Worship VI Day 10 Do It Again: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What is the significance and correlation between the city walls being fortified and God declaring He had handed over Jericho to Israel? (verses 1-2)

2) What importance do the numbers six and seven carry in this account?

3) Why would the Lord set the city apart for destruction and why does His purpose matter? (verses 17-18)

Joshua 6:1-20

Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. 2 The Lord said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its best soldiers over to you. 3 March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. 5 When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the troops give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the troops will advance, each man straight ahead.”

6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven trumpets in front of the ark of the Lord.” 7 He said to the troops, “Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed men go ahead of the ark of the Lord.”

8 After Joshua had spoken to the troops, seven priests carrying seven trumpets before the Lord moved forward and blew the trumpets; the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9 While the trumpets were blowing, the armed men went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard went behind the ark. 10 But Joshua had commanded the troops: “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout.” 11 So the ark of the Lord was carried around the city, circling it once. They returned to the camp and spent the night there.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning. The priests took the ark of the Lord, 13 and the seven priests carrying seven trumpets marched in front of the ark of the Lord. While the trumpets were blowing, the armed men went in front of them, and the rear guard went behind the ark of the Lord. 14 On the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua said to the troops, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city. 17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the messengers we sent. 18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and make trouble for it. 19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the Lord and must go into the Lord’s treasury.”

20 So the troops shouted, and the trumpets sounded. When they heard the blast of the trumpet, the troops gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The troops advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city.

Original Intent

1) What is the significance and correlation between the city walls being fortified and God declaring He had handed over Jericho to Israel? (verses 1-2)
The author of the account (who was likely Joshua himself), recorded that “Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites”. This was the very first conquest opportunity for Israel after crossing the Jordan River. This was the Promised Land! Israel was walking on the very soil of the long-awaited inheritance God had promised to Abraham and his descendants hundreds of generations prior. What’s interesting about this little snippet of information is Jericho’s army was in force precisely because of Israel’s presence. Israel’s promised inheritance, God’s direct leading (and His present word declaring Jericho had been given to Israel), and still an enemy army stood in Israel’s way. Why? Trusting obedience. Like everything else in Israel’s journey from infancy to full-blown self-governing nation. The Lord is not asking for the impossible, only He can do that, He asks for their trusting obedience. Will they have faith that He is the faithful God He has shown Himself to be over and over? Will they believe He will “do it again”? Or will they choose to trust themselves and their own tactics, or even choose to walk away from their inheritance because of fear? Would Israel follow through and make their actions match the truth God already spoken over them or would they cower?

2) What importance do the numbers six and seven carry in this account?
In general, the number six is the number of “mankind” in the Bible. It denotes a “missing of the mark” of perfection, reminding us of our fallen state before God’s flawless holiness because of our sin. The epitome of this number is seen in the number given to Satan, 666. (Revelation 13:18) The number six is even used in connection with angels, who are still lesser than perfect, holy God. (Revelation 21:17) In contrast, the number seven signifies perfection and holiness, completeness, or achievement as seen in the story of creation where there are 6 days of work, but on the 7th day, marking 1 week, God finished His work and rested. We see this same concept in Joshua’s account of battle against Jericho. For six days they marched, but on the seventh, victory was finally won. The work had been completed. There were seven priests, seven trumpets, and they were to march around the walls seven times. The number itself isn’t a “magical” number, rather it points unequivocally to the completeness of God and His plan. This defeat of Jericho was entirely of the Lord. Clearly, marching and circling and trumpet blowing cannot bring down the fortified walls of a city that were several meters thick, and had a double wall inset. Only the Lord God could do this! What’s more, archaeology digs have discovered that Jericho’s ruined walls had been collapsed from the inside out. They simply “fell down” creating a slope for Israel to run “up and into the city” (verse 20) This battle had nothing to do with Israel’s ability, but had everything to do with their willingness to trust and obey.

