Sermon #     70                                                  Hebrews Notes


     Title:            JERICHO FALLEN

     Text:            Hebrews 11:30

     Readings:     Lindsay Campbell – Bobbie Estes

     Subject:       Faith Seen in the Fall of Jericho

     Date:            Tuesday Evening – December 11, 2001

     Tape #         W-74b



(Hebrews 11:30)  By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.


No man’s ministry lasts forever. The best of prophets, pastors, and leaders will soon die and their ministries will come to an end, -- this one included. When the prophet dies, he needs to be buried, preferably buried in obscurity, lest his garnished sepulcher hinders his successor.


     God’s cause is not wrapped up in a man; and we must not wrap it up in a man, -- any man. God’s church and kingdom does not depend upon a man; and we must not make it, or act as if we made it, dependent upon a man, -- any man.




Under the leadership of Moses, God accomplished great things for his people, Israel. He had revealed to Moses what he was going to do for his people, and Moses acted upon the Divine Revelation by faith.


·        He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt by a mighty hand. They crossed the Red Sea as upon dry ground; and God slew the armies of Pharaoh in that same body of water.

·        Because of Moses’ intercession the children of Israel were fed with manna from heaven

·        Because of his earnest prayer in their behalf God preserved the nation.

·        Still, throughout his ministry, he had the heartache of a grumbling, discontent, and rebellious congregation.




When Moses’ work was done, God took him and raised up another man, a new leader for the congregation of Israel, -- a man like Moses, yet altogether different from Moses, -- a man trained by Moses, but a man trained by God through Moses, -- a man to take the place of Moses, but a man standing in his own place to do his own work for the glory of God. Joshua was God’s chosen servant to lead the Israelites into the promised land.[1]


Faith Displayed


In our text this evening we have an exhibition of the triumph of faith under the leadership of Joshua. In verse 29 we saw what faith accomplished during the exodus from Egypt, now we see what it achieved as Israel entered the land of promise. The yoke of cruel bondage was broken asunder by faith, and by the same faith the people of God obtained the blessings of the Promised Land.


(Hebrews 11:29-30)  By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.


The Life of Faith


By these two things, we see again that the believers life is from beginning to end a life of faith. Without faith no progress can be made, no victories can be obtained, and no fruit can be brought forth for God’s glory.


·        The just shall live by faith.

·        As ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.

·        Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” – (Isa. 45:25; John 1:29; Heb. 12:2; 1 John 3:2; Rev. 22:4).


40 Years


It is solemn to note that an interval of forty years duration comes in between Hebrews 11:29 and 30. Those years were spent in the wilderness. They were years of judgment from God because of the unbelief and disobedience of the people.


Joshua 6


Our text is an inspired commentary on the sixth chapter of Joshua, which begins by telling us, “Now Jericho was straitly shut up, because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.”


Israel had reached the borders of Canaan. They had safely crossed the Jordan; but they could not enter the land because of Jericho, which was a powerful fortress barring their way. This was one of the cities which had frightened the spies, causing them to say, “The people is greater and taller than we: the cities are great and walled up to heaven” (Deut. 1:28). To their eyes of unbelief the cities appeared impregnable, and far too secure for them to take.




Jericho was a frontier town. It was the gateway to Canaan. Its capture was absolutely necessary before any progress could be made by Israel in conquering and occupying their promised inheritance. Failure to capture Jericho would not only discourage the Israelites, but it would strengthen the morale of the Canaanites. It was the enemies’ leading stronghold, which they likely considered to be quite invulnerable.


Yet, it fell to a people who possessed no artillery, and without them fighting a single battle. All they did, in obedience to God’s Word, was to march by faith around the city once each day for six days and seven times on the seventh day. On that seventh day (The Number Of Grace – The Number of Salvation – The Number of Completion), the trumpets of rams horns were blown and when the people shouted the walls collapsed before them.


Proposition: By faith they destroyed Jericho and obtained their promised inheritance


“Faith, persevering faith, enabled Joshua and the Israelites to do what otherwise they could not have done, and by doing so, to obtain what otherwise they could not have obtained” – (John. Brown)




1. Their Captain.

2. Their Commission.

3. Their Conduct.

4. Their Conquest.


I. Their CaptainThey had a divine Captain (Joshua 5:13-15).


(Joshua 5:13-15)  And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? 14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.


A. Israel’s Captain is Israel’s God.


1.     This was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, – The Prince of Israel, -- The Captain of our Salvation (Heb. 2:10).

2.     He is the great “I Am.” – The One who commissioned Moses.

3.     He is the Covenant God who promised to Abraham the land of Canaan.


B. God’s ways are not our ways.


They are never our ways! God never does things the way we would do them; and we would never do things the way God would have them done if he did not compel us to walk in his way and follow him.


(Isaiah 55:8)  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.


·        Moses was preserved in the ark of bulrushes.

·        David was chosen as Israel’s king.

·        Goliath was slain by a shepherd boy’s sling.

·        Elijah was fed by a raven.

·        The Messiah was laid in a manger.

·        God’s ways stain the pride of man.


C. God is totally independent of all natural means, and superior to all “laws of nature.”


·        Daniel in the lion’s den.

·        Three Hebrews in Babylon’s furnace.


