Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge

Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge

by Dudley Rutherford

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Overview

Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge by Dudley Rutherford

Hope for those up-against-the-wall moments in your life

The secrets to overcoming any obstacle you are facing today are revealed through one of the most extraordinary victories ever recorded—the battle of Jericho. Whatever walls you may be up against, you don’t have to stay stuck behind them.

Enlightening and encouraging, Walls Fall Down tells how Joshua and the Israelites followed God’s unusual plan to walk around the heavily fortified walls of Jericho for seven days. The Lord promised that at end of those seven days, He would cause the walls of the famed city to fall, allowing His people to take possession of the Promised Land. Seven spiritual principles are in this story, and they are available to you today.

Join pastor Dudley Rutherford on a seven-day journey to discover how the foundation behind Joshua’s victory is the key to overcoming our stubborn hurdles and unsolvable issues. When we choose to do things God’s way, walls crumble, victory replaces defeat, and a blessed future unfolds. Discover how your personal Jericho is no match for the power of a great God.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400206032
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 09/09/2014
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 576,320
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dudley Rutherford is the senior pastor of the 10,000-member Shepherd Church, which the mayor of Los Angeles has called “the most racially diverse church in Los Angeles.” Dudley, his wife, Renee, and their three children reside in Northridge, California. His other published works are God Has an App for That, Unleashed: The Church Turning the World Upside Down, Romancing Royalty, and Proverbs in a Haystack.

Read an Excerpt

Walls Fall Down

7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge


By Dudley Rutherford

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2014 Dudley Rutherford
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4002-0603-2



CHAPTER 1

DAY ONE


SHRINKING THE WALL

Focus on the power of your Lord, not the size of your problem.

I imagine it may have happened something like this ...


The Israelites wandered around the camp like zombies, a vacant gaze in their eyes as they went about their mundane tasks. If you looked closely at their faces, you would see the trails where tears had etched through the desert dust that had settled on their skin. The Israelites had wept and mourned the death of Moses for thirty days, and now their tears had run dry.

After surveying this group of disheartened men and women, Joshua disappeared into his tent and felt the weight of the entire community upon his shoulders.

"They're looking to you, Joshua," a voice said from a dim corner of the tent.

An intruder, perhaps from the nearby Hittite clan. How did this person know Joshua's name? How could he have infiltrated their company unnoticed? In an instant, Joshua was ready to fight for his life. He lunged for his sword as the figure stood and moved toward the light.

"Caleb, you startled me!" Joshua exclaimed, setting down his weapon and gripping his chest.

"I'm sorry, my friend." Caleb chuckled and placed his hand on Joshua's shoulder.

"How can you laugh at a time like this?" Joshua said.

"The days of mourning have come to an end," Caleb replied. He looked earnestly into his friend's deep-set eyes.

"Moses is dead," said Joshua, pausing as he contemplated the gravity of his statement. "You were right when you said that the people are looking to me now, but how can I dream of being all that Moses was to these men and women?"

"Joshua, you were by Moses' side as his aide from the days of your youth, learning from him. If anyone can—"

"There will never be another prophet like him among us. Ever," Joshua asserted. "The Lord sent him to do miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt. He led us out of that oppressive country. He displayed the mighty power of God in our midst. Now Moses is gone, and who am I?"

Caleb looked at Joshua with compassion. The two friends had always possessed the same indomitable spirit, the same intrepid nature. Many years earlier when Joshua and Caleb were much younger, Moses sent them out to explore Canaan, the land God had promised to His people. The ten men who had accompanied Joshua and Caleb in their reconnaissance mission were afraid and couldn't see beyond the strength and size of the Canaanites or the tough fortification of the city. Upon their return, the ten gave a negative report to the rest of the Israelites, causing fear and panic to spread throughout the entire community. The people wanted to choose a new leader and return to Egypt where they had been enslaved for so many years.

But Caleb and Joshua stood together courageously and declared to everyone in the assembly,

The land we passed through and explored Is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, He will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.


