November 6, 2011 – November 12, 2011
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” Hebrews 11:30.
Study Help: Patriarchs and Prophets, 487–493; Testimonies, vol. 4, 156–164.
“God works mightily for a faithful people who obey His word without questioning or doubt. The Majesty of heaven, with His army of angels, leveled the walls of Jericho without human aid.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 164.
1 WILL WE BETRAY OR PROTECT?
- What will be seen more and more as the present truth, which leads to salvation, becomes increasingly unpopular? I John 2:18, 19.
Note: “Whenever persecution takes place, the spectators make decisions either for or against Christ. Because of persecution, many will be offended. The principles of the truth cut directly across their practice, and they will stumble and fall, apostatizing from the faith they once advocated. Many who have professed to love the truth will then show that they have no vital union with the True Vine. They will be cut away, as branches that bear no fruit, and will be bound up with unbelievers, scoffers, and mockers.
“Those who apostatize in time of trial will bear false witness and betray their brethren, to secure their own safety. They will tell where their brethren are concealed, putting the wolves on their track. Christ has warned us of this, that we may not be surprised at the cruel, unnatural course pursued by friends and relatives.” The Review and Herald, December 20, 1898.
- Instead of betraying the faithful to condemnation and death, what woman in the Bible stood firm to protect the endangered worshipers of Jehovah? Joshua 2:1–7.
2 GOING FORWARD BY FAITH
- How did Rahab express her faith in the God of Israel, and how were the spies encouraged by this? Joshua 2:8–24.
- What were the people to keep their eyes on, and why? Joshua 3:1–3.
Note: “The priests obeyed the commands of their leader and went before the people, carrying the ark of the covenant. The Hebrew hosts took up the line of march and followed this symbol of the divine presence.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 157.
- Describe the miracle that was to inspire the faith of the people. Joshua 3:11–17. What can we learn from this miracle and the way it can apply to us today?
Note: “In the upbuilding of His work the Lord does not always make everything plain before His servants. He sometimes tries the confidence of His people by bringing about circumstances which compel them to move forward in faith. Often He brings them into strait and trying places, and bids them advance when their feet seem to be touching the waters of Jordan. It is at such times, when the prayers of His servants ascend to Him in earnest faith, that God opens the way before them and brings them out into a large place.” The Acts of the Apostles, 357.
- Why could Joshua face the battle of Jericho with full assurance of faith? Joshua 5:13–15.
Note: “The city of Jericho was devoted to the most extravagant idolatry. The inhabitants were very wealthy, but all the riches that God had given them they counted as the gift of their gods. They had gold and silver in abundance; but, like the people before the Flood, they were corrupt and blasphemous, and insulted and provoked the God of heaven by their wicked works. God’s judgments were awakened against Jericho. It was a stronghold. But the Captain of the Lord’s host Himself came from heaven to lead the armies of heaven in an attack upon the city.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 264.
3 ANGELS OPEN THE WAY
- Describe the Lord’s method given for the toppling of Jericho. Joshua 6:12–17. How can we be inspired by this?
Note: “The vast army [of Israel] marched solemnly around the devoted walls. All was silent, save the measured tread of many feet, and the occasional sound of the trumpet, breaking the stillness of the early morning. The massive walls of solid stone seemed to defy the siege of men. The watchers on the walls looked on with rising fear, as, the first circuit ended, there followed a second, then a third, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth. What could be the object of these mysterious movements? What mighty event was impending? They had not long to wait. As the seventh circuit was completed, the long procession paused. The trumpets, which for an interval had been silent, now broke forth in a blast that shook the very earth. The walls of solid stone, with their massive towers and battlements, tottered and heaved from their foundations, and with a crash fell in ruin to the earth. The inhabitants of Jericho were paralyzed with terror, and the hosts of Israel marched in and took possession of the city.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 491.
