The Book of HEBREWS
James J. Barker
LESSONS OF FAITH FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
- We have been in
Hebrews 11 for a few weeks now.
Last week we looked at the faith of Moses, and his parents
- Tonight we will
consider the faith of Joshua, his successor, the man who had the privilege of
leading the Israelites into the Promised Land (11:30).
- In Exodus
24:13; 33:11; Numbers 11:28; and Joshua 1:1, Joshua is referred to as Moses'
"minister" or his "servant."
- In Numbers
27:18, we have an account of the ordination of Joshua to the office as the new
leader of the Israelites. "And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and
lay thine hand upon him."
- Like his mentor
Moses, Joshua was a great man of faith. His faith was demonstrated back in
Numbers 13, when Moses sent out twelve men to spy out the land of
- Numbers 13:32,
33 says that ten of the spies "brought up an evil report of the land which they
had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we
have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and
all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of
Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers,
and so we were in their sight."
- But Caleb and
Joshua said, "The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding
good land. If the LORD delight in
us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth
with milk and honey" (Numbers 14:7, 8).
- There are many
examples of faith in the life of Joshua, but the author of the epistle to the
Hebrews chose just one -- the most famous one, the wonderful victory at Jericho
(Heb. 11:30; cf. Joshua 6).
FAITH DOES THE
- The LORD
instructed the Israelites to "compass about" (encircle) the walls of Jericho
once a day for seven days together, and then seven times the last day.
the LORD said that the priests should carry the ark when they compassed about
the walls, and they should blow with trumpets made of ramsí horns (Joshua 6:3,
- Joshua 6:5
says, "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."
- These are very
unusual military tactics! I
do not think they teach this at West Point. But faith does the
- This was a
great trial of their faith. The method prescribed by God seemed very improbable
to ensure their victory, but the LORD had already told Joshua in Joshua 6:2,
"See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty
men of valour."
- Undoubtedly the
Canaanites would laugh and mock them as the Israelites marched around the city
day after day.
- The Scofield
Study Bible says, "The central truth here is that spiritual victories are
won by means and upon principles utterly foolish and inadequate in the view of
human wisdom (I Corinthians 1:17-29; II Corinthians 10:3-5)."
- Matthew Henry
said, "But this was the way God commanded them to take, and he loves to do great
things by small and contemptible means, that his own arm may be made
FAITH DOES THE
- "By faith the
walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days" (Heb.
11:30). Just as God said they
- The LORD said,
"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" (Joshua 6:5).
- Jericho was a
the principal stronghold of the Canaanites, a frontier town that the Israelites
were to conquer first because it was situated at the entrance way to the land of
- Matthew Henry
said, "God was pleased in this extraordinary manner to slight and dismantle it,
in order to magnify himself, to terrify the Canaanites, to strengthen the faith
of the Israelites, and to exclude all boasting. God can and will in his own time
and way cause all the powerful opposition that is made to his interest and glory
to fall down, and the grace of faith is mighty through God for the pulling down
FAITH SAVES THE UNREACHABLE
- One other
believer is mentioned from the book of Joshua, and that is the harlot Rahab
- Among the great
list of heroes of the faith, the Holy Spirit mentions the harlot Rahab, to show
that God is no respecter of persons.
- Rahab was a
Gentile (a Canaanite) and she was a harlot.
she is also in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 1:5). This is a demonstration of the grace of
- She was an
alien from the commonwealth of Israel, "having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph. 2:12). But God in His mercy and grace
saved Rahab on the basis of her faith in the true God of Israel (cf. Joshua
- Rahab was not
saved because she hid the spies up on the roof of her house. She was saved the same way every believer
is saved -- "by faith" (Heb. 11:31).
- Hiding the
spies was evidence of her faith (cf. James 2:25). Genuine faith results in good
works, especially towards God's people.
- Rahab asked the
spies for a "true token," and they told her to hang her scarlet thread (cord)
out her window (Joshua 2:12, 18).
- Regarding the
faith of Rahab the harlot, Matthew Henry said, "Faith will venture all hazards
in the cause of God and his people; a true believer will sooner expose his own
person than Godís interest and people. A true believer is desirous, not only to
be in covenant with God, but in communion with the people of God, and is willing
to cast in his lot with them, and to fare as they
- Christians have
wondered -- if God intended to destroy the city of Jericho, why did he instruct
Joshua and the Israelites to march around the city for seven
- FB Meyer said,
"As in this story so in grace, there must be cooperation between God and man.
The walls of Jericho could fall down only by the exercise of divine power; but
the children of Israel must needs encompass them. Only God can give a body as it
hath pleased him to the seed corn; but man must plow and sow and reap and thresh
and grind. Only the Son of God could multiply the loaves or raise the dead; but
man must provide and distribute the broken bread, and roll the stone from the
sepulcher door. Only God can remove the difficulties that stand in the way of an
entirely consecrated and blessed life; but there are commands and duties which
it is incumbent on us to fulfill.
What are these? In some cases we are withholding obedience that we should
give at once. There are things which we ought to do, but which we are not doing.
And there is equal danger in doing more than we should endeavoring to scale
walls which we are told to encompass; shouting before the word of command has
been uttered; making the circuit of the city oftener than the once each day
prescribed by the divine ordering." (Joshua: and the Land of