II. Their Commission – They had a specific commission. – Take Jericho (Josh. 6:1-5).


(Joshua 6:1-5)  Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.


A.   Formidable difficulties and powerful oppositions are encountered in the warfare of faith.


We, too, are engaged in a warfare. The believer’s life is a constant warfare, a warfare waged in hostile enemy territory.


·        The World

·        The Flesh

·        The Devil


We cannot take possession of our promised inheritance except we conquer the enemy. But conquer we have, conquer we do, and conquer we shall.


·        Christ conquered the enemy for us (John 12:32; Rom. 8:39; Col. 2:13-15).


(Colossians 2:13-15)  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.


·        The Lord God gives us grace, day by day, to prevail over our enemies (2 Cor. 12:9).


(2 Corinthians 12:1-10)  It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


·        We shall prevail at last over all our foes (Rom. 16:20; Gal. 2:20-21; Phil. 4:13; 2 Tim. 1:12; Rev. 3:5; 20:6).


We do have our swelling rivers to cross, impregnable walls to pass through, and mighty enemies to conquer in this warfare. But whatever our difficulties are, our God has put them before us. They are placed in our path on purpose by his hand. And our God will cause us to trample them beneath our feet.


(Galatians 2:20-21)  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.


(Philippians 4:13)  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


(2 Timothy 1:12)  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.


B. Satan’s strongholds cannot stand before a people believe God.


·        Jericho’s ruin.

·        Apostolic days.

·        Reformation.

·        Great awakening.


B.   Why is it that we are not witnessing the same Gospel triumphs in our day?


Why is it that we do not see God’s mighty arm stretched out and his glory revealed in our day? Is his arm shortened that it cannot save? – No! The problem is not with our God, but with us.


(John 11:40)  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?


(Matthew 13:58)  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.


(Isaiah 48:17-19)  Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.


·        David could not bring the ark of God up to Jerusalem because he sought not the Lord after the due order. – God will be served in the way he prescribes. – His work will be done in his way. -- “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit!” – God’s work will be performed in a way that honors him.

·        Let us go forth doing God’s work in his way, and dependent upon his power.


III. Their Conduct – They Believed God.


Jericho’s walls fell because Israel believed God. Their faith was a tried and a persevering faith.


     When Israel crossed Jordan, they burned their bridges behind them. They were cut off from flight; they had no houses to which they could flee, and no fortress to which they could retreat. They were now in enemy territory, and victory or death were their only alternatives.


     Illustration: -- Cortez’s Orders – “Burn the ships!”


A. Faith is a living principle; and every living thing grow.


Yes, there are degrees of faith. We grow in faith as we grow in grace. We grow in grace as we grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And we grow in faith by the blessed discipline of grace (Heb. 12:5-11).


·        Receiving Faith (John 1:12).

·        Reckoning Faith (2 Tim. 1:12). Counting on God to fulfill his promises and to undertake for us.

·        Risking Faith – Faith which dares something for the Lord – Exemplified in:


     (1). Moses before Pharaoh.

     (2). David before Goliath.

     (3). Daniel in Babylon.

     (4). Elijah before the prophets of Baal.

     (5). Paul and Barnabas


B. God honors faith because faith honors him.


     Quote: “Ask great things of God; expect great things from God, undertake great things for God.” – (William Carey).


C. Joshua and the children of Israel were obedient to God because they believed God (Josh. 6:3-4, 6-8).


(Joshua 6:3-4)  And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.


(Joshua 6:6-8)  And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD. 7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. 8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.


1. God’s ways often seem strange to us.


     a. Naaman.

     b. The apostles (5 loaves and 2 fish).

c. Consider Israel’s condition.


2. God’s Word, his revealed will is be implicitly obeyed.


These people were required to march around Jericho for six days in utter silence. They were required to do this for six days, and then a seventh. – Thus the Lord taught them patience (Psa. 37:4-7).


(Psalms 34:4-7)  I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.


1.     The apostles were commanded to tarry at Jerusalem.

2.     “Men ought always to pray and not to faint” (Lk. 18:1). Often we faint when victory is almost in sight. God is in no hurry Gal. 6:9).


(Galatians 6:9)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.


(Psalms 27:14)  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.


(Psalms 37:34)  Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.


(Proverbs 20:22)  Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.


(Isaiah 40:31)  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


(Lamentations 3:25-26)  The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.


E. Theirs was an expectant faith (Josh. 6:20).


(Joshua 6:20)  So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.


1.     The people shouted before the walls fell down. – Because they believed God, they expected those mighty, huge walls to fall.

2.     We ought to expect God to do all that he has promised. – What could be more reasonable.


·        In Prayer.

·        In Preaching.

·        Regarding His Elect.

·        Regarding His Church.

·        Regarding This World.

·        Regarding Ourselves!


IV. Their ConquestThey took Jericho (Josh. 6:20).


A. God made a promise and they believed it.


B. Let us likewise believe our God (Matt. 17:20; 1 John 5:4).


(Matthew 17:20)  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.


(1 John 5:4)  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.


(2 Chronicles 20:20)  And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.


(Revelation 19:1-6)  And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.


(Revelation 20:6)  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


[1] God raises up specific men for specific purposes. When the servant has accomplished the purpose for which the Lord raised him up, God takes him.