Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 15 -

Suggested Titles:

And the walls came tumbling down.
Worship brings victory
Worship or Warfare: What God Uses.
Worship or Worry


Joshua 6

Passage Overview – some highlights:

This story needs almost no introduction – Joshua and the Israelites march around the walls and the walls come tumbling down. There is more to it than this, of course, though, so be sure to read the story carefully again!

Important Specific Concepts:

It is very important that preceding this story, the Israelites have done several things to prepare themselves for this great act of God (see Sermons on Joshua 1, 3-4, 5). This event didn’t “just happen.”

It is also important that the people didn’t worry about what to do, didn’t question God’s plan or didn’t over-analyze –they became people of worship, not worry and God brought victory.

It is also very important that while this victory is (1) a victory and while it is (2) over a people walled into a city it does not celebrate violence in swords, chariots or weapons of war. The victory comes from God (see Sermon on Exodus 13-14) as the people trust God to fight their battles for them.

When the Israelites are commanded to shout, the Hebrew word is “hallel” – from which we get a word very recognizable to us, Hallelujah. When the Israelites to use as the means of their entry into this land is a trumpet, the “shofar” in Hebrew, which was primarily an instrument of worship! (See Exodus 19:19 were God approaches with Trumpet blast or Lev. 23:24 or 25:9 where trumpets are used on holy days for worship!) So in this passage, the means by which the Israelites enter into God’s new future, and the means by which they declare their allegiance to God’s Kingdom is not with violence and warfare like other nations, but as the very kind of people God had called them to be, a worshipping community! (see Sermon on Exodus 3, 19-20). The only “guardsmen” in this “army” aren’t riding horses or protecting a king, but are protecting their most sacred object of worship, the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark of the Covenant symbolically represented God in their midst so when they carry it, they symbolically bring God – not chariots, not swords, not spears.

They bring God, their instruments of worship and their hallel-uljahs . . . and the walls come tumbling down (and Rahab gets saved – see Sermon on Joshua 2). The story has elements of destruction, no doubt, but even persons like Rahab can be saved when God, Worship, and Hallelujah’s bring victory.

Ideas for Illustrations:

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

A call to praise.

Commitment to Worship God instead of Worry.


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