During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (9). Her text was taken from the Book of Joshua chapters 9 and 10


We follow the journey of God’s people in the Promised Land. The first three cities in their path to conquer the Land were Jericho, Ai, and Gibeon. By God’s power His people conquered the city of Jericho. When they attacked the city of Ai the first time, they were defeated. It is because they did not seek God’s face in that battle. After they repented, they won an easy victory against Ai. For the first time in the Promised Land, they collected the spoils of war from Ai. The next city to attack was Gibeon. For the first time we see that the Canaanites kingdoms decide to come together to fight Israel. But the Gibeonites refused to join that alliance. They knew that they have no hope fighting God’s people. They were filled with terror for their lives. They cunningly planned to deceive Joshua and the leaders of Israel. They succeeded. They dressed in old clothes and brought bread that was dry and moldy. This was to prove that they come from a distant country. Joshua and the leaders were suspicious at the beginning but not suspicious enough. The Gibeonites praised Jehovah God for His mighty acts. They came in a humble attitude, flattering the people of Israel. They said: ‘we are your servants’. Assuming that they are ambassadors coming from a far country, Joshua and the leaders made a covenant of peace with them. Just three days later, Joshua discovered that they were deceived. The people of Israel were angry against their rulers because they were so easily deceived. Gibeon was the next city they were to destroy. Gibeon a big city was ruling four neighboring little kingdoms. Because of the covenant of peace made with the Gibeon, the people of Israel could not attack these cities and could not take the spoils of war. They were deceived to tolerate these Canaanites in their midst. Israel lost a war without a fight.

At this time in their journey, there is a new season for God’s people. For the first time the cities and the kingdoms in Canaan decide to make alliances to fight Israel together. These kings invite Gibeon to join their alliance to fight Israel together. But Gibeon decides to separate from their neighbors. The Gibeonites know that fighting Israel will end in total defeat and death. They believe that Jehovah God is stronger than all their gods. They decide to make a covenant of peace with Israel so that they can live. Maybe they heard about Rahab and her story. They speak like her, praising Jehovah God for His mighty deeds. But they were afraid to be totally honest, to open their hearts in faith like Rahab. Possibly, they did not trust that God’s people will be merciful to them. That is when they decided to ‘work craftily’, to deceive Israel into making a covenant of peace with them. If they succeeded to manipulate God’s people, then they will survive as a nation. They took a risk and they succeeded. Joshua’s mistake was that he did not pray to God. This is the same mistake he did when he attacked Ai the first time. He trusted in his natural senses and mind. Joshua felt pity for the men who look poor and needy. Some Bible commentators call this ‘an unsanctified compassion’. This compassion is the work of the flesh and not the result of God’s Spirit. The devil is the author of all unsanctified decisions. There is always a price to pay for that deception.


Jericho stands for the world. Ai stands for the flesh. Gibeon stands for the devil. We need God’s wisdom and power to defeat each of these major strongholds. God’s strategy is different on how to defeat each city.

Jericho represents the world around us. The law is this: Destroy and take nothing. With the exception of Rahab and her family, God destroyed all people in Jericho. They refused to surrender. They fought God’s people and they perished. What the Bible calls the world, is the system that works apart from God, like God does not exist. The devil is the ruler of this world pretending to be God. As believers in Christ, we are born in this world, we live in the world, but we are not of the world. By faith, we destroy the walls of Jericho and take nothing from it for our personal use. Jesus overcame the world. In His name and by His Spirit we must do the same.  Jesus said: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The world has its own attractions. But we must resist its deceptive, dangerous beauty. Making friends with the world you betray your Savior. Jesus is jealous and will rebuke His bride who becomes infatuated with the fading treasures of the world. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (Jam 4:4). The wisdom of this world is demonic. It fights the truth. It is deceptive. Its fruit is bitterness, envy, confusion, and trouble. But God’s wisdom is pure and peaceful. It always ends in victory and prosperity. “If you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (Jam 3:14-17). You can’t save Jericho. You can’t gain anything good from Jericho. It is cursed!


Ai represents the flesh. The strategy to conquer the flesh is different. You do not attack it directly. You do not use few soldiers, the way Joshua did when he was defeated. You trust God’s Word totally. God encouraged Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land” (Josh 8:1). You need to recognize your weakness. Trust God for His strength in your weakness. Joshua took all the soldiers to attack the little city, Ai. You need all your resources to mortify the flesh. By the mighty power of the Holy Spirit, you kill the flesh. You squeeze the flesh thru ambush of the Spirit!

“So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but not to our flesh [our human nature, our worldliness, our sinful capacity], to live according to the [impulses of the] flesh [our nature without the Holy Spirit], for if you are living according to the [impulses of the] flesh, you are going to die. But if [you are living] by the [power of the Holy] Spirit you are habitually putting to death the sinful deeds of the body, you will [really] live forever” (Rom 8:12, 13; AMP). You owe obedience to the Holy Spirit. You do not owe anything to your flesh. If the flesh demands that you pay your debt, reject that voice, and kill it. Daily, moment by moment, by the power of the Holy Spirit you mortify, kill, put to death the power of the flesh to control your life. As the deeds of the flesh die daily, you will see results. The Holy Spirit will manifest His fruits in you. Love, peace, joy, wisdom, and power will increase. You become a wise and stronger Christian. The power of resurrection will manifest from the ashes of dead flesh. That is the ‘gain’ God told His people to take from the city of Ai. There are many believers that have conquered Jericho (the world) and have been defeated at Ai (their flesh).  


“Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty” (Josh 10:2). The city of Gibeon stands for the devil. Joshua and his people were deceived by the Gibeonites. The root of the problem was the same as with the city of Ai. They did not seek God’s face before making decisions. They did not study God’s Word. They did not pray. They were deceived by the old clothes on the men. They did not imagine that such needy well-spoken men they are their neighbors, therefore, their enemies.

“When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and you shall eat the enemies’ plunder which the Lord your God gives you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations….. “But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God” (Deut 20:10-18).

As you can see, if they attack a city outside the Promised Land, they had the option of offering peace to the enemy. If that city surrenders, all the people will live but they will become their servants. If the city refuses to surrender, they should attack and kill all the men. The women, the children, and their goods they can take as spoil of war. But when they attack the cities in the Promised Land, there shall be no offer of peace, no agreement or covenant of any kind with the Canaanites. They should kill all the people, men, women, and children and take over their land. God said that these Canaanites serve idols and are wicked. Israel should make no covenant with them because they will seduce them away from God to serve their idols. God is always concerned about the spiritual purity of His people. God hates sin, especially idolatry. God is a jealous God. He judges sin. That is why Jesus died. God could not ‘spare’ His own Beloved Son once He became sin for us.    

What was Israel’ mistake? God told His people to behave differently when attacking the nations that are far away from the nations that are in the Promised Land. It seems that the Gibeonites knew Jehovah’s guidelines for war. Their plan was to deceive Joshua that they are coming from a distant country, and they asked for peace. According to God’s Word, that was possible. The people who live outside the Promised Land, if they surrender in peace, they will become servants to Israel. The Gibeonites deceived Joshua with their old dressing and dry bread. They said that they live far away. They surrendered and asked for a covenant of peace. That was their only chance to survive. They succeeded.

Lesson: This is a warning that the devil knows the Bible and he will use it to deceive you if he can! Study the Word and pray always!

“When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors” (Josh 9:3, 4). The Gibeonites sinned in two ways: They worked craftily and pretended to be ambassadors of a far country. They brought old clothes and dry bread as ‘evidence’ that they are coming from a far country. The deception was not very deep. It was not too hard for Israel to detect it, but they failed the test. They said: “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us” (Josh 9:6). This was a straight lie. Though they lied, they had a genuine admiration for the God of Israel. They believed that Jehovah God is Almighty, and it is useless to fight against Him. They wanted the saving Grace of God, the unmerited favor of God they admired on Rahab. They wanted to surrender to Jehovah but not directly. They were afraid to be honest. They needed to deceive God’s people to accept them. The deception was crafty, therefore powerful. But the main problem was not with the Gibeonites. It was with Joshua and his people. They agreed to make a covenant of peace with the Gibeonites without seeking God’s face for approval.  God allowed Israel to make treaties with distant nations, but not with the Canaanites. They were not supposed to make peace with Gibeon. The truth is that the Israelites have not seen old clothes and worn out sandals in their life. They have also not seen bread. This is what Moses told them just before entering the Promised Land. “I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am the Lord your God” (Deut 29:5, 6).

