Joshua captures Jericho (31-07-21)
The Israelites had crossed over the River Jordan and entered into the Promised Land. As they sought to take possession of the land, the first obstacle that they came across was the walled city of Jericho.
Bible Reading: Joshua 6:1-5
Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 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. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in."
When Helen and I went to Israel a number of years ago we saw the River Jordan in two very different places. In the north of Israel, where the river is fast flowing we went white water rafting as the river tumbled through the hills. In the south of Israel, where the river reaches its destination, we swam, or more accurately floated, in the mineral rich waters of the Dead Sea. Between these two places lies the ancient city of Jericho.
Israel’s Promised Land was a land of milk and honey, but it was not without its problems; in order to take possession of the land there would be battles to fight on the way. Jericho was the first battleground.
When we become followers of Jesus our sins are forgiven, God becomes our Father, the Holy Spirit dwells within us, we are assured of eternal life, and we are promised abundant life now. But we don’t suddenly become perfect, godly or even right in our thinking and decisions. We have entered God’s Promised Land, but there are still some battles to fight. The process of becoming more like Jesus is called sanctification and it continues throughout our lives.
For many of us there are strongholds from the past that need to be overcome or torn down. These might be addictions, they might be attitudes, prejudices, or lifestyles we have adopted that no longer fit with our new-found faith, or they might be hurts and traumas from the past that still weigh us down today. All of these can be strongholds and all of them, like the walls of Jericho, can be demolished.
The way spiritual strongholds are demolished will vary from stronghold to stronghold; the instructions God gave to defeat Jericho were different to those for the following city, Ai. For us, strongholds might be brought down by repentance of things we have done, or by forgiveness of what others have done, or by faith in the truth of what God has does for us in Christ Jesus.
Are there strongholds in your life that need to come down? It may take time, as it did with Jericho, but God wants us to live in the freedom that he has won for us. Through prayer and faith in the blood of Jesus, the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, God will lead us to freedom.
Thank you Jesus that your death broke the power of every stronghold.
Show me if there are any strongholds in my life and lead me to freedom and to peace.
Every giant will fall – Rend Collective