JERICHO, THE NATURE OF JESUS PROVISION

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JERICHO, THE NATURE OF JESUS PROVISION

Historically, Jericho is an important city. Its constant sunshine, rich alluvial soil and abundant water supply from a nearby spring has made it a desirable settlement. And through the ages, civilizations have fought to take control of Jericho. So prized was Jericho that Mark Anthony supposedly gave the city to the love of his life, Cleopatra.

Biblically, Jericho was also very significant. It was the first city Israel conquered when they entered the land which our Father promised them. It was also the site of Jesus healing the blind man and filling Zacchaeus with so much; he was able to give half of all he owned to the poor. So what then is so special about Jericho, and what pictures of our Father’s love does it paint for us?

Firstly, Jericho shows us the manner in which our Father wants us to receive His blessings, provision and promises - effortlessly.

Jericho was always a fortified city. In fact, secular archaeologists have found 2 sets of massive stone walls surrounding the city; the earlier of which, they estimate, would have taken a hundred men, a hundred days to construct. Israel too was overawed with Jericho and the rest of the land, the first time they set eyes on it.

“Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.” Numbers 13:27-28

So in awe were they of the land, it overwhelmed and demoralized them.

“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”” Numbers 14:1-4

Yet, this was how they eventually took the city.

“But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times.” Joshua 6:15

“So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.” Joshua 6:20-21

They just walked around it a few times over a few days, made some noise, and the walls came tumbling down; effortless. Well, for them at least. Look at the prep work that had to be done for this miracle.

Before the city was taken, spies were sent to survey the site. And these spies chanced upon this lady named Rahab, and this was what she told them.

“I know the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted 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 other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” Joshua 2:9-11

Hang on, these were the same people that overwhelmed the imagination of Israel one generation before, till they would rather go back to slavery, than believe that the God who delivered them from slavery, with riches too I might add, could give them this land that they had promised. And now we find that these very same people were actually afraid of Israel? What an irony. If only Israel knew, if only Israel trusted.

Are you facing a similar situation? Did our Father promise you something that you are thinking is impossible? Did you survey the land our Father promised and think that it is impossible? Well, it is. For you, that is. But remember,

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

In the same way that our Father had already struck fear into the hearts of the enemy even before they sent out the spies, so too has our Father prepared the way for you to step into His promised land flowing with milk and honey, no matter how impossible or improbable it seems. Our Father is not the God of small things. What would you think of Him if all His promises to you were of things that you yourself could achieve? What’s the value in trusting Him then? No, our Father is the God of the impossible. Possible is too easy for Him. So trust Him. He has already prepared the way for you.

Next, before the battle started, Joshua met this guy.

“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord, I have now come.” Joshua 5:13-14

No prizes for guessing that the Man Joshua spoke to was either Jesus or our Father. But that tells us that our Father is prepared to go with us even before we are ready to set off. If we think we are eager, He is even more eager. The battle was days away, but our Father was already there, sword in hand, army formed up, ready for battle. So beloved, if you are preparing for a situation, know that our Father is already prepared, ready to go when you are.

And finally, when it came time to take Jericho, this was how they moved.

“So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.” Joshua 6:8-9

Our Father was there, in the midst of them, for the ark was representative of the position of our Father. So beloved, not only has Jesus prepared the way for you, soften the ground, He stands ready to go with you and when the time comes, He will be right there by your side. And all you have to do is announce His presence with your own trumpets, whatever they may be, and watch the walls come tumbling down.

Incidentally, notice any effort required on the part of Israel? That’s right; none. So since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8); the way He works is also the same. So that means that as it was for them, so will it be for you.

Now when Jesus was around Jericho, He also shows us how He wants us to receive from Him.

“Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”
He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.” Luke 18:35-43

The blind man called, Jesus stopped. Jesus asked what He could do for him, without asking what he could do for Him in return. Then Jesus granted the man’s request.

Beloved, all too often, we think of our Father as a transactional God, giving only if He is able to receive something in return; or a qualifying God, giving only because we have earned it. But here, Jesus shows us He is neither. He says,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

And He is true to His word. Best thing is, when you call, He stops and attends. Don’t let the world stop you from calling out to Him. Jesus always has time for you.

“Then Jesus entered and walked through Jericho. There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, the head tax man and quite rich. He wanted desperately to see Jesus, but the crowd was in his way—he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. So he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he came by.
When Jesus got to the tree, he looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry down. Today is my day to be a guest in your home.” Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree, hardly believing his good luck, delighted to take Jesus home with him. Everyone who saw the incident was indignant and grumped, “What business does he have getting cozy with this crook?”
Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.”
Jesus said, “Today is salvation day in this home! Here he is: Zacchaeus, son of Abraham! For the Son of Man came to find and restore the lost.”” Luke 19:1-10 [MSG]

Beloved, finally, Jesus wants you to know that if you are truly sincere in wanting to receive Him and take Him home with you, the way Zacchaeus was, He knows and He needs no invitation. And when you do, not only will He fill your life with so much that you will be overflowing, He will restore to you everything that has been estranged from you, just like Zacchaeus was restored to his community. After all, Jesus came to restore the lost.

And beloved, if now is the time you want to receive Jesus and are delighted to bring Him home, He wants you to know that today is His day to be a guest in your home, in your heart. He said,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

And remember that He does not need to qualify you, because for you who now believe, He has become your righteousness by carrying all your sins on the cross for you, as it is written;

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So receive Him boldly saying,

“Father, thank You for loving me. Thank You that in the midst of the multitude, you see me. Father I know you need no invitation, but only that I be willing to open the door of my heart to You. So Father, I am willing now. Come into my life. I am delighted to bring You home. Thank You Jesus for dying for me. Your death and rising is the only reason why I can come before our Father now boldly, knowing that I have been made righteous by You. Thank You for Your blood shed which is the instrument which gave me my full and complete remission of sins. Father I trust that whatever land henceforth You give, You are able and willing to fulfill Your promise. Guide my steps and lead me into the abundance that You have prepared for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Receiving from Jesus is effortless because He did all the hard work for you. Honor His gift and enjoy every moment of the eternity that it will last for.

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