Lesson: when you go to unfamiliar territory, you need God’s direction more than ever. The devil knows the things that are strange to us. He will attack thru them. You do not need to know everything. But you need to trust the leading of the Holy Spirit in all situations.

Once the people discovered that their leaders were deceived, they were angry with them for being so gullible. Once they discovered their foolishness, Joshua and the leaders quickly repented. They continued to lead the people even after they made mistakes. That is good! When the people wanted to kill the Gibeonites, they insisted that the covenant is valid, because it was done in God’s name. They insisted that the people should accept the covenant even though it came thru deception. They knew that they cannot kill the Gibeonites. It was too late for that. Two sins cannot make something right. Even under the people’s pressure, Joshua insisted that they should respect the covenant. King David described the man who can dwell into the presence of God: “Who may dwell [continually] on Your holy hill?… He keeps his word even to his own disadvantage and does not change it [for his own benefit]” (Psalm 15:1, 4; AMP). Joshua kept his word to the Gibeonites even when it was inconvenient. Much later, King Saul ignored this covenant of peace and killed some Gibeonites. God punished the whole nation for breaking the covenant. “Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, “It is because of Saul and his bloodthirsty house, because he killed the Gibeonites.” (2 Samuel 21:1).

Lesson: God is a God of covenant. He is faithful to His covenant promises to His people. He expects us to do the same. A covenant made before God, like the marriage vows, should be kept, even if there was deception involved at the beginning! (Mal 2:10-16).

Deception was successfully practiced by men and women in the past. For example, Tamar deceived Judah, two times her father-in-law, pretending to be a prostitute (Genesis 38). She wanted to have children in that family. When Judah’s two sons died without giving Tamar children, she deceived Judah himself to have sexual relations with her. She got pregnant for him and twin boys, Perez and Zerah. Her name as the mother of Perez is in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matt 1:3). Our Lord commended the shrewd manager who deceived his master by saying: “And his master commended the unjust manager [not for his misdeeds, but] because he had acted shrewdly [by preparing for his future unemployment]; for the sons of this age [the non-believers] are shrewder in relation to their own kind [that is, to the ways of the secular world] than are the sons of light [the believers]” (Lk 16:8).


The devil comes as a lion, as an angel of light or as a serpent. He intimidates, manipulates, and deceives. The devil tries to make a deal with you about your spiritual life. He wants to become your master, to teach you, to control you. The devil knows he can’t take God’s people out of the Promised Land to go back to Egypt. He will find ways to defeat them in the Promised Land. There are more than 8000 promises in the Bible. Most Christians do not see the fruits of believing them. The devil will cheat you in the land of victory. He cannot steal your salvation, but he can steal your peace, your anointing, your joy, your healing, and many opportunities for ministry. He can frustrate your marriage and trouble your children. He will minimize your victory. He wants you to make an agreement with the Gibeonites. He wants to corrupt your faith and your testimony. If you submit to the devil you will live with the damaging consequences for a long time. To be free you need deliverance!

Most of the time, the devil does not attack openly. He usually attacks thru deception. Like a thief in the night, with his face covered, the devil does not attack in the daytime when the light is bright. Like a serpent, he attacks from the darkness of the forest, from places you never expect to be dangerous. Our Lord recognized the devil’s capacity to be ‘wise’ in his evil way. He commanded His disciples: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt 10:16). The serpent is wise. “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made” (Gen 3:1). He is very sensitive to danger. He knows that all men hate him. He hides behind leaves on the ground. He rarely comes out in the day light. Once he senses danger, he quickly runs away. The serpent was created wise by God. But he corrupted his wisdom when he became an instrument for the devil.

Gibeon stands for the devil. The Gibeonites were extremely crafty at deceiving the people of God. They were professional liars. They invented a story hoping to touch Joshua’s emotions. They hoped that Israel will not pray to seek God’s face. As you can see, the battle is spiritual. We do not fight people. We fight demons that manipulate people. We are commanded to do spiritual warfare. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Eph 6:11-13).

We are commanded to stand against the wiles of the devil. In Greek, the word ‘wiles’ means schemes, strategy, tactics, tricks, all based on deception. It describes the strategy of a skillful leader. The devil is not a fool. He is a master, a successful con-artist of deception. He is the head of a kingdom of evil spirits. It is an organized kingdom that opposes Christ’s Kingdom of Truth and Light. The devil is the enemy of God, of Christ and of His Church. He hates Truth, the Grace of God upon us, and the Glory of God. He wants to be worshipped. He is called ‘the accuser of the brethren’ (Rev 12:10). He reminds the saints of their past of sin bringing condemnation and a sense of guilt upon them. The only way to fight the devil is to imitate our Lord who defeated him with the Word of God, spoken with faith. Full of the Holy Spirit we are to declare: “It is written” (Matt 4:1-11) and the devil will flee!

If a Christian can be deceived by the devil, he loses that battle. To stand against the devil’s deception we need to put on ‘the whole’ armor of God, and not just some pieces. We need to protect your mind with the helmet of salvation. We need to protect your heart with the breastplate of righteousness. The devil attacks with flaming hot arrows. These are hurtful words of condemnation and fear. Only faith in God can quench these terrible lies. “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph 6:16). The only part of God’s armor used to attack is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph 6:17). All the other components are passive, for our protection. God’s armor is not to be removed. We cannot rest from spiritual warfare until we go to heaven. We must decide never to submit or yield to the devil. Our battle is not against human beings. It is against demons and the devil. We must live in the center of God’s presence, always obeying His Word. That is the safest place. It is the place of victory. “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jam 4:7). The Bible commands us to submit to God, first of all. It is from that position of victory that we can do spiritual warfare. To submit to God, it means that we study His Word and pray always. Rebellion against God, ignoring the Bible and prayer, will give the devil a foothold to attack with deception. Selah! Please, be careful, for the armor covers you from head to toe, but only in your front. There is no cover for the back. The backsliders are not protected from the devil.

Lesson: The devil hates you. He will attack your soul (mind, emotions and will), your body, your marriage, your family, and your ministry. For victory you need faith in God, in the Lord Jesus Christ! Faith in God’s Word, fasting and prayers, are the basic methods for spiritual warfare. The natural mind cannot separate truth from lies. You need the discernment of the Holy Spirit to identify deception.

Unforgiveness, idolatry, connection with the occult, pride, uncontrolled anger, doubt, lying, stealing, false doctrines, and sexual sins are works of the flesh and doors that open your heart to the devil. Preaching false doctrines are part of the ‘wiles’ of the devil. Spiritual maturity is necessary to gain the victory in warfare. “We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph 4:14, 15). To identify false teachers, you need to know the truth, the Word of God. You need to speak it in love to others. “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Cor 2:10, 11). “Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need” (Eph 4:25-28).

Life is not a walk in the park. It is a battlefield. Jesus said that the devil is a liar, a thief, and a criminal.  Jesus said: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:9, 10). He accused the religious hypocrites: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me” (Jn 8:44-45).

Lesson: the devil has no mercy. He is your enemy. You need to study God’s Word, fast, and pray. Attend a living church where God’s Word is preached. Do not forsake the assembly of the brethren. Submit to God and to the spiritual delegated authority in your church.


This is God’s command: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:16). It is your responsibility to detect and reject lies. Deception is one of the major weapons of the devil. Deception is defined as a statement that misleads from the safe road of truth. Deception is the enemy of truth; the act of hiding the truth, especially to get an advantage. It is the act of causing someone to accept as true what is false. Deception is the trick to get what you want. Deception is a sin against trust, a betrayal, an act that destroys relationships. Most people expect their friends, and even strangers, to speak the truth to them. Romantic relationships are a fertile ground for deception. It is said that 90% of couples have confessed in lying to the partner. The reason giving for deceiving the spouse is that they want to protect the relationship, they don’t want to hurt the other, while having an affair. In a marriage or a close relationship, the deceiver becomes more distant and emotionally cold. He does not feel the warmth of the love like in the past. Deception occurs less in strong marital relationships where the husband-and-wife trust God and each other for a long time. Deception happens more often during dating or at the beginning of the marriage.

It is easier and simpler to speak the truth. To lie, it is not easy. You need to lie more to cover up for the old lies. It takes much more emotional, mental, and physical energy to lie than to speak the truth. The liar must be attentive and watchful. He studies the reactions of the listener to see if he is deceived. It is hard to detect lies. Generally, lies are detected only about 50 %. There is no clear sign to be sure that a person is lying.

Liars try to cover up in different ways: they talk more than necessary, repeat stories, get confused and lose the flow of the conversation. Their bodies seem tense. They do not make eye contact with their conversation partners. Their voice has a higher pitch. There is a lack of expression, a bored look, or playing with his hair. Fear, confusion, and anger are the main emotions found in liars.