It was a Braveheart moment—a scene right out of the movies. But instead of the people cheering with approval after Joshua and Caleb's speech, they threatened to stone them. That's when God stepped in. As His glory appeared suddenly at the tent of meeting, the lord vowed that no one over the age of twenty who had grumbled against Him would enter the promised land except for Joshua and Caleb. So the Israelites wandered through the wilderness for forty years until every last rebellious person had died.

Now the two faithful comrades were on the cusp of finally realizing a dream that had been long deferred. Together they had withstood doubters, defectors, and angry mobs. But today Caleb sensed that years of heartache and hardship had shaken the confidence his friend once possessed.

"Joshua," Caleb began slowly, "before Moses died, he blessed you in the presence of all of Israel. He told you to be strong and courageous because you must go with this people into the promised land and divide it among them as their inheritance. Moses said, 'The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.'"

These words were like medicine to Joshua's soul and seemed to awaken him from his sorrowful daze. "Thank you, Caleb," Joshua replied. "I had become so focused on Moses' absence and whether or not I was fit to take his place in leading this people through the great challenges before us."

"Yet it's not about the people or the problem," Caleb said. "It's not about Moses, and it's not about you. Everyone and everything is diminished in light of God's surpassing greatness. I just wanted to remind you of that, my friend."

And as abruptly as he had appeared in Joshua's tent, Caleb was gone, ducking under the open flap and disappearing into the crowded camp.

Soon after, Joshua received another unexpected and much-needed exhortation when the Lord spoke to him for the first time—His words filling the whole atmosphere and pushing out of sight every worry that Joshua previously had entertained. Suddenly Joshua felt incredibly small. Ashamed that he had allowed his own insecurities to take his focus off of God's greatness, Joshua fell on his face in reverence and listened intently.

The Lord said to him, "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them."

A few days later, as Joshua looked out toward the promised land, God spoke to him again, saying, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men."

He instructed Joshua to have the priests and the armed men march around the city for seven days. Then God would cause the monstrous walls to collapse before them, enabling His people to conquer Jericho as well as the other cities composing the region He swore to give their ancestors. Although Joshua didn't know how this would be possible, he knew that the Lord's greatness could accomplish any task, of any size, in any way. Ready to step out in faith and into the role of leadership Yahweh had given him, Joshua made his way over to the children of Israel to give them the plan of action.


* * *

Wherever you are and whatever you might be going through, I'm sure your heart is about as heavy as Joshua's must have been after his beloved mentor, Moses, passed away. We know Moses was God's mediator to the people of Israel; he was esteemed as a wise leader and a doer of miracles. So when this highly revered man died, his successor, Joshua, had not only big sandals to fill but also big obstacles to overcome.

The overwhelming task set before Joshua was to lead a company of priests and soldiers to conquer a city encompassed by impenetrable walls and inhabited by mighty men—giants, actually. In order to truly grasp the enormity of Joshua's problem, it's important for us to take a quick look at the hardships the Israelites endured leading up to this important battle.

You see, the Israelites had been enslaved and oppressed by the pharaoh and the Egyptians for more than four hundred years. That's longer than the United States of America has been a nation. But the Lord used Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, and He promised to give them a flourishing land of their own.

As they traveled to the promised land—a journey that should have taken no more than ten days—God's people quickly fell back into a life of sin and immorality (Deut. 1:2). So instead of expeditiously reaching their destination, they ended up wandering around the wilderness for forty years. Someone once suggested that the reason the Israelites wandered for so long is that the men wouldn't stop and ask for directions. All jokes aside, it's no laughing matter when God disciplines His children. Proverbs 3:12 says that, like a good father, "the Lord disciplines those he loves." Depending on our responses, that road to correction can be short, or it can be long and arduous.

For the Israelites, the journey to the promised land ended up costing a lifetime of joy because of their doubt and disobedience. An entire generation missed out on the blessings the Lord had prepared for them. He had delivered His people from their oppressors, but within a short period of time they forgot about the Lord, and they began to follow idols. Instead of honoring and trusting God, they doubted, grumbled, and complained. So He allowed the Israelites to drift aimlessly across a vast desert for forty years.


