Joshua and Judges: A visit from the Prince of the angelic army and significant instructions. Jos 5:10-6:19; Exo 3:1-6.
length: 61:31 - taught on Dec, 1 2015
A meeting with the Lord of Hosts.
JOS 5:13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?"
JOS 5:14 And he said, "No, rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, "What has my lord to say to his servant?"
JOS 5:15 And the captain of the Lord's host said to Joshua, "Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.
JOS 6:1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in.
The Lord in theophany continues.
JOS 6:2 And the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.
JOS 6:3 And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days.
JOS 6:4 Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
JOS 6:5 And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead."
The trumpets - the showphar made of rams horns. These are large instruments which give a loud, far-sounding tone.
These horns were the jubilee horns which signaled the ushering in of the sabbatical year and the year of jubilee.
slide - showphar
The Jews had two types of trumpets. There were the silver trumpets of the priests which were used to signal the camp when something important was happening. The ram's horns or showphar were used for celebrations.
The number seven is an emblem of the work of God. It refers to His perfection and completion.
No situation is too great for the Lord to handle, and no problem is too much for Him to solve.
The method of destroying the city would have been completely and utterly foolish to anyone who did not explicitly trust Jehovah and understand that His ways are higher than our ways.
God delights in using weakness and seeming foolishness to defeat His enemies and glorify His name.
The taking of Jericho:
JOS 6:6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord."
JOS 6:7 Then he said to the people, "Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord."
JOS 6:8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.
The ark of the covenant is called "the Lord." It is the Lord in the midst of His people that will march around the city.
The Lord and His people are not under the power of the city. They are free from its tyranny. They march around it as those who have overcome it. This is true of us, though it seems that we are slaves of this world.
Jericho, the greatest city is Canaan and the first to be taken is a picture of all the nations of mankind that have stood against God.
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
They will all be destroyed and judged.
Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His
"Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!"
He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
JOS 6:9 And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets.
JOS 6:10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard, nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout!"
JOS 6:11 So he had the ark of the Lord taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
First of all, in vv. 8-10, we have the appointment of the order of marching, namely, that the ark, with the priests in front carrying the trumpets of jubilee, was to form the centre of the procession, and that one portion of the fighting men was to go in front of it, and the rest to follow after; that the priests were to blow the trumpets every time they marched round during the seven days; and lastly, that it was not till the seventh time of going round, on the seventh day, that the people were to raise the war-cry at the command of Joshua, and then the walls of the town were to fall.
There is no natural phenomenon that can explain the walls falling down. This is a supernatural occurrence. God brought the walls down. God does many things in our lives that some would call coincidences but in fact they are supernatural occurrences.
In the exact same fashion they march around the city the next five days.
JOS 6:12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord.
JOS 6:13 And the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while they continued to blow the trumpets.
JOS 6:14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.
God places significance on the number seven.
Seven - the number of perfection and completion. God completes His perfect will.
JOS 6:15 Then it came about on the seventh day that they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times.
JOS 6:16 And it came about at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city.
JOS 6:17 And the city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.
Because the Lord had given Jericho into the hands of the Israelites, they were to consecrate it to Him as a ban (cherem), i.e., as a holy thing belonging to Jehovah, which was not to be touched by man, as being the first-fruits of the land of Canaan.
Nothing put under the ban, nothing that a man had devoted (banned) to the Lord of his property, of man, beast, or the field of his possession, was to be sold or redeemed, because it was most holy. Jericho is not holy until God takes it, and then it is, as it is set apart unto Him. No man is to take any part of it. The first fruits belong to Him, just like Christ is the first fruits from the dead and we are His first fruits - we belong to Him.
The man laid under the ban was to be put to death.
Inanimate objects put under the ban were either completely destroyed or put in the temple treasury.
Rahab and all in her house are alone excepted from the ban.
The inhabitants of an idolatrous town laid under the ban were to be put to death, together with their cattle, and all the property in the town to be burned, as Moses himself had enjoined on the basis of the law in LEV 27:29.
'No one who may have been set apart [cherem] among men shall be ransomed; he shall surely be put to death.
I make a point of this because there is going to be a man who is going to take some of the gold and silver and hide it in his tent. As you can see in Leviticus, he has been clearly warned and Joshua in the next verse is going to remind everyone of this again. We all have been warned of certain things in the word of God. God is not a respecter of persons. Everyone will eventually reap what they sow.
Achan apparently doesn't think the Lord is real because he hides what he has taken with the assumption that there is no one to see it. The penalty is death. If he was sure that he couldn't get away with it, he wouldn't have done it.
The only exceptions to total destruction were metals, gold, silver, and the vessels of brass and iron; these were to be brought into the treasury of the Lord, i.e., the treasury of the tabernacle, as being holy to the Lord.
JOS 6:18 But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, lest you covet them and take some of the things under the ban, so you would make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it.
JOS 6:19 But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord."
Whoever took to himself anything that had been laid under the ban, exposed himself to the ban.
Whoever took something under the ban was then himself under the ban not only because he had brought an abomination into his house in relation to the gold and silver of idols, but because he had wickedly invaded the rights of the Lord, by appropriating that which had been laid under the ban, and had wantonly violated the ban itself.
The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Something devoted to the Lord is not to be also for personal use. The two things were altogether incompatible, to devote everything to God, and yet to apply a portion to their own private use; either the thing should not have been devoted, or having been devoted, it was their duty to abstain from it.
The man who violates this will curse the whole camp along with himself, but only he will bear the burden of the ban.
JOS 6:20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and it came about, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city.
JOS 6:21 And they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
One commentator states:
"It is impossible to imagine a more striking way, in which it could have been shown to the Israelites that Jehovah had given them the town. Now the river must retire to give them an entrance into the land, and now again the wall of the town must fall to make an opening into a fortified place. Two such decisive proofs of the co-operation of Jehovah so shortly after Moses' death, must have furnished a pledge, even to the most sensual, that the same God was with them who had led their fathers so mightily and so miraculously through the Red Sea."
Jericho was the first and the strongest town in Canaan, and as such it was the key to the whole conquest of the land.
The Lord would give His people the first and strongest town of Canaan, as the first-fruits of the land, without any effort on their part.
This was a sign that He was about to give them the whole land for a possession, according to His promise; in order that they might not regard the conquest of it as their own work, or the fruit of their own exertions, and look upon the land as a well-merited possession which they could do as they pleased with, but that they might ever use it as a gracious gift from the Lord, which he had merely conferred upon them as a trust, and which He could take away again, whenever they might fall far enough from Him.
It's insightful to come to understand that the gifts from God are not to be used in any way that we please. Some gifts can be lost.
All gifts belong to God, which He has put in our trust. Gifts from God are not merited, but some of them can be lost.
If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.