Marching Through the MiraclesJuly 18, 2021
1. The lowest cities in the world. (800 ft below sea level!)
2. One of the Oldest cities in the world. (Oldest continuously inhabited cities on planet.)
3. One of the most excavated sites in Israel. Sometimes in middle bronze age, a wall constructed around city. Became most famous wall in world.
I. A March Through the Miracles:
Miracle #1: The Unusual
- Joshua 5:13, Joshua is walking along the wall inspecting it when “Behold” there is a man standing in front of him with a flashing sword.
- A flashing sword in the Bible should remind us of Genesis 3:24, where God placed an angel to guard Eden from being entered by an angel with a flashing sword. Here the messenger with a sword appears not to drive them out, but to welcome them in.
- Joshua 5:14 LIT: “No. For I, I am the commander of the army of YHWH. Now I have come.”
- Puzzling: Commander of Lord’s Army mean the army of Israel or the heavenly host? Answer: Both. He will command the armies of heaven. He also demands Joshua himself be subject to him. (He is God of Men and Angels both. Don’t have make a choice there.)
- More than 250x Bible calls God: “The Lord of Hosts” means: The God of the armies of heaven. He is the warrior.
Who is this? This is not an angel, but a Theophany. An Appearance of God in physical form.
Clues that this is more than an angel:
1. Joshua’s worship. (John twice fell before an angel told get up.)
2. The Drawn Sword: That exact line found only 2x in OT. Refers to God himself:
–Num. 22: Angel of the Lord blocked Balaam’s way with flashing sword. (Donkey saw it.)
–1 Chr. 21:16: Angel Lord about strike Jerusalem for sin.
3. Joshua was commanded to take off his shoes. (Moses, Ex. 3)
–Priest did not wear shoes in tabernacle.
The old song: Joshua fit the battle at Jericho. Actually, God fought the battle at Jericho. God himself came down to make it clear: Joshua would not win the battle at Jericho. God is the warrior.
Miracle #2: The
- Chapter 6 opens, I think with God and Joshua walking along the wall. As they walk, the wall is looms over them. A huge problem.
- Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. Years earlier, Israel was afraid of Canaanites. Now it’s Canaanites gripped with fear. None went out, and none came in.
- Joshua 6:2: YHWH: “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” (“Have given” the victory was already theirs. They would just have to obey some commands that seemed… ridiculous)
- Can you imagine Joshua’s Staff Meeting with his generals? No military strategy. Just walk by faith.
Here their battle plan:
Joshua 5:3: March around city for 6 days.
Joshua 5:4: Have Levites/priests carry the ark. (Levites are exempt military duty. But this isn’t normal warfare. Spiritual warfare.) This is the only time God commanded the Ark be carried into battle.
Joshua 5:7: Armed men go before the Ark. (front and behind the ark.)
Joshua 5:4: Have 7 priest carry trumpets. (Specifically: Rams Horns)
Joshua 5:10: Do this in total silence. “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. (Spooked the enemy? Not marching chattering. No war cry. Just march. Day after day.)
Joshua 5:4: On the seventh day the Hebrews march seven times around the city. The Last time around, they blast rams horn and the people shout.
Notice the importance of the number 7. This is not a perfect military plan, it’s a perfect spiritual plan. It works in God’s eyes.
Promise Joshua 5:5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
Miracle #3: The
- Joshua 6:15 Describes the 7th day: On the seventh day they rose early, (Dawn: They started marching. March 7x.. Silence) Over 600,000 were able to bear arms (Num 26). Most scholars speculate that not all participated.
- Imagine you’re a watchman on wall. Look out, see more people approaching than ever seen entire life. What was he thinking?
- Joshua 6:16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city.
- Joshua 6:17-19 everything in Jericho is to be destroyed. The city acts as a “first fruits” or “tithe” of all that is to come. To destroy everything is the Hebrew idea of “Herem” which means “To devote to destruction” or “completely destroy.”
