Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out and none came in and the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand with its’ king and mighty men of valor.” Oh, I love these two verses. Just get the scene.
Here’s Joshua on the outskirts of Jericho, this massive city with its massive walls all around it. And Joshua was trying to think through “how are we going to take this city?” And God comes to him. Jericho is shut up inside and outside… How are we going to take this city? And the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given Jericho into your hand with its’ king and mighty men of valor.” Now, if you’re about to go into battle, that’s pretty good news to hear from God.
Before they even stepped foot toward the city, God guaranteed victory.
God just said, the battle is already won. Before they even stepped foot toward the city, God guaranteed victory. Now there’s a ton more we could talk about here, including the strategy that God devised for how to take that city, but I just want this picture in Joshua chapter six, verse two, to encourage you today.
I obviously don’t know what kind of battles you’re facing in your life. I don’t know all that you are going through. God does. And I can’t guarantee and God doesn’t guarantee in his word that this or that specific battle that you are facing, that it’s going to turn out this way or that way, but feel this: in the ultimate battle, in what ultimately matters, God has said exactly this to us: our battle with sin, our battle with evil, our battles with injustice, our battles with all sorts of things in this fallen world, we are guaranteed ultimately the victory.
All who trust in Jesus; know where the story is headed. We know where the end is and that’s with Jesus returning, and then his justice and his righteousness reigning in the world, and a new heaven and a new earth, where he will wipe every tear from our eyes, and sin and sorrow will be no more, and suffering and sickness and death will be no more. And every nation and tribe will gather around his throne, and we will give him glory, and we will enjoy him forever. The battle has already been won. Jesus has died on the cross. This is the gospel. He’s risen from the grave. He’s defeated sin and death. And we can know, no matter what smaller battles we face in this world, the ultimate battle is won. And that totally transforms our perspective on those other battles we face in this world, because we know we can trust in our God; that in the end, his justice, and his righteousness, and his love, and his mercy toward all who trusts in him will reign out.
So, God, we praise you for your promise. We praise you for your promise that all who trust in you, you’re working all things together for our good, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose and your purpose cannot be thwarted. Jesus, we praise you as the victor over sin and death. We praise you for your resurrection from the grave. We praise you for your ascension on high and for your coming return. We ask for your return. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. Bring and end to injustice and hurt and pain and suffering and sorrow and death. We pray, bring an end to it, and we praise you for the promise that you will. We trust in you today.
So God, help us, help me, help every single person, and whatever battles we may be facing walking through God. We pray that you would help us today, to trust in you, and your presence with us, and your promises to us, and your guarantee that in the end, you will have worked all things together for the good of those who love you and are called according to your purpose. We rest in your promise, in your power, in your victory. In God, we pray. We pray for the spread of this rest through our lives.
God, we pray you would help us to point others, today, to you as the victor, over sin and death We pray for people all around the world, for the Kewu people. We pray for these Tibetan Buddhist, God who don’t know the victory that’s found in Jesus. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel, to the Kewu and hundreds of other small people, groups like them in East Asia. God, we pray for the spread of your victory, for the spread of your grace, and your mercy, and the gospel through our lives, through our churches. God, we pray that you’d help us to live, to make your victory known even as we rest in your victory today. In Jesus’ name, we pray.