“The Captain of the Lord’s host communicated only with Joshua; He did not reveal Himself to all the congregation, and it rested with them to believe or doubt the words of Joshua, to obey the commands given by him in the name of the Lord, or to deny his authority. They could not see the host of angels who attended them under the leadership of the Son of God. They might have reasoned: ‘What unmeaning movements are these, and how ridiculous the performance of marching daily around the walls of the city, blowing trumpets of rams’ horns. This can have no effect upon those towering fortifications.’ But the very plan of continuing this ceremony through so long a time prior to the final overthrow of the walls afforded opportunity for the development of faith among the Israelites. It was to be impressed upon their minds that their strength was not in the wisdom of man, nor in his might, but only in the God of their salvation. They were thus to become accustomed to relying wholly upon their divine Leader.
“God will do great things for those who trust in Him. The reason why His professed people have no greater strength is that they trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf. He will help His believing children in every emergency if they will place their entire confidence in Him and faithfully obey Him.” Ibid., 493 (author’s italics).
4 IDOLATRY DEFEATED AND DESTROYED
- In what sense was this battle such an utter demonstration of faith? Hebrews 11:30. What are we to learn from it?
Note: “As a people we lack faith. In these days few would follow the directions given through God’s chosen servant as obediently as did the armies of Israel at the taking of Jericho. …
“Would those who today profess to be God’s people conduct themselves thus under similar circumstances? Doubtless many would wish to follow out their own plans and would suggest other ways and means of accomplishing the desired end. They would be loath to submit to so simple an arrangement and one that reflected upon themselves no glory save the merit of obedience. They would also question the possibility of a mighty city being conquered in that manner. But the law of duty is supreme. It should hold sway over human reason. Faith is the living power that presses through every barrier, overrides all obstacles, and plants its banner in the heart of the enemy’s camp.
“God will do marvelous things for those who trust in Him. It is because His professed people trust so much to their own wisdom, and do not give the Lord an opportunity to reveal His power in their behalf, that they have no more strength. He will help His believing children in every emergency if they will place their entire confidence in Him and implicitly obey Him. …
“Let the people give up self and the desire to work after their own plans, let them humbly submit to the divine will, and God will revive their strength and bring freedom and victory to His children.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 162–164.
- What specific directions were given for the procedure once the city was entered? Joshua 6:18–21, 24, 26. What parallel is soon to occur in the time of the end? Revelation 18:1, 2, 7–18, 23.
Note: “God was very particular in regard to Jericho, lest the people should be charmed with the things that the inhabitants had worshiped and their hearts be diverted from God.” Testimonies, vol. 3, 264.
“The city itself was burned; its palaces and temples, its magnificent dwellings with all their luxurious appointments, the rich draperies and the costly garments, were given to the flames.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 492.
- How was Rahab cared for? Joshua 6:22, 23, 25.
Note: “All the inhabitants of the city, with every living thing that it contained, ‘both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass’ [Joshua 6:21], were put to the sword. Only faithful Rahab, with her household, was spared, in fulfillment of the promise of the spies.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 491.
- What are we to learn from the history of Rahab? Hebrews 11:31; James 2:24, 25.
- Rahab can be viewed as a symbol of souls who come from wicked circumstances, yet choose to depart from evil to follow the pathway to Heaven. In the Judgment, how does God take into account all the factors of our life? Psalm 87:4–6; Luke 12:48.
Note: “No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple courts, that every soul may have free access to God. His love is so broad, so deep, so full, that it penetrates everywhere. It lifts out of Satan’s influence those who have been deluded by his deceptions, and places them within reach of the throne of God, the throne encircled by the rainbow of promise. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free.” Prophets and Kings, 369, 370.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why did God reward the faith of Rahab?
2 How can I better cooperate with the plans of a God whose angels topple obstacles?
3 What distinguishes the conquest of Jericho among the battles of Israelite history?
4 What things in my life may be in need of destruction, just as the idols of Jericho?
5 In my sphere of influence, how can I best serve those who may be sincere Rahabs?
©2005 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.