Home  |   New!  |   Audio Sermons  |   Text Sermons  |   Bible Studies  |   Last Days Material  |   Great Plains Bible College  |   About Us
Glory to Christ Ministries Home Page

God's Strange Ways
To Victory

by Wayne Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

Click to increase text size Click to decrease text size RESET
(text size)

printer iconPrint Sermon (printable version)  |  Back to Text Sermon Menu

God's Strange Ways to Victory

by Wayne Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

In this life there are times when we need help. We need to recognize God is there, ready to help. It's good to look in His Word and see how He has done some things that we might have an understanding of how He will do other things.

Joshua 5:13-15
And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

We can't always see where the Lord has sent help and strength our way. It would be an eye opener, sometimes, if we could see in back of the scene.

This angel suddenly appeared out here, and Joshua saw him standing with his sword drawn. Joshua, seeing this, went out to challenge him: "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" He quickly found out that this was the captain of the host of the Lord. The Lord had sent His captain to lead the fight when Israel went in to Jericho to conquer the land.

Somebody's got to be captain of the host that can be seen, and somebody's got to be captain of the host that can't be seen. These heavenly forces have moved in; a band of angels has come to help in this task.

What's in a Rod?

We look back at Joshua coming up with Moses and the forty years he spent out there in the wilderness, where he saw the miracles of God, saw all the mighty things which God did.

Notice that wherever there was a battle to be fought, Joshua was chosen by Moses to lead. And we find some strange things in those battles.

There was the time up there on the mountain (see Exodus 17): Moses, Aaron, and Hur were up there, and in Moses' hand was his rod. Joshua and his forces prevailed when Moses held his rod out; but when Moses' arm grew tired, he lowered it, and the adversaries' forces prevailed.

Putting two and two together, they realized the victory was in keeping the rod up. So they had Moses sit down on a rock with the rod held out, and they helped him by holding his arms up. Now the army kept plowing into the adversary, and soon they had that enemy defeated. There was a victory that day.

Why did God work through the rod being held out? Why was this the means God chose to work through? Whether we understand it or not, this is the way it was done.

It was God's means for that battle. And it was over there by the Red Sea that Moses took that same rod, as God commanded. He held it out over the sea all night, and God began to move to part the sea. How could there be any help in a rod?

There's something in this we might not recognize with our natural eyes; nevertheless, this rod was used of God.

So, God has His way of using things. And, somehow, I perceive faith is the key to God's using things.

What's in a Little Oil?

We anoint someone with oil, but we must do it in the name of the Lord and pray the prayer of faith (see James 5:14,15). We lay hands on the sick because God said to lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (see Mark 16:18). Our natural hands have no healing in them; but if God anoints our hands, then something happens.

We do what God said to do and — behind the scenes, somehow — God is there working. The Holy Spirit is there at work to anoint:

Acts 10:38
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.

There was a power there, wasn't there? And there was a power present by Jericho. An unseen host was going to be there for the battle. This captain — though he looked like a man, appearing in the form of a man — is not a man. He is an angel of God. And this angel of God is going to take charge of the battle the army was about to enter into.

Boy, now that's help! That's when we can look and say, God moves in unaware to us many times. Here we are: Maybe we're bellyaching because we don't see God doing anything. We ask, "Where is God? Why isn't He on the job? I need Him!"

He's waiting for us to finish bellyaching so He can do something for us. You know, faith has to be in what we do.

Does God put something in our hands? Realize that whatever God gives us, whatever we see that God is accustomed to working through or working with, we should work with that too.

Sometimes it's a simple thing, such as a little anointing oil. Now, is there anything in oil that we should note? What is there in that oil? It's what it represents to us, and it's the faith we put in what God has told us to do. That's what God blesses.

Remember Gideon's Victory

Remember how God spoke to Gideon concerning the multitude out there in the valley (see Judges 6 & 7)? God didn't want him to have all those men in his army. He kept whittling the army down until there were only three hundred men left.

There's the vast enemy army, and then there's three hundred left with Gideon. Now, how did they get the victory? Was it through military might? Was it because of their great weapons? Were their swords sharper?