- The Rams Horn: Used to Signal the year of Jubilee with rams horn. Every 50 years the land went back to original owners. Debts forgiven. The land of Canaan is about to be taken from the men in Jericho, given to the original owner, God – he will distribute it to his people. They tithe the city to God. All the gold goes to the treasury of God.
- King Ahab: Hiel rebuilt Jericho. Sacrificed: eldest youngest son. (1 Kings. 16:34)
Kathleen Kenyon detailed work Jericho. Her research included the following finds:
- There was a retaining stone wall: 15ft.
- Above the retaining wall: Reddish mud brick. On top of that: Ramparts. Army could stand shoot down enemy forces.
- Mudbrick wall was another 8ft high.
- Archaeologist found: The walls did fall.
- The mud brick fell outward, provided a perfect siege ramp for invaders to go running in.
- Garstang and Kenyon found jars full of grain. City destroyed at Harvest season. (Last Passage said it was Spring/Passover. Grain Harvest.)
- Full jars also indicate: City was attacked, siege was short. The walls didn’t protect them for long.
- On East side, archaeologists found 3 feet of thick ash. Kenyon: “The destruction was complete. Walls and floors were blackened or reddened by fire, and every room was filled with fallen bricks, timbers, and household utensils; in most rooms the fallen debris was heavily burnt, but the collapse of the walls of the eastern rooms seems to have taken place before they were affected by the fire.”
Miracle #4: The
- Joshua 2:21 she sent them away, and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Notice she did this as soon as the spies left.
- Joshua 6:22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.”
- Joshua 6:23: They bring them out, put them outside the camp. Foreigners. They’re not kept separate for long. She gets married to a Hebrew. Realized quick: This woman/family are members of the household of faith.
- Joshua 6:25 Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
- The most dangerous place in Jericho was on the walls! Where did she live? In the wall! Yet it was the safest place to be because she was protected by the Lord.
Different perspective: “the house she lived in was part of the city wall.” (Joshua 2:15)
Day after day Rahab watches from her window as the Hebrews march around the city. 7th day they March 7 times. Trumpet’s blow, people shout, a slow rumble: Something like an avalanche begins to thunder through the city. Jericho is shaking, as if God had hold of the very foundation of the city and was trying to tear it in half! She sticks her head out the window and from what she can see, half the city is gone. The wall is falling. Like domino’s. But it skips her house! It’s a miracle that the wall fell… it’s a miracle part of the wall did not fall! As if God pointed at her house and held it up!
II. What’s the Secret to Miracles?
Where do Miracles begin? Begin when I give the problem to God.
III. God Still Does These Miracles:
Describes 4 kinds of miracles I observe today:
1. The Unusual Warrior = Miracles of
2. The Supernatural Courage = Miracles of
3. The Demolished Wall = Miracles of
A letter from Lance McDaniels he sent me during the Iraq war:
I have had the opportunity to see and hear of many miracles out here.
I am not much of a believer in luck, so when the enemy tries to blow up vehicles in my convoy and the explosion goes off between vehicles, and people are unharmed that is a miracle.
When rockets land 33 feet from a plywood guard shack and shrapnel goes through the little guard shacks plywood walls on two sides, and the marines inside are untouched, that’s a miracle.
When a piece of shrapnel from an explosion rips through a marines cover (the brim) and doesn’t touch his face, that is a miracle.
When a rocket propelled grenade crashes into the engines of one of our hum-v’s and doesn’t explode, that is a miracle.
When the enemies bullets punch holes in our hum-v’s and miss the marines inside, that is a miracle.
When a truck with men in the back hits a mine so powerful it destroys the back of the truck, but the men inside the bed walk away with mild concussions, that is a miracle.
Thank everyone for their prayers, we certainly appreciate it. I don’t know how people can see what we see and not be a Christian.
4. The Scarlet Cord = Miracle of