The deceiver pretends that he is better than what he is in reality. Deceivers have inferiority complex. In deception, the intent of the heart is important. There is a difference between an honest mistake and deception. A deceiver knows he is a deceiver and plans to mislead others to abandon the truth and follow the dangerous path of lies. A deceiver is never innocent. He gains something for himself by misleading others. There are different forms of deception: lying (speaking things that are not true), concealing (keeping quiet about the truth), exaggeration (making yourself look better than you are) and making understatements (minimizing the truth). Distraction is a form of deception. For example, an enemy will throw a stone to distract the security man at the gate. The devil will create false alarm or send you on wrong paths to distract you from staying focused on God’s Word. Lying or deception is a sin. “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another” (Lev 19:11). “Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood” (Jer 48:10). There is a curse upon anyone who serves God deceitfully. There is also a curse upon anyone who withdraws from spiritual warfare, betraying his colleagues, and staining God’s name!

You can deceive others or yourself. But you cannot deceive God. Self-deception is more dangerous because it is more selfish. A religious spirit can bring you to church, to listen to God’s Word, but there is no change in your character, no fruits of faith. That is self-deception. “Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (Jam 1:21-24).


It is hard for us to believe that something good came out of this sin. Only God can do that. In spite of their deception, and the mistakes of Joshua, God extends grace to the Gibeonites. Can any good thing come from Gibeon? The answer is yes!

The Gibeonites took great risk when they deceived Joshua. If they were discovered before the covenant was made, they were to be killed. Also, their neighbors, feeling betrayed by Gibeon, gathered to attack them. The covenant gave them the right to ask Israel for help in times of need. Joshua led the army from Gilgal to Gibeon and defeated the five kings who attacked Gibeon. From now on, Joshua could not kill the Gibeonites, but he humbled them by making them perpetual servants for the tabernacle service. They became faithful wood cutters and water carriers for all the congregation when they served the Lord in the tabernacle. The Gibeonites did not complain. They were very happy not only that they survived but that they retained their historical land and national identity.

Their greatest achievement was that they could serve Jehovah God in His temple, even though they were low-class servants. This scripture applies to them: “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Ps 84:10). The Gibeonites became servants at the tabernacle, just as Joshua had commanded. They were faithful in their service to God. Later, Gibeon becomes a priestly city. The ark of the covenant stayed at Gibeon in the days of David and Solomon (1 Chron 16:39-40 and 21:29). At least one of David’s mighty men of valor was a Gibeonite (1 Chron12:4). God appeared and spoke to Solomon at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4-5). The Gibeonites were among those who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with Nehemiah (Neh 3:7 and 7:25). The headquarter of worship in the Promised Land, the place where the Ark of God resided was first in Gilgal (Josh 5:10). It later moved to Shechem (Josh 8:30-35), to Shiloh (1 Sam 1:3), to Gibeon (1 Chr 16:39) and finally, to Jerusalem, Zion, the city of David.

Both Rahab and the Gibeonites lied and were willing to risk the forsaking of their former associations to be counted among God’s people. The story of the Gibeonites shows the power of grace. Though they entered the nation of Israel thru lying and deception, they survived and prospered. They represent the Gentiles who become one with Israel, thru the death of Christ! Their story gives all sinners hope. It gives glory to God who sent His only begotten Son to die for sinners and to set them free! The sinners are now worshippers of God! Praise the Lord!

THE LORD FIGHTS FOR ISRAEL (Josh 10:1-15; 40-43)

One of the great achievements for Gibeon was the protection of Israel during times of war. Because Gibeon made a covenant with Israel, the other five kings felt betrayed and prepared to attack Gibeon. When Gibeon called Israel to help them fight against the five kings, Joshua came immediately. This war was to pay for the mistake of the agreement with Gibeon. But Joshua did not hesitate. The distance between Gilgal and Gibeon is about 21 miles. This was a spiritual emergency. I imagine that some of the men grumbled against helping some deceivers. They maybe suggested that they should allow the Gibeonites to perish, to remove the stain of deception from Israel. But Joshua insisted that they need to be faithful to the covenant they have made. Joshua led the army the whole night from their camp at Gilgal. They attacked the armies of the five kings. God rewarded Joshua for his faithfulness by supernatural help. Two miracles happen in the battlefield. God sent hail stones against the enemies. More soldiers died from hailstones than from the sword. God said to Job: “Have you entered the treasury of snow, or have you seen the treasury of hail, Which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22, 23).

The second miracle God performed is by answering Joshua’s prayer. Joshua needed more light to complete the battle. God answered by making the sun stand still in the sky so that the daytime was prolonged. “So, the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of a man; for the Lord fought for Israel” (Josh 10:13, 14). ‘The sun stood still’. In Hebrew, the word ‘stood still’ means to be silent, to stop, to be astonished. It seems like the sun was surprised at the command of its creator. The sun became silent and stopped moving. The Canaanites worshiped the sun and the moon. Just imagine their fear when they saw the sun standing still in the sky. The purpose of this miracle was to give God the glory and to exalt Joshua as the leader.   

When God is angry, He can stop the sun and the moon from their movements. “The sun and moon stood still in their habitation; At the light of Your arrows they went, at the shining of Your glittering spear” (Habak 3:11). God created the sun. The earth rotates around the sun. That day, God stopped the sun from going down to set for about a whole day. God answered the prayer of Joshua. That miracle has never been repeated. God made it easier for Joshua to fight. The miracle with the sin was localized above the battle, and not all over the earth. Joshua fought five kings at once. He defeated them all. Joshua told his soldiers to place their feet on the necks of the kings before killing them. This is an ancient ritual signifying total defeat of the enemy. Then we are told: “Joshua conquered all the land” (Josh 10:40). The victory was a great! Joshua led the people of Israel to conquer more land in Canaan!

Lesson: God is a warrior! God is not a weak Person. God never loses any battle! “The LORD is a man of war; The LORD is His name” (Ex 15:3); “Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle” (Psalm 24:8).

God answers prayers! God is a God of miracles! God overrules our mistakes and changes them into victories. God controls the whole universe. He can make a day be longer or shorter by controlling the sun. He can prolong your life on earth until you finish your race. When we are under attack, God can intervene with miracles to help us win the battle or God can perform a miracle without our contribution to the victory! God and man work together, for God’s glory and for man’s good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). This miracle of grace is possible in Christ alone!  Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (8). Her text was taken from the Book of Joshua chapters 7 and 8. The battle at Jericho is the first victory of Israel in the Promised Land. The battle at Ai is their first and only defeat under the leadership of Joshua in the Promised Land. After the mighty victory against Jericho, the people of God are defeated by the much smaller city of Ai. It was a painful and disgraceful retreat. Achan means Trouble. Ai means Ruins. There are many lessons for us.


The people of Israel are now in the Promised Land. God gave them the title deed over the land. But they must conquer the nations there and take over the land. There are many lessons for us as we follow the journey of Israel in the Promised Land. God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to bless him, to multiply him, to change his name, to give him and his descendants the land of Canaan and to be their God.  “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen 17:1-8).

God repeated His Promise to Joshua just before the crossing over. “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh 1:2-9).

Lesson: God is a God of covenant! He is faithful to His promises! We now belong to Christ, where the blessings of Abraham are ours by faith! When we pray, we identify with Abraham and remind God of His Promises to us. God will answer all prayers that are according to His Word!

The people of God have crossed over the Promised Land. The first three enemies they needed to conquer were Jericho, Ai and the Gibeonites. Spiritually speaking, Jericho stands for the world, Ai stands for the flesh and the Gibeonites stand for the devil. To defeat each one, we need God but there are different strategies. The strategy God used to defeat Jericho will not work against Ai or against the Gibeonites!!! Please note that the Land God promised to give them is about 300,000 square miles. But even at its best, Israel only occupied 30,000 square miles.

According to Genesis 15:18 and Joshua 1:4, the land God gave to Israel included everything from the Nile River in Egypt to Lebanon (south to north) and everything from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (west to east). On today’s map, the land God has stated belongs to Israel includes everything modern-day Israel possesses, plus all of the territory occupied by the Palestinians (the West Bank and Gaza), plus some of Egypt and Syria, plus all of Jordan, plus some of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Thus, Israel currently possesses only a fraction of the land God has promised; the rest of their inheritance likely awaits the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Lesson: God gives us more than 8,000 promises in the Bible. But most Christians enjoy very few. We need to study and apply God’s Word!