No! It was because they each had a pitcher, a lamp, and a trumpet — and obedience to the Lord's instructions! When the time came, they broke their pitchers, letting the lamp be exposed, and they blew their trumpets. When the enemy looked up, they were afraid, thinking they were surrounded by a great army! All at once, they all got up and ran. They ran and they ran and they ran. They left everything behind and just ran away.

Who was running them out? I want you to know, there was Someone else there! You may not have seen Him that night, but there was a force there. And it drove the adversary out of the land. Gideon's few men did their best — but God did the rest.

Take Note of God's Way to Help

So today, I would want you to think in your heart, if you would, that there's the way in which God works. God has His ways, and they've always proven out. We should want those ways. We'll find if we do things God's way, it will always prove out to be the right way. And it will always prove out to be far better than anything we could do in the natural.

Do we ever need help, then?

Well, there's surely those times when God sends somebody along to help us, and we don't even realize God has sent them.

I know the Bible says some have entertained angels unawares. Thus, some have been in the presence of angels without being aware that what they were seeing were angels. Angels can appear to look like any ordinary man, so how would you be able to distinguish the difference?

Victory at Jericho

We're saying all of this, primarily, because we see here in Joshua how God had a way to help the children of Israel to conquer the land. By any equation, they were outnumbered seven to one! There were seven nations of peoples living in the walled cities of the Promised Land. This was their home.

And out here was Israel: just one nation . . . yet, they were the majority with God on their side! We need to recognize in our hearts that God has His ways to bring us victory.

What is this angel going to do? Let's note one thing that was happening at the time the angel appeared before Joshua: Over in Jericho the people in the city were terrified. Those stone walls were placed around cities as a fortress. They were very high. You couldn't just crawl over them. They were solid, made of great stones. You couldn't just tear them down.

There were ways that such cities were taken. The invading army might encamp around those walls for a year or two to starve them out. Eventually, they'd come out because there was no more food and they were hungry, ready to starve.

Joshua 6:1
Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

The people were scared. They'd heard things. They were aware that, the other day, Israel's God had stopped the Jordan River so they could come over to Jericho on dry ground. They knew God was with those people.

But, listen, I want you to think this way: "God is with us! God is with us, and I believe He will be with us as long as we will be with Him. If we forsake Him, then we can't expect Him to remain with us" (see II Chronicles 15:2).

Now, the enemy was scared, and that was good. It was in Joshua's and his army's favor. The enemy was afraid and was bound to make some serious error, to eventually do some foolish thing. They were filled with fear; and when you are afraid, you'd best be careful. In such a state you might do a whole lot of things you wouldn't normally do.

Joshua 6:2
And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

Jericho was already defeated! God had already decreed the defeat of the inhabitants of Jericho — all the people who were shut up behind the wall except those whom God would preserve, like Rahab.

God has already told Joshua that he has the victory: See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

When you get something that real from God, you've got something to build faith on, something to stand on. You know in advance the victory is already granted unto you from heaven. God has already stretched forth His hand and is telling you that you have the victory. That's the way God works.

Following "Foolish" Instructions

Joshua 6:3
And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

Here we start getting into things we can't understand. Why did they have to do this? Was it necessary? "Do we have to go through all of the steps to get the victory?"

God is telling them they have the victory, but this is what He wants them to do: He wants them to march around the city once a day for six days. (If you're looking for exercise, this would be a good way to get it!)

Joshua 6:4
And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priest shall blow with the trumpets.

Joshua was getting the pattern of God's battle plan. This doesn't say what the angels were going to do. This is just saying what Joshua and his army's part would be in the battle. They were to march around the city once a day for six days, and on the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times.

What does all this have to do with getting the victory over the city? You could be in perfect cadence, marching in formation around there with everybody in step, and, when you had done all, find nothing happening.

Faith is the Key

Somehow, this has to be tied to faith: faith to believe God and what He is saying, and faith to obey, no matter what it sounds like. It might not look like the wisest military maneuver one could make; yet, it's the one God is telling you to make.

