Four Lessons from Jericho

Time Magazine has not been normally known for being a staunch supporter of the Scriptures, but in March 5,1990 they ran an article in their science column.  “Science:  Score one for the Bible!
Flesh Clues support the story of Joshua at the walls of Jericho.”  Over the years archaeologists have come to differing conclusions about Jericho.  Jericho is the second most excavated city in the land of Jericho, second only to Jerusalem.  The 9 acre Tel (or mound) has been examined by Germans, British, Americans, Palestinians, and Israelis.

Amazingly, all archaeologists agree on many conclusions:
The city was destroyed suddenly (probably by an earthquake).
The city was burned after it was destroyed.
The city was destroyed in late spring (after harvest).
The city was well supplied with food and water.

The discrepancy was the time of its fall.  Archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon concluded in the 1950’s that Jericho fell in 1550 BC – 150 years before Joshua’s arrival in 1406 BC.  She based this conclusion on the absence of imported pottery from Cyprus.  Since she found Cypriot pottery in Megiddo she expected to find it in Jericho.  In the small area of her work, she found none.  Then came Dr. Bryant Wood, an ancient Canaanite pottery expert who examined the Jericho pottery that was found over several decades and he confirmed that the pottery was from Cyprus form the Late Bronze Age and was indeed at the time of Joshua.  Further findings included scarabs with Pharaoh’s names who ruled from the period of 1550 BC – 1400 BC.  Slam dunk – archaeology confirms Joshua’s defeat of Jericho and its crumbling walls.  There is also a small section on the north side of the city where the wall is still intact – it must be Rahab’s neighborhood – built on the wall, just as the Bible says.  But what does this 3,000 year old story mean to me?

Four Lessons from Jericho

1.  Put God First – Tithe

The gold and silver was to go into the treasury of the Lord, Joshua 6:24.  Jericho was the tithe – the firstfruits.  By not taking the spoils of battle for themselves but giving it to God, they are saying, “God is first in our lives.”

2.  Face your biggest obstacles by obeying

What may have seemed foolish to Joshua brought great victory.  Simply put – learn what God says and obey what God says!  Your Jericho victories will only be won when we are faithful to God and His Word.

3. Believe God will keep his promises

Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about for seven days.”  If we truly believe God, our desire will be to obey His commandments.  Let’s do our part, and trust God to do His part.  Obedience is the evidence of our faith, James 2:26.  When you face impossible situations, you can trust the Lord to help you.

4.  God can forgive your deepest sins

A beautiful woman named Rahab, who had ruined her life with sin, decided to put her faith in the true and living God.  Jewish tradition says she married one of the two spies that she hid.  What does the Bible say?  Three times in the New Testament we are reminded of Rahab’s faith and God’s loving kindness.  Rahab became the great, great grandmother of King David, Matthew 1:5.  She is example of a genuine faith that works, James 2:25.  And she is highlighted in Hebrews 11:31 for her saving faith.

Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
And He can do what no other power can do.
 
Battles to win they would meet with their obstacles
Jericho’s walls too must fall to the ground;
God never failed He stood back of His promises,
Walls had to crumble as they marched around.
 
God is the same and His Word is dependable,
He’ll make a way through the water’s for you;
Life’s situations by Him are amendable,
Mountains and hills He will part for you too.

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