Chapter 6 ends with these words: “So, the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country” (Joshua 6:27). As we can see, victory, success, and fame are dangerous seasons if we do not stay close to God! The greatest enemy is always inside. The external enemy can only succeed if there is a weakness inside. The devil cannot defeat a believer except there is sin in his flesh. There is this famous ancient story of the defeat of the city of Troy. The Greeks tried to defeat the city of Troy for ten long years. But they failed. Then one day, they retreated. They left behind a big horse made of wood. The Trojans loved and worshipped horses. They celebrated their victory and carried the ‘gift’ inside their city. They did not know that there were Greek soldiers inside the horse. That night as the people of Troy were drunk celebrating their victory, the Greek soldiers came out from the horse and killed them all.

Lesson: The devil does more damage from inside than from the visible enemies outside. Pride has destroyed many leaders and churches.

God’s people have just won a mighty victory against the strong city Jericho. It was God’s strategy and power that brought down its walls. But soon, the people became proud assuming the victory was because of their strength. Achan, from the tribe of Judah, one of the men who entered Jericho, found an expensive Babylonian robe, gold, and silver, and took it. He ‘trespassed’ against God’s command that no man should take anything from the cursed city. Though only one man sinned, God attributed the sin to the whole nation. “But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel” (Josh 7:1). The word ‘trespass’ is powerful. It means to break God’s Law. It means to enter into another man’s property without permission or right. Trespass can be done ignorantly or knowingly. In the Old Testament, even if a man trespasses God’s Law ignorantly, he was still guilty. When he is aware of it, he should bring a trespassing offering to the priest who will pray for him (Lev 5). But if a man trespasses knowingly, or sins defiantly, there is no mercy for him. That man must die (Nu 15:30-36). God counts Achan’s sin as a sin in the camp. God is angry with the whole nation. But Joshua is not aware of the danger.  

Jericho was counted as a first fruits offering unto God. Every man and woman in Jericho, old or young, was to be killed and their property, was to be destroyed. The silver and gold, and all expensive things were to be deposited in God’s treasury. They burned the whole city. It was an offering to God. There was a curse upon any man who stole something from that cursed city. This is Joshua’s specific command to his people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord” (Josh 6:16-19). The destruction of Jericho is a picture of God’s terrible wrath against sin. God is a God of justice. The people in Jericho refused to surrender to Joshua. They resisted him in their pride. They all perished. But Rahab, because she repented from the idols of Jericho and put her faith in the God of Israel, she lived with her family. Because of her faith, Rahab was like a stick plucked from the fire of judgment (Amos 4:11).

Lesson: Salvation is by Grace and by faith! If we have faith in God, He can save us from impossible situations. Selah!

God’s people did not gain any material things from the fall of Jericho. They only gained spiritually. God received all the glory! They pleased God by obeying Him. Their faith in God and in their leader Joshua increased. No one died in this battle. Their numbers increased. They ‘gained’ new citizens who had faith in their God. Rahab and her family became part of Israel. This is a total victory to the glory of God!

Lesson: In Christ, we are ‘more than conquerors’. The Love of God thru Jesus Christ manifests as power and victory thru spiritual warfare. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:37-39). Love is the greatest warrior! “Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8).


God’s people attack the next city after Jericho. It was called Ai. The meaning of ‘Ai’ is ‘ruins’. This was a much smaller city than Jericho. It did not have mighty walls like its neighbor. The Ark of God is in the camp at Gilgal. The Word of God does not lead the battle against Ai. Human wisdom and strength have taken over. Joshua sends some spies to examine Ai. They come back saying that Ai is a small city and there is no need for all their soldiers to go to battle. Joshua believes them. He sends 3000 soldiers to attack the city. The men or Ai attack back. There was not real fight at Ai. The people of Ai pursued the Israelites who started running from them. It seems that as they were running, some fell, and the people of Ai killed them. It was a disgraceful way to die for a solider. It was a national tragedy. When God’s people heard about the defeat, they all became discouraged and started weeping. “The hearts of the people melted and became like water” (Josh 7:5). Joshua is broken hearted. He tore his clothes as a sign of deep grief. He goes before the Ark of God in worship. All the elders do the same. They do not understand why God has abandoned them. Their sorrow is genuine. It is a godly sorrow that beings repentance and salvation. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter” (2 Cor 7:10,11).

Lesson: One with God is majority! It’s not the number of soldiers that determine the victory. 3000 soldiers without God could not win. But three soldiers with God can win any battle. “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt18:20). Genuine godly sorrow for sin and deep repentance is necessary to restore your relationship with God!

The people have pledged themselves to submit and obey to Joshua. They said that rebellion shall be punished with death. “So, they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage” (Josh 1:16-18). Achan rebelled against Joshua’s command. That is why there was not mercy for him! Rebellion is like witchcraft (1 Sam15:23) and a which is supposed to die (Ex22:18).  

Once Achan stole from the first fruits that belong to God, He withdrew His presence. Without God’s presence, they become losers. This is the explanation of their defeat at Ai. Joshua was not aware of God’s anger. He assumed that all is well. He did not pray seeking God’s face before he attacked Ai. He assumed that God would bless his ministry as a leader. It was the shameful and painful defeat that brought Joshua to his knees to seek God’s face again. Joshua humbled himself and sought God in his pain. This is again the ideal behavior of a spiritual leader. Joshua knew that without God, they cannot proceed. They will only fail.

Lesson: May we use our pains well! May we humble ourselves and learn from our mistakes!

Joshua does the right thing. In defeat, in sorrow, he goes to God. He needs God. He knows that without God they cannot move on. He remembers what his mentor, Moses, told God in the past: “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name” (Ex 33:15-17). If Moses cannot go on without God, Joshua too cannot move without God.

Lesson: Jesus said: “Without me you can do nothing!” (Jn 15:5). Outside Christ, man has zero power to accomplish anything in life. Selah!

See what Joshua does in the time of grief. He does not encourage the people. He does not get angry with the soldiers. First of all, he goes to God, in godly sorrow. He tears his clothes as a sign of grief and lies down before the Ark of God. The leaders take his example and do the same.

Lesson: Imagine this picture of leaders lying down before God. This is true spiritual leadership when there is a crisis in a family or in a church.

Joshua’s prayer is filled with pain. He cares for God’s name. He wants to know the reason for the defeat. God’s answer is strange. It sounds like a rebuke for praying. God’s rebuke is to bring Joshua to his senses. He is the leader of Israel, and he is ignorant of the reality of sin in the camp.

Forty years previously, God rebuked Moses for crying when he was supposed to act in faith. God said: “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Ex 14:15, 16). God tells Joshua to stop crying and praying. God commanded that none should take anything from Jericho. Someone broke God’s Law and brought tragedy upon all. God tells Joshua to be strong and courageous. He is to stand and act. He is to find the sinner and punish him. The Commander of the heavenly armies is speaking. As a man under authority, even though in deep pain, Joshua obeys immediately. This is a sign of faithfulness to His Commander. Joshua ‘gets up’ and gets ready to find the secret sinner. 

Lesson: there is a time to pray and then there is a time to act! When God is with us, Jericho is not too strong to be captured; when God is grieved by our sin, Ai is not too weak to defeat us. If we pray and we still can’t experience victory, it means that there is a stolen Babylonian garment hidden under the floor of our lives or church.

Joshua now represents God as the Judge of all men. This is his judgment: “Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel” (Josh 7:15). Joshua brings all people before God to find the one who sinned against God. Tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, and man by man. At last, a man is identified as the thief, Achan, the son of Carmi, from the tribe of Judah. All the time this exercise was going on, Achan did not take responsibility for his sin. He thought that he can still escape, and another will be picked to die. His silence is criminal.

Lesson: it is easy to be blinded by sin committed by people close to us. We tend to reject the revelation of sin inside our family or church! It is not easy to find the internal enemy. The city of Ai stands for the flesh! The flesh is weak and cowardly. To find the sin hiding in the flesh takes time, faith, and patience. The deeds of the flesh must be mortified by the power of the Holy Spirit! There are many Christians who conquer Jericho, the visible world around them, but they are defeated by the weakness or their flesh and the sin within.  

The meaning of the name Achan is ‘Trouble’. His father’s name Carmi means ‘A Vineyard’. He is from the tribe of Judah, meaning ‘Praise’. In the natural, Jesus came from the tribe of Judah. Achan comes from good parents. But he was a troublemaker. He is like Cain, Esau, or Judas Iscariot.

