)
Though located in a desert, Jericho thrived as a fertile, spring-fed oasis.
(“city of palms”)
Jericho, with some of the earliest fortifications ever discovered, was
built on a hill with a double ring of walls (outer wall 6 feet thick, inner
12 feet thick) with round towers.
It could only be captured by mounting a steep incline, putting attackers at
a great disadvantage; a siege would require several months to force
surrender through starvation.
Let’s learn how Jericho fell and apply these truths to engaging who or what
B. Conquer an adversary by…
1. Accepting God’s plan.
(Joshua 6:1-5. C/R: Psalm 25:4-5; Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29;
- Joshua 6:1-2 (NLT)—
Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were
afraid of the Israelites.
[5:1] No one was allowed to go out or in. [expecting a siege]
But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and
all its strong warriors.”
Israel trusted God to give them the victory, to fulfill His promise, but
they could only capture the city according to His plan.
Joshua 6:3-5 (NLT)—
“You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for
six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each
carrying a ram’s horn
. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with
the priests blowing the horns
[shôwphâr; NIV: trumpet]
. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the
[qeren], have all the people shout as loud as they can. [ trumpet (shophar) in other translations]
Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge
straight into the town.”
Chapter 6 uses three Hebrew terms for ram’s horns or trumpets: yôbêl, shôwphâr, qeren.
Shophar, which appears 14 times in Joshua 6, was often used in
warfare for signals.
God’s plan for conquering Jericho was not a strategy for military success.
This was an unreasonable plan, a foolish scheme, for these
Israelites who’d been wandering in the wilderness for 38 years, waiting,
wanting to capture this city.
This tactic is a spiritual test of obedience—and it must have frustrated
The central figure in the procession was not the soldiers, or even the
priests, it was the Ark, which represented God; God would conquer the city,
it would be His victory!
1 Corinthians 1:27–29 (NLT)—
…God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those
who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to
shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised
by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring
to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a
result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God’s plans bring Him the glory, praise, honor; He deserves all of
God’s plan are often counterintuitive; they seem unreasonable, irrational,
Examples: “…love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
(Matthew 5:44), …never take revenge. Leave that to… God. (Romans
12:19), …conquer evil by doing good. (Romans12:21)
Whenever we are facing an opponent, whether a person or group of people, or
perhaps, a behavior, attitude, or addiction within myself, we must approach
the problem God’s way.
We will only defeat our foes using a plan we receive from God—found from
reading His Word, heard from His Spirit through prayer or given as advice
from a godly friend.
APP.: Are you willing to approach your assignments, your adversaries, by
first, seeking a plan from God, which may, in fact, will be contrary to
what our culture says?
Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT)—
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own
understanding. 6 Seek His will in all you do, and He will
show you which path to take.
Conquer an adversary by…
2. Attacking God’s way.
(Joshua 6:6-16. C/R: 2 Corinthians 10:3; Hebrews 11:30; James 1:3–4; 1 John
- Joshua 6:6-12, 14-15 (NLT)— 6 So Joshua called together the priests [to tell God’s
and said, “Take up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and assign seven
priests to walk in front of it, each carrying a ram’s horn.” 7 Then he gave orders to the people: “March around the town,
and the armed men will lead the way in front of the Ark of the Lord.”
After Joshua spoke to the people, the seven priests with the rams’
horns started marching in the presence of the Lord, blowing the horns
as they marched. And the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed behind
them. 9 Some of the armed men marched in front of the
priests with the horns and some behind the Ark, with the priests
continually blowing the horns.
“Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word
from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11
So the Ark of the Lord was carried around the town once that day, and
then everyone returned to spend the night in the camp. …
On the second day they again marched around the town once and returned
to the camp. They followed this pattern for six days.
The priest and soldiers listened to God’s plan and obeyed it perfectly!
Verse 10 tells them not to shout or even speak; why? Perhaps it precluded
their criticizing and complaining, since it seemed to them that they were
doing nothing to defeat the city.
But God was developing faith, deepening their trust in His promises, so He
wanted them to concentrate on what He was doing and pray? (Perhaps the
Spirit was speaking softly.)
APP.: How often do we fail to hear what God is saying and miss out on
attacking a problem His way because we are complaining and criticizing so
much that we can’t hear?
The battle is the Lord’s! These untrained soldiers with meager weapons
could only have defeated this highly fortified city by trusting in God and
following His way! (Us, too!)
Joshua 6:15-16 (NLT)—
On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the
town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town
seven times. 16 The seventh time around, as the priests
sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people,
“Shout! For the Lord has given you the town!”
Do you see the emphasis on the number seven? Seven priests, seven horns,
seven days of marching, seven times around the city on the seventh day?
In biblical numerology, seven represents completeness or perfection (God
rested on 7th day, sabbath).
It means God finishes what He starts, fulfills what He promises.
APP.: Are you pursuing God’s plan in God’s way in your relationships, your
Conquer an adversary by…
3. Applying God’s direction.
(Joshua 6:17-27. C/R: Deuteronomy 12:32; 20:14; 1 Kings 16:34; James 1:22
Joshua 6:17-19 (NLT)—
“Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an
offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her
house will be spared, for she protected our spies.
“Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction
[Hebrew chêrem, set apart as sacred property,
dedicated for destruction]
, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring
trouble on the camp of Israel. 19 Everything made from
silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought
into His treasury.”
The city was devoted to the Lord, which meant everything was to be
destroyed except for articles made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron.
The soldiers could take no spoils of war, though usually they were to!
Jericho was a “tithe” to the Lord who gave them the victory, the first
fruits of the conquest.
[Let’s participate with them!]
Joshua 6:20-21 (NLT)—
When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as
loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the
Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. 21 They completely destroyed everything in it with their
swords—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys.
The destruction of Jericho was judgment for the wicked worship of other
gods through human sacrifice, sexual immorality, cruelty and wickedness.
(Deuteronomy 9:4–6; Genesis 15:16)
Do not think of the Canaanites as innocent because they had heard of the
works of the true supreme Hebrew God for over 400 years (Rahab said it. She
believed; Joshua 2:8-10).
Joshua 6:22-24,26 (NLT)—
Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, “Keep your promise. Go to the
prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family.”
The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father,
mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. …
Then the Israelites burned the town and everything in it. Only the
things made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron were kept for the
treasury of the Lord’s house. …
Archaeology reveals that Jericho was violently destroyed by a sudden force
and burned around 1400 BC, which coincides with possible dates of the
Exodus, conquest of Canaan.
Food supplies buried in the destroyed city showed it was not captured by
Joshua 6:26 (NLT)—
At that time Joshua invoked this curse: “May the curse of the Lord fall
on anyone who tries to rebuild the town of Jericho. At the cost of his
firstborn son, he will lay its foundation. At the cost of his youngest
son, he will set up its gates.”
Hiel of Bethel rebuilt the city 500 years later, but two of his sons died.
(1 Kings 16:34)
Like Jericho, our world is under the judgment of God and will eventually be
God has invited us to trust Him, to repent and believe in His Son’s
sacrifice for our sins.
If we reject His offer, judgment awaits, just as it did Jericho.
APP: Have you repented of your sins and believed in Jesus for forgiveness?
Joshua 6:27 (NLT)—
So the Lord was with Joshua, and his reputation spread throughout the
[Yours will too, if you live God’s way, applying His direction to your
- Memory verse: Psalm 25:4–5 (NLT)—
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. 5 Lead me by Your truth and teach me, for You are the God
who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.