3) Why would the Lord set the city apart for destruction and why does His purpose matter? (verses 17-18)
This was the Promised Land God had intended to give to Israel for their inheritance from Him. It was not something they had earned, had the right to own, or was a result of their goodness, it was simply a lavish gift from God. (Deuteronomy 7:7) God had purposed this land to be gifted to His people and to be used for His purposes as they lived out their daily lives, pointing towards God and His glorious goodness. Because He is infinitely wise and good, He also didn’t clear the land for them, but instead had Israel take it over little by little so they wouldn’t become prey for wild animals. (Exodus 23:29) He wanted the gift of land to already be cultivated, civilized, and even have wells dug for His people and vineyards to eat from, further proving His kindness toward Israel. (Deuteronomy 6:10-11, Joshua 24:13) But, the people who inhabited the land before Israel were pagan, believing in multiple false gods and living for themselves. God wanted His people to be set apart, making a stark contrast to the nations around them as they lived for God and God alone. For this reason, God set apart Jericho for destruction. He wanted His people to see that He alone was God and not become wooed away and distracted by the lure of false gods, or by swallowing the lie that they could be their own god and manipulate Him.

Everyday Application

1) What is the significance and correlation between the city walls being fortified and God declaring He had handed over Jericho to Israel? (verses 1-2)
Israel’s scenario is played out often in our lives in big moments of huge decision and in small everyday moments when we have the opportunity to choose between truth or our feelings. In His Word, He has made His truth clearly known to us. Additionally, He has given the believer His own Holy Spirit to indwell them for the purpose of intimately and deeply communicating, teaching, and reminding of all truth. As if those were not enough, God has also given the Christian the gift of biblical community to surround them, encourage them, and continue holding fast to the truth of Scripture when we feel too weak ourselves. Truth matters. With it, we can correctly view the circumstances around us without elevating emotional lies over truth. Truth keeps our perspective in check. Israel saw the armed forces and the impenetrable walls of Jericho with their eyes, but their hearts heard the truth of God’s Word, “I have handed Jericho over to you.” Choose intentionally whose voice you will listen to today! Trust that the God who rescued you before will indeed be faithful again!

2) What importance do the numbers six and seven carry in this account?
In the story of Jericho, its walls, and its numbers, we see a microcosm of ourselves and our state before God. When it comes to our struggles, whether internal or external, physical or emotional, we are utterly weak. We face insurmountable odds quite often, but on our own strength, we are woefully incapable of true, lasting victory. If the battle will fully be won, it must be by the hand of the Lord working through our trusting obedience. This is amplified even greater when it comes to our eternal position before the perfect God. We are sinful and we cannot remove our stains and blemishes, no matter how hard we try. We can go to counseling, try to forgive ourselves, forgive others, do good deeds, and live generous lives, but none of that will erase the endless chasm gaping between us and perfect holiness. We will never be perfect. God must do the work for us. His holiness must cover for our weakness. And this He graciously does through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ where He took on our punishment for us! He has given eternity to us, He has declared victory over our broken places in everyday life, will we trust His faithfulness and follow obediently in His wisdom or will we trust ourselves and fall far short?

3) Why would the Lord set the city apart for destruction and why does His purpose matter? (verses 17-18)
God’s instructions didn’t always make sense to Israel in the Old Testament, to the disciples in the New Testament, or even to us living in this modern age. The wisdom of God is foolishness to man because His ways and His purposes are infinitely more wise and all-encompassing than our finite, limited perspectives. (1 Corinthians 1:20-25, 1 Corinthians 3:18-23) What God does reveal to us in His Word by His Spirit is that He always acts for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28) If we are willing to trust His proven faithfulness and infinite wisdom, and follow His ways obediently over ours, we can know for certain that whatever comes will put on display the magnificent glory of God as He draws others to Himself! At the very same time, it will become increasingly obvious to us (and those around us) that the outcome would be utterly impossible without the hand of the Lord God. Only God could do this will forever be the outcome of our beautifully redeemed lives when we choose faithful obedience, even when, or especially when, we do not understand the directions!

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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