When finally, he was chosen, Joshua was gentle and broken hearted with him, calling him ‘my son’. Achan did not deny his sin. He confessed his sin publicly. This is a true detailed confession. “Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.” (Josh 7:20, 21). See the verbs Achan used: ‘I saw… I coveted… I took… I hid them’. People ran to his tent and discovered the expensive robe, the silver, and the gold, buried in the ground. The judgment was swift and without mercy. The people carried Achan and his family, and all his possessions, to the valley of Achor (meaning Trouble). They were all stoned to death. Then they were burnt with fire. These two manners of death represent the judgment of men and of God. Then they raised on top of their ashes a great heap of stone as a reminder of God’s wrath against rebellion. After this, God’s fierce anger stopped. 

Lesson: sin deserves death. God hates sin. God punishes sin. None can hide his sin from God! “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Nu 32:23). God the Father sent His Son to die on the Cross for our sins. God’s wrath against us was removed by the Blood of Jesus shed on the Cross. By His death, Jesus reconciled us to God. Halleluiah!


One of the Ten Commandments says this: “You shall not steal” (Ex 20:15). Achan was a thief. The punishment for stealing is to restore more than it was stolen. If the thief is caught stealing, and the owner of the house kills him, that is not considered murder. Generally, the thief has to restore double the amount he stole. “If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed… If the theft is certainly found alive in his hand, whether it is an ox or donkey or sheep, he shall restore double” (Ex 22:1, 2, 4). This is when the thief steals from another man. But what will the thief do when he steals from God?

Lesson: Refusing to pay your tithe is the same as stealing from God. Like with Achan, the curse may affect your family or your nation. This is what the Commander of the Lord’s heavenly armies says: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation” (Mal 3:8,9). Selah!


The last of the Ten Commandments is against the sin of covetousness. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exo 20:17). Covetousness is defined as the eager and excessive desire to accumulate wealth, or to have another’s possessions. This sin is related to the love of money, to greed and to envy. Covetousness is an internal secret sin. Basically, Achan’s sin was the sin of covetousness and stealing from God. His sin was not the result of ignorance. He knew the command of God. It was a willing sin. It was a sin against God. He stole not from man, but from God. God is merciful but God is also holy. When Achan entered Jericho and saw the expensive robe, the gold, and the silver, he could not resist it. He took it. Therefore, it was a sin of opportunity. He was not prepared in advance to obey God. He was not humble enough to remain faithful during a time of success. The robe was so beautiful that he could not resist taking it. He buried the things under the ground of his tent. What foolishness! He has a treasure that he could not use. How can he dress with that royal robe? That’s madness! The lust of the eyes is a terrible thing! By stealing from the things of Jericho, Achan identified with the citizens of Jericho who were doomed to die. And he had to die!

Lesson: God’s ways are not our ways. From inside the fire, God saved Rahab and her family. From outside Jericho, God sent Achan and his family into the fire. Sin is such a terrible thing!

Why did God render the judgment of death? We are all born sinners. We are all condemned to die. “The wages of sin is death’ (Rom 6:23). It is a miracle that some can be saved and go to heaven! The Son of God became a Man and died on our behalf. God could not save His own Son because Christ became sin for us. That is why Jesus died. He paid the penalty for us. Those who believe in Christ Crucified, are saved. Salvation is by grace alone, by faith alone, thru Christ alone, by God’s Word alone, and for the glory of God alone. Because we are in Christ, there is no more condemnation for us. But Achan belongs to the group of those who reject Christ. He led his family into the sin of unbelief. There is no way Achan could hide the stolen things in his tent without the knowledge of his family. They shared into his sin, his shame and into his death. Achan’s sin is against God. His sin is double: covetousness and stealing from God. Jericho was counted as burnt offering to God. He has the right to the first fruits offering. Achan stole from the first fruits. God became angry! He punished the whole nation for the sin of one. God sees Israel as a unit. If one pleases God, He will bless them all. If one sins against God, He will punish them all. For example, when all His people rebelled against Him, God separated Judah for Himself. He said that for the sake of His servant David, He will not destroy the tribe of Judah. “Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever” (2 Kg 8:19).

Achan’s sin is a transgression against the Covenant of Jehovah who pledged to bless those who obey and curse those who disobey. Jehovah God is a God of covenant. He promises to bless, lead, provide and protect Israel based on the covenant He did with them. God does not bless randomly. He is faithful to His covenant He has made with His people. By his sin, Achan has grieved the God of covenant. God became ‘angry’ with Achan, his family and with all the people. Achan’s sin is similar with the sin of Ananias and Saphira who sinned against God. Peter told Ananias: “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God” (Ac 5:4). Ananias and Saphira died instantly! Then the church feared God. They became wiser from that time on. The hypocrites withdrew from the church. The timing is also important. God judged and killed Ananias and Saphira when the church was still young. God warned them against sin from the beginning. It is the same with Achan. Israel entered their Promised Land. They just celebrated their first victory at Jericho. God judges Achan now so that His people learn to fear him from the beginning. No man saw Achan carrying his stolen treasure. Hypocrites are crafty, hard to detect. Like Ananias and Saphira, Achan wanted to become a leader thru being wealthy. God’s people stoned Achan to death. In many churches, Ananias is the Pastor, Saphira is the assistant pastor and Achan is the worship leader because he comes from Judah, meaning praise. No wonder that the Holy Spirit refuses to move in some churches! Listen to God: “I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you” (Josh 7:12).

Lesson: God’s judgment on unrepented sinners, though painful to our emotions, is for the glory of God. It purifies the believers. It purifies the church. It also warns the believers against joining with the hypocrites. God’s judgment on sin prepares for revival! Joshua finds Achan. He executes judgment on him. This reveals the issue of corporate wellbeing. Practically, you can forgive a sinner as an individual, but you cannot stop the judgment of the court upon his crime.

Once the judgment is done, God’s presence is restored. Joshua leads the people in the battle against Ai for the second time. This time, he does not take anything for granted. The first time he sent 3,000 soldiers. Now, he leads an army of 30,000 soldiers, mighty men of valor. God tells him the strategy. There shall be an ambush. The people of Ai will be trapped and destroyed. The city shall be burnt. God says that this time they can take all the spoil and the cattle inside for themselves. What a gracious God we serve!

Lesson: Ai stands for the flesh! To mortify sin in the flesh is a great battle. You need all the wisdom, courage and faith given by the Holy Spirit! The reward is great to you!


Achan stole the silver and the gold that belongs to God. Achan had some hours to meditate upon his action. He could have repented before the men attacked Ai. But he refused to do so. Why did God punish Achan’s family? The Bible says that Greed is a familiar spirit. “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house” (PV 15:27). The word ‘trouble’ is same as Achan. It means to bring suffering, to make someone fail in life. When Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron, the earth opened and swallowed his family and his property (Nu 16:31-33). This miracle of God’s judgment was a serious warning to the people of God. In Achan’s case, the only explanation is that the family knew about this sin and covered it. They were accomplices. In the same way, the covetousness of Gehazi caused the infliction of the penalty of leprosy upon himself and his children. Elisha rebuked Gehazi saying: “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow” (2 Kings 5:26-27).

Lesson: There is an Achan in each one of us. Sin can stay hidden for a long time. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that it can be revealed and destroyed. The husband or father is to lead his family to God, to know and obey God. The sin of the leader affects the followers! Selah!


The stories in the Old Testament are not history or poetry. They are written for us, the believers in Christ. “Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor 19:11; AMP). There are many lessons for us. Joshua learnt from his defeat at Ai. He did not lose any battle after that!

1-Be warned against the sin of pride! Ai represents the flesh. The times of success and victory are extremely dangerous. Just imagine the scenario: Joshua was a national hero. Joshua became famous in the land. The people were celebrating the victory. They rejoiced at the fall of Jericho. All men want to be rich and famous. They forget the danger of such a position. The devil attacks with pride. It is not easy to identify the temptation with pride. The only solution is to live close to the Cross, to die to sin and to live to God alone. During times of pain, we draw closer to God. During times of success, we tend to depend on ourselves. That is dangerous. We become weak spiritually. We start losing battles. Remember that the success of yesterday is gone. You need God and His grace afresh, every day. The fact that you won in the past, does not guarantee that you will win in the future. Never forget the Word of God. Never forget that God hates pride! Sin always brings shame, pain, and failure. “Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall” (PV 16:18). Many famous pastors and worship leaders became proud and careless with their spiritual lives. They conquer Jericho but they fell at Ai. They fall because of pride. Some have repented and came back. But very few attained the height from where they fell. When there is true repentance, God forgives sin. But God is under no obligation to restore your testimony. The damage may be for life.  The greatest enemy is always inside!