BIG OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME

Once that long season of discipline was over, and after the disobedient generation had passed away, God gave His people the green light to reach Canaan. This was the promised land—a region "flowing with milk and honey" and possessing everything anyone could ever want or hope for (Ex. 3:8). After four hundred years in slavery and four decades in the desert, the Israelites were finally on its doorstep.

But there was just one last Herculean obstacle in their path: the heavily secured city of Jericho. Jericho was the gateway into the promised land. If the Israelites could somehow conquer this city, the rest would fall like carefully stacked dominos. Here's why:

From their camp at Gilgal near the Jordan River the Israelites could see steep hills to the west. Jericho controlled the way of ascent into these mountains, and Ai, another fortress, stood at the head of the ascent. If the Israelites were to capture the hill country they must certainly take Jericho and Ai. This would put them on top of the hill country and in control of the central ridge, having driven a wedge between the northern and southern sections of Canaan. Israel could then engage the armies of the south in battle followed by the more remote enemy in the north. But first, Jericho must fall—and it would if Joshua and the people followed the Lord's plan of action.

Jericho's fortitude was famed; its resources were renowned. A beautiful oasis in the midst of an otherwise barren desert, Jericho benefited from natural irrigation from the Jordan River and from the underground tributaries of the Central Mountains. Its beauty and location made Jericho ideal for trade and exchanging communication with neighboring cities. Natural defenses such as Mount Nebo to the east, the Central Mountains to the west, and the Dead Sea directly south discouraged foreign invaders.

Besides all that, not one but two colossal walls surrounded Jericho. The first was a twenty-six-foot-high mud-brick wall that sat on top of a twelve- to fifteen-foot-high retaining wall at the base of an earthen embankment. The second was another twenty-six-foot-high mud-brick wall at the crest of the embankment, which placed it at about forty-six feet above ground level. (See Figure 1.)

According to Joshua 6:1, these walls also featured securely barred gates to prevent anyone from coming in or out. Any way we look at it, to defeat Jericho would have been beyond the Israelites' wildest imaginations. It seemed to be an impossible obstacle.

But none of that mattered, because God is infinitely bigger than any wall or obstruction. He gave His people unusual instructions for Jericho's defeat, and He assured their victory. After announcing that He had already delivered the entire city into the hands of His people, the Lord instructed the priests and armed men to march around the city once a day for six consecutive days. Seven priests were to carry trumpets made of rams' horns as they walked in front of the ark of the covenant. Then God said:

On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in. (Josh. 6:4—5)


HOW DID JERICHO FALL?

I believe this notable city met its ultimate demise because a group of faithful men and women placed their focus and trust on the greatness of their God rather than the size of their problem. If the Israelites had relied solely on their physical sight, they would have been overwhelmed by the long list of impressive statistics that, on paper, made Jericho appear undefeatable. They could have spent every moment of their march around the city staring at how huge, how tall, how strong, how well made, and how unyielding the walls were. And if that's where their gaze had remained, they would have failed to take possession of the promised land.

Instead, the Israelites used their spiritual eyes to grasp God's greatness and to trust that He had already given them victory as He had promised. Likewise, when you and I are in the midst of a trial or storm, we have a choice about what we focus on. We tend to stare at the problem, but the longer we stare at the problem, the larger the problem becomes, causing us to feel hopeless and depressed. It's the same as a stack of past-due bills and creditors knocking at your door when you have no money. It weighs on you. And it begins to seem as though there's no way out.

Those who were afflicted with leprosy in biblical times must have felt this same kind of desperation when they looked at their awful sores and thought they would never be healed. Or Peter, who, when beckoned to walk with Jesus upon the water, took his eyes off of his Savior and began to sink beneath the tumultuous waves that surrounded him. Or the followers of Christ who saw Him nailed to the cross, the weight of sin on His shoulders. It's the all-is-lost moment in every riveting film—when it seems that the protagonist has hit rock bottom and there is no hope in sight.

