YOUR BATTLE OF JERICHO (Joshua 3)
The first battle the Jews faced when they entered the Promised Land was at Jericho (Joshua 5:13 – 6:27). What a strange battle plan God had for them! It is important to note that no two battles, then or now, are exactly alike. At the Red Sea the Jews were to stand still and see God deliver (Exodus 14:3), but against Amalek the men were to take up weapons and fight (Exodus 17:9). Now at Jericho they were told to march around the walls in faith and God would take care of the walls (Joshua 6:1-3). The Jews followed the Ark of the Covenant which symbolized the seat of God’s presence.
LESSON FOR TODAY 1: Each battle we fight will be different than the battles others fight, and even different than past battles we were involved in. We must follow God’s lead each time. There is no one way or ‘best’ way – be sensitive and follow God. Don’t look for a magic formula – obedience to God brings victory, disobedience brings defeat.
Despite victory over great Jericho, the Jews were soundly defeated in their next battle against a small outpost called Ai because there was sin in the camp (Joshua 6:18-19; 7:13). Achan tried to keep that which belonged to God. This sin was confessed and removed from the camp, and then there was victory at Ai. We, too, must make sure there is no sin in our lives or we won’t have victory but will live in defeat.
LESSON FOR TODAY 2: An entirely new strategy was used for victory at Ai – an ambush from behind the town. There is no magic formula, no one human leader, and no ritual that guarantees victory. Sensitivity to God’s leading and following His Spirit is the only sure way to win. Don’t be judging the way God leads others, and don’t limit Him in what He wants to do or how He wants to do it to bring victory in your situation.
After these victories the Jews paused to regroup and refocus. By this time the tribes in the north and south had started unifying to better stand against the Jews.
LESSON FOR TODAY 3: Satan’s opposition grows stronger in time. The enemy does not give up and surrender. He often gathers more demons and even motivates unbelieving human beings in opposition against God’s people. Big victories on our part often bring bigger opposition from Satan and his demons.
First the Jews faced the southern tribes (Joshua 9:1-2; 10:5). Their biggest danger wasn’t their enemy without, but the enemy within – fear. That is one of the demon’s best tools to defeat us, but God clearly commands us to have faith, not fear (Joshua 10:8). When the Jews fought as directed by God, He brought victory (Joshua 10:11). He even miraculously caused the sun to stand still so there was extended daylight to complete the victory (Joshua 10:12-14).
One of the tribes in the south, the Gibeonites, tried an entirely different but vastly more successful strategy – deception. They sent representatives who pretended to come from far away so as to not seem to be a threat to the Jews, even going so far as to encourage the Jews to make a treaty with them (Joshua 9:3-14).
LESSON FOR TODAY 4: When the enemy can’t win by direct conflict, he often resorts to something more subtle and often more effective – deceitfulness. As in Eden, Satan is most dangerous when using deception and lies. We must make sure we know and apply the truth, for while deception brings bondage, truth brings freedom (John 8:32). The better you know God’s Word the more protected you will be against deception.
Are you concerned that God is working in your life differently than in the lives of others around you? Are you tempted to try to pattern your Christian walk to match that of friends? If so, you must have discovered that doesn’t work. Let God work in you His way, for you are a unique creation of His and He knows just what is best for you.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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