2- Be warned against the temptation of covetousness and stealing! The devil will create opportunities for you to steal things to get rich! Jesus said: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Lk 12:15).

3-Do not “share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure” (1 Tim 5:22). Sin is like a virus. It is very contagious. The sin of one affects many others. For example, the sin of Adam and Eve affected all their descendants. Because of Achan’s sin, the Israelites lost the battle with Ai and thirty-six men died, innocent victims who did not share into Achan’s sin. Sin spreads like a gangrene. The foot has to be amputated for the patient to survive the infection. God warns about bringing idols into your home. He will destroy the idol and your home (Deut 7:23-26).

In Christ, there are many members but only one Body. One man’s sin affects the whole body. Paul tells the Corinthians to remove the sinner from their midst (1Cor 5:1-8). The Body of Christ is one. Just like yeast, the sin of one can spread to others. In the same way, one good example influences many to righteousness. “If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26). We should fear God! He hates sin! God is jealous! By the power of the Holy Spirit, we should die to sin!

4-Sin is a terrible thing! Sin always leads to defeat and death. Sin must be confessed to God, to your spiritual authority and to others who have been affected by it. Repent! “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (PV 28:13).

5-You can turn a defeat, into victory, a failure into success, but only with God’s help. The world laughs at your fall. The worldly people cannot help you when you fail. The only way to change the story is to humble yourself, come to God, repent, and wait for His mercy. God will speak to you! Obey His Word, no matter how difficult it is. This is the power of the Gospel. Jesus died and rose again for you. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is available to you. But you need to be one with Christ. You need to die with Jesus, and to be buried with Him. That power starts from the grave. You need to humble yourself and enter the grave of your sins. Then the supernatural engine of resurrection power will revive your soul and restore your testimony! “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom 8:11). Selah!

4-In Christ, there is always hope. God forgives and restores sinners. There is nothing impossible with God. Achan, whose name is Trouble, died in the Valley of Achor, that also means Trouble. But God promised to have mercy on repentant sinners. Hosea suffered much from his promiscuous wife, Gomer. But God’s mercy prevailed. God said: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; She shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt” (Hos 2:14, 15). As God encouraged Hosea, so in Christ we find the Lover of our souls encouraging us. He will bring back the prodigals. He will restore the true worship in the church. He will bless His people with peace and prosperity. May revival come! Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (7). Her text was taken from the Book of Joshua chapters 5:13-15, 6:1-27; and Hebrews 11:29-34.

The battle of Jericho is the first conquest of the Israelites in the Promised Land. God was totally in charge of this battle. He gave the strategy and the victory. The destruction of Jericho was a miracle. This is one definition of a miracle: It is a supernatural, surprising, and welcome event that it is not explicable by natural or scientific laws, and it considered a work of God. There are 126 miracles in the Bible. Something that was impossible for man, God made it possible.  

The defeat and destruction of Jericho was counted as first fruits unto God. No man ‘gained’ anything materially from it. Their only gain was spiritual. Their faith increased knowing that God Almighty is with them. God used this victory to exalt Joshua as the leader who listens and obeys God. His fame spread in the land. Another spiritual gain was that Rahab, and her family, were saved from the destruction of Jericho. They became Israeli citizens. Rahab married Salmon, a leader from the tribe of Judah. She is in the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Joshua decided to attack Jericho and the city of Ai. These two cities were at the center of the Promised Land. Joshua planned that after occupying the center (Joshua chapters 6 to 9), then he will go to the south (chapter 10) and finally, he will conquer the north side (chapter 11). Lesson: This strategy is classic in military warfare even now. It was the same strategy that was used in the first and second world wars.   

For the Israelites, this battle was yet another big step away from slavery and toward freedom. For Joshua, this was his first victory as the new, official leader of God’s people. For Jericho, this was the judgment of God on their wickedness and idolatry.


“And then this, while Joshua was there near Jericho: He looked up and saw right in front of him a man standing, holding his drawn sword. Joshua stepped up to him and said, “Whose side are you on—ours or our enemies’?” He said, “Neither. I’m commander of God’s army. I’ve just arrived.” Joshua fell, face to the ground, and worshiped. He asked, “What orders does my Master have for his servant?” God’s army commander ordered Joshua, “Take your sandals off your feet. The place you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did it” (Joshua 5:13-15; TM).

We see here the encounter between Jesus, The Commander of God’s army, and Joshua. This story is a reminder that in Christ, by grace, heaven touches earth and miracles happen! ‘Joshua was there near Jericho…’ Joshua was an experienced soldier. He was looking at Jericho, his next challenge. He was not afraid. Like Nehemiah, he went alone to see the problem and think of how to solve it (Neh 2:11, 12). Joshua must have been praying for God to reveal to him the strategy for victory. A leader must face the trials of life alone with God before he addresses men. Joshua knows from the spies that Jericho is surrounded by double walls, high and thick. If the Israel soldiers decided to manufacture some ladders and climb the walls, it was possible to take over the city. But many will be killed in the process. Joshua knew that he needed God!

 Suddenly, Joshua sees a Man dressed like a soldier. It was the Lord Jesus Christ, but Joshua did not recognize Him at first. Joshua asks this ‘stranger’: are you for us or for our enemies? He knows that there are only two kingdoms on earth: the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of the devil. Joshua does not ‘chat’ with the Man. Right now, he needs faith, wisdom, and strength. There is no time for pleasantries. The Man tells Joshua that He is not on the side of any man. Why? Because He is Jesus, the Heavenly Commander, and The true Captain of our salvation! The sword in His hand is ‘the double-edged sword of the Word of God’ (Heb 4:12). Jesus is in control of the encounter. The Word of God is leading! Joshua is not His leader or His ‘mate’. Joshua is His servant and follower. Christ is here seen as a Man of War. He is standing before Jericho ready to attack. He is not weak or confused. He is sure of the victory. He says: “I have just arrived!” The Commander tells Joshua God’s plan and strategy how to defeat Jericho. Immediately Joshua bows down at the feet of His Commander. He immediately moves from worship to total obedience. Yes, Sir!

Joshua falls at His feet and worships. This is the position of faith and total surrender. For forty years Joshua served God thru Moses. He was faithful to his human master. But now, Joshua sees Jesus, face to face. Like John, he sees Jesus and falls at His feet like a dead man. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last” (Rev 1:17). The Commander accepts Joshua’s worship. This is a proof that He was our Lord, Jesus Christ. Total surrender and worshipping Jesus leads always to strength to obey Him. From this moment on, Joshua fears nothing. Christ takes permanent residence in His heart. Joshua can say with Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). Down at Your feet Oh, Lord, is the most high place!

Humbled, trembling, with the face to the ground, Joshua prays: “What orders does my Master have for his servant?” The Commander tells Joshua to remove his shoes for he stands on holy ground. This is the same command Jehovah said to his mentor, Moses (Exodus 3:5). Every place where the Lord reveals Himself becomes a holy ground, a special place of sanctified memory. Jesus commands Joshua to take off his sandals. This is enemy territory. This is Canaan land. Yet God claims it for Himself! We tend to argue with God. But we see that ‘Joshua did it’. Joshua does not grumble or ask questions. He obeys every command of his leader. Joshua is a humble man. He obeys his Commander. This is the secret of his success. In the Old Testament the priests ministered to God with bare feet in the tabernacle. It was a sign of honor and intimacy. It is also an acknowledgement that before God and His Word we are all naked. “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb 4:13). This encounter redirects and clarifies Joshua’s vision. He takes his eyes from Jericho and now sees Jesus! He is now sure of victory!

Joshua goes to tell the people that the Lord Jesus appeared to Him. It was easy for Joshua to believe in Jesus because he saw Him face to face. It was harder for the people because they needed to believe the words of Joshua even when they did not see Jesus. But they chose to trust Joshua’s word. That was already a great victory! Jesus said to Thomas: “Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn 20:29).     

Lessons: Christ is not a servant in the church. Christ is the Head of the Church! (Col 1:18). Revelation leads to worship, faith, and obedience! Even leaders are under authority! Even leaders must be led. Blessed is the leader who is truly called and commissioned by Jesus! How important it is to be sure that God has saved your soul and has called you to any capacity to serve Him in His house. This assurance is even more necessary to the leaders in the church! Once you see Jesus, your problem does not seem so big anymore. That is the look of faith and victory!