What choice do we have when it appears as though help is completely out of reach? The writer of Psalm 121 told us in verses one through four:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.


At any moment during your trial or struggle, you can choose to shift your focus from the mountain to the Maker of the mountain. Today, I encourage you to put your faith in a God who does not rest, who desires to help you, and who is bigger than any obstacle you are facing.


YOUR WALLS CAN FALL

God can and will make the walls fall down in your own personal Jericho, and the first step in accomplishing this feat hinges upon your ability to grasp His greatness. Even though it may appear that you have every disadvantage in this journey, you must set your sights on the greatness of God. Don't look at the walls that stand in your way, or you will falter and quite possibly fail. Though you may fight fear and doubt with each step you take, keep walking around those walls with your eyes fixed on the One who has the power to flatten them with a single word from His mouth.

In reading the details of the Battle of Jericho in Joshua 6, take special note of the first verse, which reads, "Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in." A notoriously strong city was entirely shut up. It was quiet. The gates were securely barred. Not a single person was allowed to come in or out. Why was that? We discover the reason in Joshua 2:1—11 when two Israelite spies went into Jericho to survey the kingdom. A prostitute named Rahab hid the Israelite spies on her rooftop, and this is what she said to them:

A great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. 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 Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone's courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. (vv. 9—11)


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Walls Fall Down by Dudley Rutherford. Copyright © 2014 Dudley Rutherford. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: Setting the Stage, xiii,
DAY 1: SHRINKING THE WALL Focus on the power of your Lord, not the size of your problem, 1,
DAY 2: AN UNCONVENTIONAL PLAN Trust in God's plan even when it doesn't make sense, 33,
DAY 3: MAKE IT A HOLY EXERCISE See the supernatural in all situations, 65,
DAY 4: A CULTURE OF LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE Surround yourself with other believers committed to the same goal, 99,
DAY 5: THE DISCIPLINE OF CONSISTENCY Keep putting one foot in front of the other; you 're almost there!, 131,
DAY 6: OBEDIENCE BRINGS THE BLESSINGS Follow God's instructions every step of the way, 161,
DAY 7: THE PERFECT NUMBER Get ready for a season of joy!, 191,
EPILOGUE The journey continues, 221,
Author's Note, 223,
Acknowledgments, 224,
Notes, 226,
About the Author, 235,

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Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walls Fall Down is a practical walk through the book of Joshua aiming to help readers find a way through their trials and to encourage them along the way.  With great storytelling - a couple of which are of individuals I know personally - we have the opportunity to see, in hindsight, God's faithfulness through these individuals' real life struggles.  Buy this book and be encouraged!
PastorFred More than 1 year ago
I am blessed to be serving on the pastoral staff at Pastor Rutherford's church and have been listening to him preach and teach since 2003. I am so glad that he is putting some of these memorable and invaluable lessons in print. This book provides a practical way to apply biblical principals to tackle life's big problems. His writing is clear and concise and his illustrations are engaging and memorable. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the curveballs that life throws us. Every problem has a spiritual dimension and Pastor Rutherford sheds light on how we can come to grips with that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've read all year. I was immediately drawn in by the opening of each chapter, which is a short story that imagines what the battle of Jericho in the Bible would have been like for the people involved.....Joshua, Rahab, the soldiers, the priests, etc. I found myself not wanting the narrative to end. But I was very glad to find that the main section of the book delivered and kept up the engaging pace of the opening stories. The author, Dudley Rutherford, shares practical wisdom about victory, hope, and perseverance via seven principles he derived from God's instructions to the Israelites in order to bring down the walls of Jericho. I highlighted and underlined so many quotes and sections of the book! So much practical advice given in a fresh way. I got the book for several family members who are going through difficult times right now. I hope it will bless and encourage them as much as it did for me.
gistock More than 1 year ago
I know it is excellent! Everything that Pastor has released has been excellent. I am so proud that he is such a man of God. I bought this book a month ago waiting for this moment.