Walls Fell Down Flat
for this article is Joshua 6:1-27. However, I want us to
focus our attention on verse 1: "Now
Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of
Israel; none went out, and none came in."
after study shows that Americans are having problems sleeping
well. A poll released last year by the National Sleep Foundation
showed that 74 percent of respondents suffered symptoms
of a sleep disorder a few nights a week or more.
was up significantly from 62 percent in 1999. Those symptoms
include difficulty falling asleep, waking up a lot during
the night, waking up too early and not being able to go
back to sleep, and waking up unrefreshed. The problem is
that we have more to worry about nowadays. Most of us are
experiencing various levels of stress due to problems in
life. This chapter in Joshua tells us what to do with those
stubborn problems that are like a city "securely shut
of all this is very interesting. Joshua and the children
of Israel had finished their forty-year trek through the
wilderness, had crossed the Jordan River, and were ready
to sweep-in to the long-awaited Promised Land. But they
faced a great obstacle: the city of Jericho. It was an unsolvable
problem -- vast, powerful, directly in their path, and undefeatable.
have any problems like that? For the Israelites, the Lord's
solution was strange. He told them to march around the city
one time a day for six days, then to march around the city
seven times on the seventh day. Afterward they were to blow
the trumpets, to shout with a great shout, and the walls
would fall down flat - and that's what happened.
the lesson for us? When we face an unsolvable problem, one
like a city securely shut up, we must realize that God alone
can solve it. But He expects us to approach the problem
as He directs us to:
Encircle the Problem with Prayer.
How often in the Bible did the Lord's people, facing an
unsolvable problem, approach it with prayer, beseeching
the Lord to do what no human power could do?
are so many examples: Abraham's servant praying for a bride
for Isaac in Genesis 24 ; the Israelites praying for deliverance
at the Red Sea in Exodus 14 ; Hezekiah facing the invasion
of Assyria in 2 Kings 19 ; the church praying for Peter's
deliverance in Acts 12.
Kneeling Christian, the anonymous author gives this
advice to those burdened for loved ones who, despite our
pleading, are tightly "shut up" against the Lord:
"They may not listen to us when we plead with them,
but they cannot hold out if we pray for them. . . . Tell
God, and then trust God."
Encircle the Problem with Praise.
On the seventh day, Joshua said, "Shout,
for the Lord has given you the city!"
The ability to praise the Lord in the midst of impossibility
is a powerful secret. Satan can't abide in the presence
of godly praise and worship. An old hymn, translated from
the German, says:
fill my mind?
A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss?
My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The night becomes as day,
when from the heart we say,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear
when this sweet chant they hear,
May Jesus Christ be praised!"
Encircle the Problem with Faith. What an act of faith
for Joshua and the Israelites! They had no organized army,
no weapons, nothing but sheer obedience to an odd command
while going against a powerful enemy. Hebrews 11:30 says,
"By faith the walls of Jericho
fell down after they were encircled for seven days."
When we have those unsolvable
problems, we surround them with prayer and praise, then
we continue walking around them by faith until the walls
fall and the Lord sends His deliverance.
Joy Ridderhof, born in 1903,
started an organization called Gospel Recordings, Inc.,
to record the gospel for every language group on earth.
It is now approaching 5,000 languages, and millions around
the world have heard of Christ through Gospel Recordings.
But it wasn't easy. Joy, a
single career woman, faced loneliness, sickness, dangerous
travels, foreign intrigue, and financial crises at every
step. One year, Gospel Recordings badly needed more room
at its Los Angeles base. Joy and her staff prayed about
it for months, and suddenly a large site became available.
It seemed ideal, and the board authorized a $6,000 deposit.
The property cost ten times that much, but Joy refused to
publicly appeal for funds.
She was in Wheaton, Illinois,
as the deadline approached. If $60,000 didn't materialize
within a week, the property would be lost along with the
$6,000 deposit. Only half the amount was on hand, and Joy's
staff called her in crisis. Her laconic instructions were
to claim Joshua 3:5 and to "follow the Jericho pattern
for the remaining seven days. And cable the branch offices
to join us."
No other explanation was given,
but none was needed. The staff understood. Cables flew around
the world: BUILDING DEADLINE OCTOBER NINTH. FOLLOW JERICHO
PATTERN NEXT SEVEN DAYS. JOSHUA 3:5.
The walls of Jericho (the Jericho
problem) had fallen after the Israelites had encircled them
for seven days. In the same way, the staff of Gospel Recordings
encircled the problem with prayer, two hours a day for seven
The walls fell. In an overseas
call from London, a British Gospel Recordings staffer announced
an unexpected legacy had just arrived for the ministry,
and it was exactly enough to complete the building's purchase.
The home staff burst into the Doxology, and Joy Ridderhof
continued her speaking tour through Illinois with a new
story of God's faithfulness.
Encircle the Problem with Perseverance. Notice that
the successful result was not achieved in a day or two.
It took day after day of encircling the city. The Israelites
must have grown weary, but they didn't give up. It may take
time for the Lord to break through and achieve the victory
in your situation, but don't give up!
If you're worried about
a particular problem today, one that's "securely shut
up," one that is robbing you of sound sleep at night,
try the Jericho pattern. Surround the situation with prayer,
praise, faith, and perseverance. Don't give up, and in due
time the walls will fall down flat.