The Commander of the armies of heaven reveals to Joshua God’s strategy for defeating Jericho. God loves to lead thru strange methods that seem foolish to the world. Nobody could invent a crazier method than to go round a city and expect its walls to fall flat. God’s plan is totally different than any plan made by man. No army general would have thought of it. But Joshua totally submits and obeys His leader. He speaks to his commanders and to the priests. They tell the people that God has spoken to Joshua, and they must all obey. In one accord, they all agree to obey. This is a great picture of submission, faith, and unity of the Spirit between God, the human leaders, and the people. There is great power in this unity. In the history of Israel, during the time of Moses, or the kings and the prophets, there was always rebellion in their midst. But now, under Joshua, things are different. The plan sounds crazy, but none rebels against it. With one accord, they chose to obey.

Lesson: Spiritually, this is the picture of an ideal church experiencing revival. From worship, to submission, to obedience, and to victory!

This is another example of God’s stranger battle plans: Gideon was called by God to fight and conquer the Midianites (Judges 6 and 7). Gideon called men to take up their arms. 32,000 men came ready to fight. God told him that these people are too many. Eventually Gideon reduced the number of the soldiers to 300. God used these people to gain the victory. Gideon tells the people: “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” (Jdg 7:17, 18). What a strange strategy? Why does God do that? Because God hates when men get proud because of their wisdom and power, and then take the glory for the success. He reduces man’s strength until man can boast no more.

Since this encounter between Jesus and Joshua, it was easy for the people of Israel to obey God’s laws concerning warfare. They knew and believed that in each battle, The Heavenly Commander leads the way and gives them the victory. Their wars were more religious than proving their military skill. Listen to God’s warfare law: “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (Deut 20:1-4).

Many have such encounters with God but not all use them well. For example, Balaam met with God, but he did not obey Him (Num22:9). His life ended in tragedy. Jacob fought with the Angel of God, who was also the Lord Jesus. He did not let go until Jesus blessed him. At the end of that struggle, Jacob is wounded physically, but blessed spiritually (Gen 32:22-32). Lesson: All who see Jesus are never the same again!


The reason why God decreed the destruction of Jericho was no political. It was religious and spiritual. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so, the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire” (Deut 7:1-5). “When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it. And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. But the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and you shall eat the enemies’ plunder which the Lord your God gives you. Thus, you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. “But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God” (Deut 20:10-18).

The reason why God commanded His people to destroy all idols in the Promised Land, not to intermarry with the Canaanites and even to kill them it is because God wanted them to be spiritually pure. Idolatry corrupts and pollutes. God wants His people to be sanctified and holy, for He is holy. God hates sin especially idolatry and rebellion. It was God who destroyed the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. All people died in that fire. But God helped Lot and his family to escape His judgment because they were people of His covenant. God warned Israel that if they follow the customs of the Canaanites and serve their gods, they too will perish. This is a most serious warning. “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you” (Deut 28:15). Obedience to God’s Word results in blessings. Disobedience ends in cursing. Joshua warned God’s people not to take anything from Jericho because it is cursed. He said: “And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it” (Josh 6:18). Later Joshua told them: “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good” (Josh 24:20). This is a reminder that God is holy! God is merciful but God punishes sin! Never take His grace for granted!

Joshua placed a curse upon Jericho. This curse was not upon all people in general who later lived in Jericho. The curse was upon anyone who builds the mighty walls in defiance against God. During the time of wicked King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, a man rebuilt the fortress of Jericho. The curse Joshua placed on it many centuries ago came to pass. “In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun” (1 Kings 16:34). This curse was removed much later when the citizens of Jericho humbled themselves and asked prophet Elisha to bless the city. “Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So, they brought it to him. Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’ So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke” (2 Kings 2:19-22). Selah!


Jericho was an ancient city. It was the first city that was built purely for military purposes. The meaning of name Jericho is ‘The City of the Moon’. The ruins of the ancient Jericho are still visible in Israel. There were two parallel walls. The outer wall was 6 feet thick. The inner wall was 12 feet thick. The height of the walls was at least 13 feet high (4 meters). They had watchtowers of about 28 feet tall. The people of Jericho are all terrified of Israel and their God in the Ark. Lesson: the unbelievers fear any true born-again believer!

The people of Jericho are completely terrified inside their city. They shut themselves in. No man comes in or out. Their strategy was to stay inside hoping the Israel will leave them alone. But God has already declared that Jericho must be destroyed. The commander of the God’s army has revealed to Joshua the strategy. If they obey His plan, God has assured them of victory. “And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor” (Josh 6:2). The words ‘I have given’ are in the past tense. The victory is sure. Joshua, the commanders, the priests, and all the people believe God’s promise.

The fear of the Canaanites was prophesied long ago. God told Moses: “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you” (Ex 23:27-33).

In the Promised Land there were many little kingdoms ruled by their kings. These kingdoms depended on the greater power of Egypt. But Egypt was in economic decline and was not interested in helping the Canaanites. We also see that these little kings were not united. They did not help one another until it was too late. In this way, it was easy for Israel to conquer them and take their land.

With two million Israelites next to him, the King of Jericho ordered that the city gates be permanently closed. But his strategy failed to protect his people. When God shut the door in Noah’s ark, it was for his protection. The unbelievers and the raging waters could not break it. But when men shut the door against God, God will destroy the whole city.  Jesus said: “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens” (Rev 3:7). The gate that was shut could not protect them from the God of heaven and earth. This is what happened on the 7th day: “the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat” (Josh 6:20). The ram’s horns gave the signal. The people shouted a loud shout. Suddenly, the walls of the city fell down flat. In other words, the collapsed and went bellow the ground. They are buried in the ground until this day. For Israel, the journey of faith was long and hard, but the victory was instant. This was a miracle. The key to it was faith in God’s command. The weapons used to win the victory were walking and shouting! They had faith that the word of the Commander of the armies of heaven who spoke to Joshua! That word was inside the Ark. When the trumpets sounded a long sound of victory, by faith, all the people shouted unto God with a voice of triumph.

God’s strategy is most unusual. From silence to shout! The people needed faith in God’s Word, and in God’s plan, to win the victory. This is God’s plan for the battle against Jericho: As it was during the Crossing-over Jordan, the Ark of God, representing God’s presence or God’s Word shall lead the way. The Ark is the most important item that God’s people have. The Ark of God shall be carried by 4 priests. In front of the Ark there will be seven priests holding the trumpets made of ram’s horns. In front of the priests and behind the Ark, there shall be the soldiers. All the armed men of Israel follow the Ark. Behind them, the people will follow. It is possible that not all the people became part of the entourage. They were more than two million, including women and children. I suppose that there were male representatives from each tribe, but together they made a great envoy. The exercise was more religious than military. Jericho was built on a hill. The area of the ancient city of Jericho is about 9 acres. Considering the fact that the area was hilly, with stones, and in the heat of the desert, it took about 30 minutes for the people to go around it once. On the seventh day they went round and round for 7 hours without stopping. This was a true test of their faith and endurance.

Every day for the next six days, the people shall go round Jericho, once a day. All people shall walk in silence. There shall be no arguments between them. Generally, in the military, the leader encourages his soldiers with strong words. The followers respond with words of courage. These words of battle cry may be spoken or expressed as songs. The effect is that all of soldiers become stronger and ready for the battle. But here, God commanded all people to keep silent. The only sound heard for the next six days was the trumpets of the priests and the peoples’ feet marching on the ground. The silence of men and the sound of the trumpets is a sign that God is in charge and not man. The people of Jericho should know that Jehovah is patient with sinners but not forever. They should repent and surrender. If not, they will perish.  

At the end of this daily exercise, the people are to go back to the camp at Gilgal. On the seventh day, the same people will go round Jericho seven times. This makes a total of 13 rounds about Jericho. At the end of the 13th round, Joshua gives the signal. The priests will blow their trumpets with a long sound and the people will shout with a great shout. That is when the walls of Jericho collapsed. The armed men go in and kill everyone in the city, including the animals. The only one to be spared will be Rahab the prostitute and her family who will be found in her house. The city shall be dedicated to God. No man can take anything from it. The expensive things like silver and gold shall be put into God’s treasury. Joshua warns his people that if anyone takes anything from the city, that person shall be cursed, and all of the nation will suffer.

I just imagine that the people of Jericho were afraid at the beginning when they saw the Ark and the people. But after a day or too, they relaxed and saw this ritual as entertainment. They were mocking them from the top of the walls. It was not easy for God’s people to walk daily in silence and not respond to the mockery. But this is what faith does. After two or three days, as God’s people march confidently and silently around the walls, a strange fear gripped the people of Jericho. Lesson: Faith is focused and obeys God’s Word even when it is uncomfortable.   

What was the purpose of God’s strategy? It was a test of faith! God tested His people if they trust His Word. As strange as this plan was, there is no rebellion in the camp. Everyone decided to trust God’s Word in Joshua’s mouth. To the glory of God, the people passed the test of faith.


