Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Faith in the Book of Joshua


Hebrews 11:30-31


Introduction:

         Last week we looked at the faith of Moses, and his parents (11:23-29).

         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 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 Canaan.

         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).

 

I.                    Faith does the improbable

a.       Jericho was the foremost 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 Canaan.

b.      Human reasoning would determine this fortress was impregnable by the lowly Israelite armies.

c.       But, 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).

d.      He told the people to encircle the city for seven days, and on the seventh day they were to march around seven times. The priests trumpets would blow, the people would shout and the walls would come tumbling down!

e.      These are very unusual military tactics! I do not think they teach this at West Point. But faith does the improbable

f.        Godís strategies and weapons are different than manís- II Cor. 10:3-5

g.       Faith that defies facts!

h.      This was a demonstration that God can use anything to accomplish His will!

i.         "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days" (Heb. 11:30).Just as God said they would.

j.        Yet, this was also the faith that obeys. Joshua and the Israelites had to obey and take God at His word!

k.       Illustr- After the smashing of the Spanish Armada, there was erected on Plymouth Hoe a monument with the inscription: "God sent his wind and they were scattered." When the people of England saw how the storm and the gale had shattered the Spanish Armada, they said: "God did it." When we are faced with any great and demanding task, God is the ally we must never leave out of the reckoning. That which to us alone is impossible is always possible with him.

l.         The defeat of the Armada helped preserve the Reformation"God breathed and they were scattered," said one of Elizabeth's medals.

II.                  Faith saves the unreachable

a.       The second story the writer to the Hebrews takes is that of Rahab. It is told in Joshua 2:1-21 and finds its sequel in Joshua 6:25

b.      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. He can and will save anyone who comes to Him in sincere faith!

c.       Rahab was a Gentile (a Canaanite) and she was a harlot.

d.      Interestingly, Rahab's destiny was to marry one of the princes of Judah and be found in the lineage of King David and Jesus Himself.

e.      This is a demonstration of the grace of God!

f.        When Joshua sent out spies to spy out the situation in Jericho, they found a lodging in the house of Rahab, a harlot. She protected them and enabled them to make their escape; and in return, when Jericho was taken she and her family were saved from the general slaughter.

g.       She told them how the citizens of Jericho had been fearful of the Israelites ever since they defeated the Egyptians via the Red Sea miracle (some 40 years prior). This means the citizens of Jericho all had a chance to trust God just as she did!

h.      Rahab lived in a very wicked city, and she practiced very wicked conduct

i.         The point he desires to make is this--Rahab in face of all the facts believed in the God of Israel. She said to the spies whom she welcomed and hid: "I know that the Lord has given you the land.... For the Lord your God, is he who is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath" (Joshua 2:9-11)

j.        We are not told when exactly she put her faith in the true God, but we know that she did and proved it by her actions!

k.       She risked it all, knowing God would see her through

l.         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).

m.    Hiding the spies was evidence of her faith (cf. James 2:25).†† Genuine faith results in good works, especially towards God's people.

n.      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).

Conclusion:

         It is often said that Rahab, while being a true historical person, also serves as a symbolic foreshadowing or "type" of the church and Gentile believers. She was, in fact, the first recorded Gentile convert.

         She would have perished unless she put her trust in a blood red cord cast down from her window. Without the scarlet cord, she could not have been saved. This is a picture of the blood of Christ

         Joshua would be a savior for Rahab, but a judge of the rest of Jericho.In the same way Jesus is a savior for those who trust Him, but a judge for those who reject Him.

         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 Promise)