The Way of the Warrior Week 1 - The Warrior's Journey®

The Way of the Warrior Week 1

Author: Nathan Werner,

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

In the Old Testament, we see the Lord instructing Joshua at Jericho. Israelites were to circle the city and priests were to lead the way. Israel was now a formidable army, spirit-filled, and God led.  They were the Lord’s vanguard to accomplish impossible tasks. The priests were spirit-led people of faith who were fearless.

The focus of the 6th chapter of Joshua were the priests and the Ark of the covenant.  Ten times the Ark is mentioned and so too, ten times the priests are mentioned.  Just four times are ‘armed men’ mentioned. Remember, the Lord wants Joshua and the Israelites to see with the eyes of faith: And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor” (Jos. 6:2 ESV). Their faith wouldn’t change even if the Lord directed them to use circus tents and monkeys – Jericho would still fall.  But the Lord is insistent that they ‘see’ with faith.

Additionally, the inhabitants of the city were refusing to obey the Word of the Lord.  The people of Jericho know this was Israel’s God-given land and that they should give up their squatting privileges, since the owners have returned.  Rahab noted: “I know that the LORD has given you the land” (2:9). Additionally, the people of Jericho: “And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath”. (2:11). But for some stubborn reason, they decided to resist Lord of the Universe.  Not a good choice.

The Lord gives them six days to reconsider and when the seventh day comes, the hammer will fall.  The Lord extends grace to the people, offering them mercy, however there is a limit, and then it necessary for a Holy God to act justly.

The following verses are very sobering: “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. (6:17). But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction…(6:18). Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword” (6:21).  There is a cringe factor here, until one understands the reasons of a Holy God.

Why did every last person, except for Rahab and her family, have to die?

Remember the Lord states: “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” (Ezek. 18:32 ESV).  The premise of this verse is human choice, and the Lord even implores everyone to chose life. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9 ESV).  The people of Jericho, except Rahab and her family chose not to respond to what they already knew to be true.

This choice is for every human being.  The Lord does not choose damnation for people, he leaves the option to mankind.  People choose eternal punishment. The Lord offers the opposite to the people of Jericho, and they refused to their own loss.

Additionally, the loss of life for all who resist the Lord, provides future protection for Israel.  Don’t be fooled, the Lord knows the future, and sometimes ruthlessness in destroying an enemy in the present helps in the future.  In WW2, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was ruthless, yet it saved future lives. The Allies thought invasion of Japan could cost 1 million American lives, not including Japanese soldiers and civilians.

God is glorified in the display of His Wrath: In Romans 9 Paul asks the rhetorical question: “What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?” (Rom 9:22)

John MacArthur comments that in this section of Romans Paul “gives two reasons for, although not a complete explanation of, God’s allowing sin to enter and contaminate His universe. The Greek term behind willing is much stronger than this English word connotes. The Greek word carries the idea of determined intent, not indifferent or helpless acquiescence. First, Paul says, God determined to allow sin in His creation because it gave Him the opportunity to demonstrate His wrath. God is glorified in displaying His wrath, just as surely as in displaying His grace, because both of those attributes, along with all the others, comprise His divine nature and character, which are perfectly and permanently self-consistent and are worthy of adoration and worship. Even God’s anger, vengeance, and retribution poured out on sinners are glorious, because they display His majestic holiness.” (MacArthur, J: Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos).

This comes as a shock to unbelievers, that the Lord wants his attributes to be known, even the ones that seem to trouble them – like his wrath.  The Lord is not a syrupy sweet construct, a romantic view of how a god should look. His actual attributes are jarring at times, because he is holy.  Holiness governs his love. Yet he does love.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. (Isa. 57:15 ESV)

I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and requite him with comfort, (57:18)

Three truths come forth

  1. It is surprising that the lofty One whose name is Holy dwells with crushed and humble saints.
  2. It is not compromising when the lofty One whose name is Holy dwells with crushed and humble saints.
  3. It is healing when the lofty One whose name is Holy dwells with crushed and humble saints.


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