The destruction of Jericho is seen as the firstfruits offerings of the Promised Land. No man should touch that! It belongs to God! This is the principle of first fruits: God commands that Israel brings to Him an offering called ‘the first fruits’. “And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it” (Lev 23: 9-11). Firstfruits symbolized the consecration of the whole harvest to God. Christ is the first fruit unto God. “Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20). Christ in us, the hope of glory, is our offering of the firstfruits to God. “We also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit…eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body” (Rom 8:19). Spiritually, the fruit which the Spirit produces in us provides hope that we will be like Christ, that we will be glorified and realize our inheritance in the kingdom to come. Because Christ was raised from the dead, all believers will be raised to be with Christ  


Many people have problems accepting the fact that God told His people to kill the inhabitants of the Promised Land and take over their land. They say that the God of the Old Testament is harsh, but Jesus, the God of the New Testament is kind. They say that God is not merciful for killing so many people. With our natural minds, we can’t totally understand God and His ways, but this we know: God is sovereign. He has created all people. He has the right to give life and to kill anyone He chooses. God saw that the Canaanites were unrepentant sinners. It was God’s will for them to die. God chose the people of Israel to be His battle axe. The truth is that if God sent an angel to kill all the people, nobody will complain!

At the same time, it is not easy for us to accept the fact that there are wars in this world and many people suffer and die in battle. This is the truth: when sin entered the human race, death came with it. God commanded Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told him that disobedience will result in death. God gave him a choice, to obey and live or disobey and die. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s command. That is how death entered humanity. People die of sickness, of accidents, during wars or famine, and lastly, they die of old age. Sin brought not only death but much suffering with it. We accept these facts by faith. We do not understand the deep things of God, but we understand what is revealed to us in His Word. These are some revelations that we receive by faith: God is one! Not two Gods! Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, who commanded His people to kill the unbelievers and take over their land, is the same as Jesus Christ, in the New Testament! Jehovah may seem harsh, and Jesus may seem soft, but these are not two Gods! They are one! This is God’s Word: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One” (Deut 6:4). Jesus said: “I and My Father are one” (Jn 10:30). This is the doctrine of the Trinity!

 The second revelation we accept by faith is that God cares for His creation. God the Father sent God the Son to become a Man, to live among men, to suffer with them and finally, to die for them. Thru His death on the Cross, Jesus saved sinners. Salvation is found in Christ alone. This is the Gospel, God’s good news to save those who believe in Christ crucified and resurrected. When Jesus came to earth as a Man, he lived among sinners. This was the greatest sacrifice of love, for God’s Son to become a Man. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, we cannot say that God does not care for men. He cares! More than we can ever understand it! Man must die a physical death. Jesus did not remove physical death! But Jesus offered us salvation, eternal life after death! That is why for the Christians, death has lost its sting and terror. Jesus will come again and resurrect our mortal bodies. This is His promise! But the unbelievers reject Christ. They go to hell. The God who commanded that all people in Jericho to be killed, is the same God who saved Rahab and her household, because she had faith in Him! The truth is that it was God who sent the two spies to Jericho to become evangelists and save Rahab. The God who killed all people during the flood, saved Noah and his family. The God who destroyed Sodom, saved Lot and his family. You see that God cares and saves those who believe! This is the truth! There is no need to argue. Just surrender your life to Christ!

War is a terrible thing. God does not like wars. God hates sin! Therefore, we can say that God hates death and wars! Concerning wars, this is what Jesus commanded the believers: “when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mk 13:7-10). We are living in these last days. Jesus is coming back. He said that wars, natural disasters, and troubles will come. Our first duty is to trust Him during our troubles and reject all fear. To live by faith and reject fear is our responsibility. The second duty is to continue to preach the Gospel to all people. Troubles should not shut our mouths. We should continue to study God’s Word, pray without ceasing, attend church services and serve God in any way we can. God rewards faithfulness especially during times of trials.

God always judges sin. He may not judge sin immediately. The sinner thinks he is safe to continue in his wickedness. But that is self-deception. Never envy the unbelievers! You should trust God, the Judge of all men! God may judge sin while the sinner is on earth. If not, God will judge all sin at the final judgment! God decided to save some sinners. These are saved by His grace. They believed in His Word and God saved them.

Jericho joined the group of cities that God cursed and destroyed. These cities are Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, Tyre, and Babylon. Jesus Himself cursed three cities near the Sea of Galilee for rejecting Him. These are Bethsaida, Korazim, and Capernaum.  You need to believe that God has the power to give and take life. God is sovereign in His decisions. Listen to God: “‘Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand” (Deut 32: 39). As you listen to God’s voice, you discover that idols are nothing. In God’s presence they are powerless to bless or to curse. God Almighty is the only True and Living God, the Omnipotent God. None can resist or oppose. God has no superior or equal. God blesses with life and prosperity. God also curses with suffering and death. God is the author of national revolutions and changing of governments. God manifests His presence thru mercy or thru judgment. No one can escape His power. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all evil. His grace is also revealed by blessing the humble and faithful. Jesus said: “For the Father judges no one but has committed all judgment to the Son” (Jn 5:22). Jesus Christ is the sovereign giver of life and death, of sickness and health, in a temporal sense, and in a spiritual sense. He wounds and kills, by His law and He heals and makes alive by His Gospel of Grace! Praise the Lord!


Rahab’s salvation is a story of Grace! After she hid and saved the spies, she gathered her family in her house on the wall. She hid her faith from all the people of Jericho. But she exposed the red rope tied by her window. She was saved by her faith that produced results. In the midst of destruction and death, Rahab’s salvation shines like light in the darkness. Joshua remembered her at the hour of their victory. He told the same two spies, called here ‘young men’, to go to Rahab’s house and save her and her family. They carried them outside from that cursed city of sin and death. They were placed ‘outside the camp of Israel’ possibly for religious purification. She got married to a man called Samson. The Jewish tradition says that he was one of the two spies. Their son was Boaz, the husband of Ruth, and the grandfather of King David. They are in the genealogy of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord!   


Faith is defined as trust in God and in His Word. A believer trusts in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, and the Bible! The people of God had faith that the Promised Land is God’s gift to them. They inherited the land by faith in God’s Word. Joshua was the leader of the nation called Israel. He was a leader not just by name. He was a man of God, a man of faith! He had a serious responsibility given by God to led God’s people into the Promised Land. Leadership is not easy. Surely, Joshua was lonely. Almost all people around him were much younger. He did not have what you may call ‘close’ friends. Loneliness is the price to pay for successful leadership. May we sacrifice the flesh for Christ’ sake!

In the New Testament, we see a fresh revelation of Grace. In Hebrews 11 verse 29, the people of God passed thru the Red Sea. In the next verse, we are told that by faith, Jericho fell down. There is no mention of the 40 years of going in circles in the wilderness. Grace has wiped away their shame. Halleluiah! “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. 30- “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Heb 11:29-34).

The battle over Jericho was a war of faith, a war between the God of Israel and the idols of Jericho. Spiritually, we do not fight against men. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:11, 12). Jericho is a stronghold or spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The battle was not Joshua’s, but the battle belongs to God. In Christ we bring down spiritual strongholds, spiritual Jerichos. We arrest proud and foolish arguments against God. This leads to successful spiritual warfare and many souls get saved. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor 10:3-6). No unbeliever surrenders to Christ without spiritual warfare and intercession. It is our responsibility and privilege.

Knowing that the Commander of God’s armies goes before us in battle, we have faith that our victory is sure! Jericho represents the world. By faith in Christ alone we conquer our Jericho. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:3-5).


The defeat and destruction of Jericho is a miracle. In the Bible, we find 126 miracles. A miracle is defined as a supernatural, surprising and welcoming event, that cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. It is done by God who in His sovereign will, intervenes in the human affairs. Miracles are all gifts of grace, but faith in God and His Word plays a major part. Jericho’s destruction is a miracle. Joshua and the people had faith in God’s Word. From hear we deduce some guidelines on how to receive a miracle by faith.

1-Surrender to God totally, yourself and your request for a miracle!

2-Stategy belongs to God. Fast, pray, and patiently wait for a word of wisdom from God. Continue to worship God.

3-Once God speaks, obey instantly, even if it looks foolish! Have faith in God and in His Word!

4-Remember God’s promise to you! Memorize His Word! Do not forget it! Keep focused! The sword of the heavenly Joshua is leading you!

5-Do not give up! Do not withdraw! Forward ever! Backward never! Praise God for the victory!

Worship the Lord!