You've got to obey God from your heart. You have to put faith in what He has said, like what the children of Israel should have done when they came to Kadesh-Barnea. They could have gone into the Promised Land back then, but fear and unbelief prevented them (see Numbers 13 & 14, 32:7-13).

God was telling them they could go in to take the land. God's power and blessing was right there to bring them into the land. But, you see, their fear and their unbelief kept them out. They were afraid to enter in, and that whole generation perished in the wilderness.

The difference with these who were at Jericho was the strong and great faith that was in their hearts. You've got to have faith in this walk with God. You have to have faith to do exploits with God. No matter what you do, it's always going to take faith. Faith is the key.

Notice where God said there would be seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. Now, there's got to be something about blowing those horns. Can you blow large rocks out of the wall with trumpets? Did you ever hear of someone being killed by a trumpet? How do these trumpets have a part?

Seven priests. That's a good number, but God doesn't play the numbers. Seven is just a perfect number that God uses over and over. It's a number which adds up to something with Him.

(Why so many sevens in the book of Revelation? Why the sevens here in Joshua? In this verse alone, we find seven priests, seven trumpets, the seventh day, and seven times.)

Is there anything in this fourth verse which gives insight into how they did it, or was God working through many things that day to bring forth this victory?

Joshua 6:5
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

It's all going to come to a crescendo when the right signal is given. Then this army, which has been silently marching around the city all these times, will lift up their voices and shout.

What do they have to shout about? Is it the shout that brings salvation to someone? Does the shout heal the sick? No, it's more than that. But they were to shout that day, so it must have been part of bringing the victory.

Learn that there is nothing foolish about what God does. He isn't playing games. This is war! And this is war on God's terms. This is war where God will intervene. They'll know they had nothing to do with it when those big stones begin to fall.

Now, they hadn't started as yet. Up to this point, this is all part of getting ready.

I want to know how to do this because someday I might go out there and meet head on with a great stone wall that needs to be pulled down. I'm glad I can turn back to the book of Joshua and see if there isn't something I could use from there.

If God sends the help you need, He'll send enough; and, I suppose, there may also be some extra. You won't want for help if God is going to fight the battle for you.

Joshua 6:5
And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Here's the battle plan: When they all shouted, the walls would fall down flat. The thing the adversary was hiding behind for safety would be gone. The city walls they were depending on were going to suddenly be taken right out, like pulling the rug out from under them.

Can God do this? Yes, He surely can! The walls would fall down flat and Joshua's army would go forward — just as God said they would.

God's Presence Goes Before the Army

Joshua 6:6
And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.

The ark was going to be out there in this process. It worked well over there in the river, didn't it? The priests merely stepped into the water, and the water was cut off and stood in an heap. As long as the ark was out there in the midst of Jordan, no water could come down. The ark represented the presence of the Lord: He was the one who was holding those waters back.

Joshua 6:7-10
And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.

And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rearward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.

All these people are going to march around the city, and nobody is to say a word. They would silently march around the city each day until the day Joshua bids them shout.

How do you get some people to keep their mouths shut long enough to give God a chance?

This was part of the maneuver: to keep quiet. Why keep quiet? Hey, God's on the scene! God is working! This is not a time for talking. These men were getting ready to bring a wall down.

A Time to Believe

This is a time for believing — a time to believe that what we're doing is of God, and we're going to see those walls come down!

You notice that Joshua didn't say anything about angels. He's telling his people what to do and how they were to march. But what about the angels?

The angels weren't Joshua's army. There was a captain over those angels; they had their own leader over them. And you can't imagine all the power some of those angels have behind the scenes. Angels were created of God and are given great power. Look at the power they have in the book of Revelation!

Who could stand against even one of these angels?

So Joshua isn't in charge here. He's made a lot of plans. God told him what his part would be. His men were warriors; they carried swords and spears as they went to battle. Yet, it was God who would move to get the victory.

Joshua 6:11-13
So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rearward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

That's their procedure, their battle plan.

