by Robert G. Brooks
I am inspired by the black spiritual, “Joshua Fit the Battle Of Jericho”. Jericho was the first city to fall in the conquest of Palestine. What right, it is asked, did Israel have to conquer Palestine? Four hundred years before the conquest God said to Abraham, “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” That is, in four hundred years the people of Palestine would be hopelessly reprobate, beyond repentance, like the Nazis of World War II. Israel in conquering the land was to be God’s instrument of judgment. The people of Palestine were especially sexually reprobate, worshipping sexual gods such as Baal and his female goddess, probably Ashtoroth. They had temple prostitutes and sodomites!
I. Joshua, the Priest and the Warriors Led In Battle Against Jericho
A) Joshua means “Yahweh Delivers”. Jesus’ Hebrew name was Joshua. He is our leader in the
battle against evil.
B) A priest represents himself to God. We are now our own priests (1 Peter 2:5). We now enter the Holy of Holies (the very presence of God) ourselves, no longer needing a high priest on earth. This is the meaning of the veil in the temple being rent in two at Jesus’ death (Mark 15:38). Jesus is the only priest we need (Hebrews 7:24-28). A priest also represents others to God. Thus we are to represent our High Priest by witnessing.
C) All Christians are to be warriors against evil in whatever form. (2 Corinth. 10:4, Ephes. 6:10,11-17). War in prayer (Eph. 6:18)
II. Satan Erects Walls Around Christian Hearts as Well as Unbelievers
A) Walls of egoism, the worship of self. This is the source of most church trouble.
B) Walls of Pride. This is akin to egoism. Proverbs says, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. (Prov. 16:18)
C) Walls of Hate. (1 John 4:20-21) Hatred wrecks the world; Prejudice goes right along with this. There are all kinds of prejudice: city vs. country, vocational or blue collar vs. white collar and vice versa, rich and poor, youth and elderly (this is divisive for sure), sexism (there must be equality in Jesus), educational (the superior attitude of the scholar and the mistrust of the scholar by the uneducated), ethnic and nationalistic prejudice.
D) Walls of jealousy has its roots in egoism.
E) Walls of drugs and alcohol ruin lives (especially the young with drugs); alcohol ruins families.
F) Walls of false religion. Jesus said, “No man cometh to the father but by me.” The world religions and the so-called “Christian cults” are erroneous. Paul said in Gal 1:8-9 “But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you let him be accursed.” (anathema) Jesus said, “The voice of strangers they (his sheep) will not follow.”
G) Walls of sex perversion—Even the Christian can fall into adultery (e.g. David). We have a clear word on sodomites. Romans 1:28 says “God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” (Example- Pornography, now on the internet and more available than ever before. It is available even to those who would not have exposure otherwise like our children! Pornography too is a proven destroyer of families- even Christian families.) Society is saturated with pornography!
H) Worldliness is a great wall that can be erected around Christians. (Romans 12:2, James 1:27, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 John 5: 19)
I) Walls of terrorism are being formed around the world. We need to pray for governments, and we need to be sensitive to anything unusual in society.
J) The Great Wall of Militarism is being formed by governments, like North Korea and Iran. We must also realize that America cannot be the world’s policeman for every world flare-up, lest we also become militaristic. The United Nations must be pressed more into action.
III. Joshua said to Israel, “Shout! For Yahweh Hath Given You the City.”
A) Joshua 6:13-16 –The ark was the symbol of the presence of God in Israel’s wars. They were commanded to compass the city once for seven days, but on the seventh day they were to compass the city seven times. When on the seventh encirclement the priest blew the ram’s horn, Joshua said, “Shout! for the Lord hath given you the city.” The walls fell down flat!
B) Some day at the eschatological end we will shout the victory over self and the world, May we be found as the great apostle Paul (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
Christian, let Christ, our Joshua, break down the wall around your knees and your Bible – and the other walls that may be encircling your life. Non-believer, only Christ can break down your egoism and other walls. But you must ask Him to save you—and to break down the walls!