The Great Prostitute - Ann Arbor Free Methodist Church

Those Who Believe
A Sermon by Pastor R. D. Johnson
Preached at the Ann Arbor, MI Free Methodist Church
Scripture Text:
Joshua 6
February 12, 2012
Sermon #0289
Besides Jerusalem, Jericho is the most excavated city in the region. So much has been
learned in the last 100 years about the remains of that great city. Considered to be one of the
oldest cities in the world – with archeological finds dating back almost 10,000 years, Jericho
at the time that Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land was a greatly fortified city.
Jericho was fortified by two walls. The outer wall (including its retaining wall (12-15ft) was
20-25 feet tall and 6 feet thick. The inner wall was over 10 feet tall and 12 feet thick with
houses built right into it.
Considering its fortification and the details of the attack given in Joshua chapter 6, most
people tend to think of Jericho as a very large city. For its time it was, however that city was
only 9 acres in size!
This is an aerial view of the excavation site of the ancient city of Jericho. The outer wall
encompassed an area of about 9 acres (about ½ mile in circumference) and the inner wall
encompassed about 6 acres. With an archeological estimate of about 200 people per acre,
Jericho was a city of about 1200-1800 people.
In addition, it is likely that people from the surrounding area were held up inside the city at
this time for protection from the Israelites. Jericho’s fortification was built to withstand a
siege of up to a year. This would mean there were between 2000 and 3000 people in the city
when the Israelites laid siege for 7 days.
There is some controversy over the number of fighting men in Israel based on the translation
of a particular word that literally means ‘Thousand’, but that some scholars believe at the
time was used as a military unit, meaning Israel had 40 units (perhaps 4-8 thousand men) -vs40,000 fighting men. Most believe it was between 10-20 thousand fighting Israelites.
20,000 to 2,000 were good odds in Israel’s favor, but it was only possible to take the city if
the walls we gone. So God gave Joshua the plan…
The Lord Has Given You the City
Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went
out, and none came in. – Joshua 6:1
God told them to have 7 priests blowing trumpets and marching the ark of the covenant in
front of all the men of war around the city once a day for 6 days.
 This is the intimidation factor – wearing down the enemy who would not be able to
On the seventh day they would circle the city 7 times.
And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the
trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall
down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him. – Joshua 6:5
So they did as the Lord commanded and Joshua commanded the people to remain completely
silent until the day he would tell them to shout.
The plan was insane!
But they followed it without question. As the song from Veggie Tails goes, “Keep walking,
but you wont knock down our wall. Keep walking, but she isn’t gonna fall! It’s plain to see
that your brains are very small to think walking will be knocking down our wall!”
But this is where belief comes in. The people trusted God – and what God says goes. There’s
a bumper sticker that says “God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it” It not a good
saying because what God says isn’t conditional on your believing it! It should read, “God
said it, and that’s the end of it. I believe it”
That being said, belief means nothing without action. Thomas Fuller once said, “He does not
believe who does not live according to his belief.” Meaning if you aren’t doing something
about it, then you don’t really believe it. Belief requires an obedient response.
If you aren’t following Christ and being obedient to what He commands, then you don’t
really believe Him. The Israelites were being obedient to a plan that made absolutely no
sense. Perhaps the marching would scare the people of Jericho, but at the end of the day, the
walls were still there. But two miracles occurred when they were obedient:
And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the
people, "Shout, for the LORD has given you the city. And the city and all that is within it
shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are
with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent.
– Joshua 6:16-17
The Walls Fell Flat!
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the
sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that
the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.
– Joshua 6:20
The first of the two Miracles is this:
 Some archeologists see signs of an earthquake that toppled the walls.
 The outer wall fell out and created a ramp up the 12 foot retainer wall [SLIDE]
It wasn’t their trumpets, or their shouting, or the fear within the city that dropped the wall
into place to allow them to climb up into the city, and even if it was an earthquake, it was
God who timed it, and God who build the ramp with the fallen pieces of wall.
And there was a second miracle that day that proves that God saves those who believe.
Rahab’s Family Was Saved in Her House on the Wall
Question: How did Rahab and her family survive?
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city
wall, so that she lived in the wall. – Joshua 2:15
The German excavation of 1907–1909 found that on the north a short stretch of the lower
city wall did not fall as everywhere else. A portion of that mudbrick wall was still standing to
a height of over two meters (eight feet). What is more, there were houses built against the
wall! It is quite possible that this is where Rahab’s house was.
From Answers in Genesis (
If it was an earthquake God used to knock down the walls, He was at the same time holding
that small piece of the wall where Rahab lived in place. Her belief responded by hanging the
red chord from her window and bringing her family into her house before the seventh day.
God SAVES ALL those who believe!
But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua
saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom
Joshua sent to spy out Jericho. – Joshua 6:25
There CAN be miracles when you believe.
 The Philippian Jailer asked Paul & Silas, “What must I do to be saved?”
They said, “Believe…..”