We're seeing here how God could work to help, how God could fight in the battle, doing His part. And that's what would altogether make the difference.

Joshua 6:14
And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.

The sixth day is finished! Tomorrow would be the big day. Everything was going to be keyed up that day — not keyed up with emotions, but keyed up with faith. They're going to believe. They know when those walls are going to come down. They know when God is going to move. They know when the battle is going to be won.

So they know what to expect. They know that on that seventh time around on the seventh day this thing is going to happen. They've already been told what they would see — if they obeyed God and did what He had told them to do.

It's nice to know in advance. If you had such a knowledge of victory in advance, nothing would seem to be able to hinder your faith. Your faith would be just perfect, up there to where you say it's on fire in your heart.

And here's this entire army, all believing for the same miracle. It was told them (verse 5) that those walls were going to come down flat. They knew what to expect.

So they've gone around there six days, and here is the seventh and final day:

Joshua 6:15
And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.

Joshua got his troops out of bed early that morning. It hadn't been an all day job to go around the city once a day, but today they were going to walk around it seven times.

If we thought about this in spiritual terms, we would have to consider the reasoning behind this going around seven times this final day. It must have been a real faith builder to those who participated, knowing the victory was coming.

People of Faith and Obedience

Joshua 6:16
And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.

You know what they haven't done during all this time when they walked around those walls? Nobody talked; nobody shouted. But the time has come! It's about time!

They sound like a spiritual people. They sound like a people whom Joshua wasn't having any trouble with. We don't find him reprimanding them. We don't find any of them having to be put in prison for awhile. No, they're an obedient people.

Joshua 6:16
And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.

Everything that's supposed to happen should happen right now! Can't afford to miss this! All the faith that's been keyed up: faith down here around the wall, and fear up there on the wall. "Why are they doing this to our city? What's been going on down there?" They're about to find out what's been going on!

Joshua 6:17
And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

The spies had promised Rahab that she and all in her house would be spared, and they didn't forget their promise. She had protected them when they came in to spy out the land, and this was the promise given her in return. If any would be spared, they had to be in her house when this happens.

Joshua 6:20
So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

Now, when did this thing happen? After the priests blew the trumpets and word had gone out that it was time to shout. When they shouted, then the walls fell down flat.

Is there anything in the shout? Does the shout have any part in this? They were silent all those days — and now they're shouting. These soldiers who had been marching around the city went up over the ruins of the wall. They were ready for this. They were armed, and they conquered the city quickly.

Could you imagine seeing a sight like that before your eyes? They called it a wonder over there when God stopped the river. What do you call it over here when the walls fell down flat?

Over there at the river, God began to magnify Joshua in the eyes of the people. Moses was gone, and Joshua had taken over the leadership of that great host of people. And here is the second great wonder that has taken place.

I wonder what these others did, this army that was unseen! I wonder what those angels really did that day. What part did they really play there? We don't see anything, but they were there. I think we see a picture of faith brought up high in the hearts of these people. They believed God that those walls would fall down flat.

God Expects Faith

This was the thing that troubled God at Kadesh-Barnea. Back there, God said, "How long before this people believe Me?"

They provoked Him ten times to anger. They were filled with unbelief. They had seen all the signs and wonders that God had worked for them from Egypt out to there, but they were still full of unbelief.

How long before this people believe Me? Could there be a message in that phrase? What is God looking for? What does He expect? What did He expect of the children of Israel at that point?

He expected that they would believe Him to take them in and conquer the land. God would have done what He did here at Jericho. He would have gone in with them. Surely, His power would have broken the yoke, would have destroyed the enemy.

But they just couldn't believe God.

Faith is such a strong force, and unbelief is another strong force. Faith can lift you higher and higher, while unbelief can drag you down lower and lower. It can keep you from being blessed, keep the good things out of your hands, because you don't believe God. You've got to believe God!

Did it pay to shout? Why did they have to wait until that last moment? God would show Himself capable of taking the sound of that shout and smashing every stone in those great walls.

