BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHESBy: Darrelyn L. Tutt"Now Jericho was straightly shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out and none came in. And the Lord said unto Joshua, 'See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 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 priests shall blow with the trumpets. 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."Joshua 6:1-5*Today's Read: Joshua 6; Isaiah 31-------Dost thou have a Jericho before thee?Does thou find the way hard, difficult, and shut up?Dost thou feel the threat of the enemy's opposition directly?Then thou must take thy "Jericho" before the Lord.Men do not suffer defeat for lack of force but for lack of faith.------Jericho stood in her pride and arrogance encapsulated by sturdy walls of defense and mobilized by measured men of success, who deemed themselves and their city impenetrable and invulnerable.With a cry of "Batten down the hatches,"The men of Jericho sealed the city off from outward threat and secured the comings and goings of the dwellers within.Israel was on the march and, like a wool sweater on a hot day, she made Jericho itch, twitch, and curse under their breath.She was getting closer to their city, inching toward her "Promised Land";Undaunted in her quest and expression of realizing a final hope and resting place from the Lord.It wasn't that she, herself, appeared a force so strong; It was the "God" who stood in her midst that made for the trembling.Of Him ... Men wondered, puzzled, and stood on guard.Would the walls be strong enough to stand against Israel's God?------Hmmm ...Let men do what they will;God shall have the final say in His preordained way with the Jericho contenders.God's strategy doesn't require the force, size, or strength of men;It rests supremely and entirely on the unrelinquished sheer, sure force of His glory.And of His might, dominion, and power there shall be no end."Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goes forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is; which keepeth truth forever."Psalm 146:3-6------Israel performed a "Seven Day March" as prescribed by God around the "impenetrable Jericho" and she witnessed the fall and frailty of her enemy on the seventh day as God had promised.She surveyed the ruins while being, herself, protected from ruin, and she took of that great city a "chosen one" plus her family;A woman named Rahab (a believing harlot).Does it get any better?------Hmmm ...The individuals who march around their "Jericho's" in prayer and circle it "seven times over" with the prevailing power of God's sufficiency at work within shall surely prevail.The power of God is not threatened by the pretended and projected power of men.Indeed, God laughs at the men who attempt to "batten down the hatches" against His elect.God's charge and His promise remain:The battle belongs to the Lord ...And He shall triumph gloriously.Keep circling your "Jericho" in prayer.The walls will collapse as you are faithfully employed and sustained by the provision and promise of God.See the fickle walls of man fall flat;And give glory to the faithful God of Israel.------Three Study Considerations:1) What is your Jericho?Record concretely on paper the name of it and begin to circle the "city" in prayer.Ask God to provide you with a specific number of days and a prescribed promise of His word to pray around it and commit yourself to its undertaking ... even after.2) Begin each "circling of prayer" with open confession and transparent meaningful communnion with God. Ask Him to speak to you about heavy matters on your heart.3) Record daily what you see, hear, and witness God doing.I cannot emphasize this particular point enough.In doing so you will witness a steady discourse of God at work through prayer and you will be energized and refreshed in your faith.Study Joshua 6 and Isaiah 31 ...Get after it.-----
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