The Walls of Jericho

(Joshua 6: I-21)

Walls are a means of protection, and privacy. In the early days they served well in big cities as Jericho, to mark boundaries, as we read here in the first verse of Joshua chapter one. Now Jericho was tightly closed because of the Israelites; no one went out or came in. They sought protection behind their walls, as usually they did, but this time, there would be no wall that would withstand the power of the Almighty God behind Israel’s strength!  Israel’s reputation had reached their ears concerning the places and kings Israel had destroyed. According to Rahab, the people were trembling with fear of them. She said, I know that the Lord has given you the land and that your terror is fallen upon us and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you, for we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted, neither did spirit or courage remain any more in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath (Joshua 1:9-11).

After days of marching around the city, as God commanded Israel to do, the walls of Jericho came down and Israel conquered the city. They were to march around the enclosure, all the men of war going around the city once, for six days, seven priests were to bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horn and on the seventh day they were to march around the enclosure seven times, and the priests were to blow the trumpets, when at the long blast of the trumpets, the people were to shout with a great shout and the wall would fall down (vs. 3-5). The battle to conquer Jericho belonged to the Prince of the Lord’s host. But Israel had to fight against it physically. The victory was certain and powerful. The people had no chance to fight Israel and so, no one escaped besides Rahab and her family, as it was promised her. Conquered in 1599 years B.C., Jericho was visited by the Lord YAHSHUA many years later, this time not as the Prince of the Lord’s host, but as a Savior, bringing salvation to a short Jewish man, called Zacchaeus and his family. YAHSHUA proclaimed, Today, salvation came to this household, since Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus’ wall came down when he admitted his sinful condition to the Lord. Salvation came to him and to his family as a result.

Planting Seeds

(Galatians 6:7; Numbers 32:23)

. . . But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against God and know that your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23).

Life is a tool for planting seeds wherever we go, whatever we do, or say. In fact, we are marked by our past, through the seeds we plant and fruits we harvest- good or bad. It is like nail on a board; although the nail is removed, its mark remains. We plant seeds from the time we know between good and evil. Every seed we plant carries consequences affecting our future. Moses, the servant of God, warned Israel a few times about the consequences of their disobedience, saying: Behold, you have sinned against God and know that your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). The seed of disobedience is a spirit of rebellion against God. Its consequences will follow us as long as we live, for it will bear fruits of all kinds that will affect our future, if not dealt with. Rebellion is defiance; it is a refusal to submit to established authority. A clear example of it is Satan leading the angels’ revolt against God, resulting in a consequential outcome for mankind, when our first parents fell prey to him.  From that time on, mankind has been indirectly planting generational seeds. However, we do plant seeds marked by our choice of decision we make every day. Whatever we sow, that we will reap many times over. We can never plant a seed and gather only one fruit. It just does not work that way in nature; it does not happen in life, either. For this reason, the Apostle Paul instructed us not to be deceived, God will not be mocked, for whatever we sow, that we will harvest. The law of sowing and reaping in life it is certain as it is in nature.

Evidence That Demands Belief

(John 9, 10)

As He passed along, He noticed a man blind from his birth. His disciples asked Him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he should be born blind? (John 9:1,2).

What is so significant about this question? It refers to the visitation of iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 34: 7b). Diseases are connected with sin. From the time the first couple sinned, mental and physical sufferings entered the world as a result. But that was not the case in this blind man’s life, as YAHSHUA answered the question, It was not that this man or his parents sinned, but he was blind in order that the workings of God should be manifested in him (vs.3). On the contrary, this man was chosen to fulfill God’s purpose in point and time of his life, “in order that God’s workings be manifested in him.”  All the years of his existence he survived through begging. In those days nothing was made easy for a blind person to live a normal life in society, as it is available today. Today a blind person can go to special schools to learn how to read and write through a method called braille and how to live a normal life and be part of the society’s work force. Although still in visual darkness, knowledge lights up his understanding of his surroundings and beyond. His success depends on his willingness to face the world with what it offers him.   

Facing the Giants

(Deut. 9:1-6; I Samuel 17: 45-50)

To take possession of the Promised Land, Israel had to destroy the giants of the land. The Lord warned them that they were great and tall, they were the sons of Anakim, of whom they had heard, Who can stand before the sons of Anak?(Deut. 9:2).  When Moses sent spies from every tribe to spy the land they came with a frightening report: There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight (Num. 13:33).    In the days of Joshua, he cut off the Anakim from the hill country; from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and the hill country of Israel. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. None of the Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did some remain (Josh. 11:21-22).

In the days of David, the Philistines came to fight with Israel with their giant, Goliath of Gath. This giant stood almost ten feet tall. His heavy armor was even more impressive and intimidating. Israel’s army was dismayed and very afraid of him. Israel came to battle in their strength; all they saw was the giant before them. They forgot what God had done in the past, but there was someone who had the faith and the courage to face this giant. The mountain Israel perceived to be was just a mole hill to David. In fact all he needed was a stone and a sling and bam, the giant was done and gone!

A Calm Mind and Heart

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body.

(Prov. 14: 30)

Mind and heart are connected through multiple pathways according to Dr. Dominique Surel: neurologically (Autonomic Nervous System), biochemically (Hormones), biophysically (pressure and sounds waves) and energetically (electromagnetic interactions). “The heart is the coordinator of the body’s functions, binding and synchronizing the system as a whole” (Dr. Dominique Surel). The heart, as a coordinator of symphony of functions of the body, can be compared to the conductor of an orchestra in coordinating the instruments to harmonize with each other.

The three functions of the mind comprise of thinking, feeling and wanting. it is the body’s faculty where reasoning and thoughts lodge. It is invisible; the mind resides in the physical organ of the body- the brain, which is also associated with the consciousness. The heart, however, as a visible organ, is a pump with its main function to pump blood to the lungs saturating it with oxygen then pumps it out into the blood the cells with oxygen. It is a pump of the circulatory system providing a continuous flow of blood throughout the body. The heart is the sustainer of life. But the heart has the invisible side when it connects with the mind. It is regarded to be the source of love and emotions according to poets, prophets, and philosophers. The Bible has much to say about the heart’s invisible functions. even the Lord YAHSHUA Himself attributed the heart as the source of emotion and belief in John 14:1, which reads: “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.”

Facing the Giants

(Deut. 9:1-6; I Samuel 17: 45-50)

To take possession of the Promised Land, Israel had to destroy the giants of the land. The Lord warned them that they were great and tall, they were the sons of Anakim, of whom they had heard, Who can stand before the sons of Anak (Deut. 9:2).  When Moses sent spies from every tribe to spy the land they came with a frightening report: There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight (Num. 13:33).    In the days of Joshua, he cut off the Anakim from the hill country; from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah and the hill country of Israel. Joshua destroyed them utterly with their cities. None of the Anakim were left in the land of the Israelites; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did some remain (Josh. 11:21-22).

In the days of David, the Philistines came to fight with Israel with their giant, Goliath of Gath. This giant stood almost ten feet tall. His heavy armor was even more impressive and intimidating. Israel’s army was dismayed and very afraid of him. Israel came to battle in their strength; all they saw was the giant before them. They forgot what God had done in the past, but there was someone who had the faith and the courage to face this giant. The mountain Israel perceived to be was just a mole hill to David. In fact all he needed was a stone and a sling and bam, the giant was done and gone!