How do these miracles work? I think if we could see what these angels were doing, we'd see a tremendous, tremendous power at work. God got what He wanted that day.

What was it that God wanted? He wanted His people to believe Him. That's what He wanted: to believe Him; not just believe in Him, not just believe that He is, but to believe Him. It comes down to the point where you either believe God from your heart or you doubt God.

Today, let's believe God. Let's mortify any doubt that's in our heart. Let's bring ourselves to that place to say that what God speaks and promises He is well able to perform.

You know that, don't you? If God could bring down the walls of Jericho, God can do anything by His might and His power. There's nothing too hard for the Lord.

Somebody said, "If we had a large crowd, then maybe . . ." Listen, you don't need a great big anything! You've got a great big God, and when it gets right down to it, that's ample. Let's fight the good fight of faith and be quick to believe what God has said.

That's where I stand. I stand in believing what God has said.

Stand Up and Fight!

Got to fight, though. I haven't come to the place where I see the adversary has given up fighting. He's fought us tooth and nail, trying hard to turn aside the Word of the Lord. He's tried to see if he could frustrate us to give up and say, "Oh, well!"

No, you can't give up. Sometimes, in the battle, you have to get up and fight back. You can't just sit there. Get up and fight!

Are you putting any fight into it?

To many the fight is, "Oh, the devil's really fighting! Oh, I feel such a pressure!"

That's what the devil's doing. Now tell me what you're doing! It's easy to tell what the devil's doing. If you feel the fight of the devil, know something deep in your heart: there's a reason for that fight. There's something he's trying to hinder and stop.

We've got to stand in our faith. Do you complain when the devil fights, or do you fight back? If the devil is fighting and you're feeling the pressure, why don't you put some pressure on him?

Can you put pressure on the devil? You'd better believe you can. You can put pressure on him with the Word of God. You can put pressure on him with prayer. Take the sword of the Spirit and let him have it: "God said . . ." It isn't what you have to say; it's what God has said!

The devil knows when you stand on God's Word. There's nothing much he can do. When you're anchored in Jesus and standing firm, he knows he's not going to be able to drive you from that place. You belong there.

Sometimes, you have to be firm. You can sit down and take it or rise up and serve him notice. Don't let him hinder you in your prayer closet. Don't give him place there.

We've got to stand and be firm — and we've got to be faithful.

Jericho crumbled, didn't it? Could you imagine the shivers of fear that gripped those people? News of that was soon to spread all over the countryside — not only how Israel had walked across Jordan into the land, but what happened when they marched around Jericho and the walls fell down flat.

"All our defenses have been taken away! What are we going to do?" That would scare the whole nation. When did an army ever come into town in this manner? Who ever fought like they did? Who ever had might like this?

Faith Comes by Hearing

I like this, don't you? I like stories like this. If this doesn't stir your faith, wake up! Do you hear what God did? Can you see what God did? How that ought to stir faith.

Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

If you want to know what this Scripture means, read Joshua 6 again. Faith came by hearing what God had to say, and that's exactly what we ought to be doing.

Faith comes by hearing: "If my God could do all of this, if my God could show Himself so strong in behalf of His people, what am I troubled about? Why am I worrying?"

God can do things fast and quick. Yes, God can do things so suddenly (yet, at other times He lets things run their course).

Faithfully Believe and Obey

A seven day maneuver. Why did they do all that walking? What did that have to do with the walls coming down? It had everything to do with it!

What about the shout? That had everything to do with it. In fact, everything they did had something to do with it.

They were merely obeying God! Believing God! Faithfully doing what they were instructed to do.

Yes, they did what God had said, and it worked! They did what God had said they should do, and God did what He said He would do. If anybody glories, let him glory in the Lord (see I Corinthians 1:31). It's not, "Look what we did!" It's, "Look what God did!"

printer iconPrint Sermon (printable version)  |  Back to Text Sermon Menu

↑ Top  |   Home Page  |   What's New!  |   Audio Sermons  |   Text Sermons  |   Bible Studies  |   Last Days Material  |   Contact Us