The historical record of the Battle of Jericho teaches us important spiritual lessons about the Days of Unleavened Bread: Our release from bondage to sin, achieving victory over sin.
Introduction: The historical record of the Battle of Jericho teaches us important spiritual lessons about the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Our release from bondage to sin
Achieving victory over sin
The Battle of Jericho occurs over the 7 days of Unleavened Bread
Joshua 5:2-8 Joshua 5:2-8  At that time the LORD said to Joshua, Make you sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.
 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.
 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that were born in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.
 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people that were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: to whom the LORD swore that he would not show them the land, which the LORD swore to their fathers that he would give us, a land that flows with milk and honey.
 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.
 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they stayed in their places in the camp, till they were whole.
American King James Version×They were circumcised in preparation for the Passover
Joshua 5:10-12 Joshua 5:10-12  And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
 And they did eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow after the passover, unleavened cakes, and parched corn in the selfsame day.
 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
American King James Version×They observed the Passover and began eating unleavened bread
Joshua 6:1-5 Joshua 6:1-5  Now Jericho was straightly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
 And the LORD said to Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.
 And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shall you do six days.
 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day you 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 you 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.
American King James Version×Instructions to march around the city 7 days
Why was Israel going to attack and destroy Jericho?
As we have just read, the battle of Jericho took place after the observance of the Passover on the 14th day. And to truly understand why and how Israel ended up here on the west side of the Jordan ready to attack the city of Jericho with its very thick, very high, guarded walls and fortified gate… we have to go back to the first Passover that took place back in Egypt.
Israel was Redeemed from Slavery to Serve God
Exodus 3:10-12 Exodus 3:10-12  Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
 And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
 And he said, Certainly I will be with you; and this shall be a token to you, that I have sent you: When you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.
American King James Version×God was going to redeem them from their slavery and servitude… so that they could serve Him.
God was going to remove Israel from their service as slaves to the Egyptian Pharaoh (or state). From now on God would be their king… He would feed them, provide them with clothing, He would give them a home… the promised land. But God would do much more than take care of their physical needs… He would be their lawgiver and teacher!
Egypt does not give up without a fight. God does battle with the Egyptians unleashing terrible plagues that not only bring them to their knees but show His power and authority over all the things that their supposed god’s ruled… the supposed god of the Nile, the supposed god of the sky etc. Finally, he unleashed His equivalent of the atomic bomb. He vows to kill all their first born if they do not surrender.
And so God did just that on 14th day… the day we call the Passover.
Exodus 13:3-10 Exodus 13:3-10  And Moses said to the people, Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.
 This day came you out in the month Abib.
 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month.
 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.
 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you, neither shall there be leaven seen with you in all your quarters.
 And you shall show your son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did to me when I came forth out of Egypt.
 And it shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD's law may be in your mouth: for with a strong hand has the LORD brought you out of Egypt.
 You shall therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.
American King James Version×
The Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures release from bondage
Israel was instructed to observe these days to remind them of their release from the hard physical bondage to the Egyptians. But Israel’s release was so much more… Israel was not simply set loose to run and scatter like a bunch of zoo animals where the cages had all been left open. NO, Israel was taken from their hard dark lives of bondage into a different kind of service under a different master… God Himself! Leviticus 25:55 Leviticus 25:55For to me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
American King James Version×, 26:13
Deuteronomy 5:6 Deuteronomy 5:6I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
American King James Version×, 15 6:1-3 the 10 Commandments are presented within the framework of redemption from bondage in Egypt. (see also 15:15, 16:12, 24:18, 22). Not only were they redeemed from physical slavery, they were redeemed from ignorance. They were given God’s holy righteous law so that they might enjoy long life and good things in the land. They would be given REST from their hard service and safety from their oppressors. Deuteronomy 12:10 Deuteronomy 12:10But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God gives you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety;
American King James Version×free from war and strife etc.
For Christians, the Days of Unleavened Bread are also a time when we consider and remember our deliverance from bondage and ignorance of the truth. Keeping the Feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity AND TRUTH … During these days we consider and remember how we were are brought out of our slavery to sin and into the service of God… but not as mere servants. We are to be sons, children, heirs!
Romans 6:3-6 Romans 6:3-6  Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin.
American King James Version×, 12-23 Just like Israel we are not set free so that we may go where ever our spirit takes us. We are brought into service of the one who freed us so that we might serve Him. “Obedience to righteousness”
John 8:30-45 John 8:30-45  As he spoke these words, many believed on him.
 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;
 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?
 Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin.
 And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever.
 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
 I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.
 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do that which you have seen with your father.
 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.
 But now you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
 You do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
 Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word.
 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stayed not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
 And because I tell you the truth, you believe me not.
American King James Version×, 56
Hebrews 11: 16 instead they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one
The Feast of Unleavened Bread shows how we win the battle for the better country
We left off in the book of Joshua with Israel poised and ready to begin the long-awaited day when they would take possession of the promised land where they would find rest from hardship and oppression. But first there were some battles to be fought.
Deuteronomy 20:16-18 Deuteronomy 20:16-18  But of the cities of these people, which the LORD your God does give you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes:
 But you shall utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD your God has commanded you:
 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so should you sin against the LORD your God.
American King James Version×(see also -- Deuteronomy 7:1-16 Deuteronomy 7:1-16  When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you;  And when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you; you shall smite them, and utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them:  Neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor his daughter shall you take to your son.  For they will turn away your son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy you suddenly.  But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.  For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people to himself, above all people that are on the face of the earth.  The LORD did not set his love on you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people:  But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn to your fathers, has the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of slaves, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.  Know therefore that the LORD your God, he is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;  And repays them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hates him, he will repay him to his face.  You shall therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command you this day, to do them.  Why it shall come to pass, if you listen to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD your God shall keep to you the covenant and the mercy which he swore to your fathers:  And he will love you, and bless you, and multiply you: he will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your land, your corn, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your cows, and the flocks of your sheep, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you.  You shall be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.  And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, on you; but will lay them on all them that hate you.  And you shall consume all the people which the LORD your God shall deliver you; your eye shall have no pity on them: neither shall you serve their gods; for that will be a snare to you.
American King James Version×etc.)
The people who were living there were to be eradicated COMPLETELY. Why?
As punishment for their abominations before God.
So they would not influence Israel and lead them into idolatry and sin.
Joshua 6:6-21 Joshua 6:6-21  And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said to them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.
 And he said to the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.
 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.
 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, You shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall you shout.
 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.
 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.
 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, Shout; for the LORD has given you the city.
 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
 And you, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest you make yourselves accursed, when you take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated to the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.
 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.
 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.
American King James Version×The attack and destruction of the city – on the last day of the 7 days of Unleavened Bread the walls fall and the city is destroyed. Jericho was only the first of many such cities that would have to be destroyed but it was the first and in some ways it is presented as the ideal pattern for how God wanted Israel to deal with the Canaanites.
It is also a pattern for our battle with sin that we picture during these 7 days of Unleavened Bread by putting leaven out of our lives.
II Corinthians 10:3-6 casting down every stronghold
Romans 8:13 Romans 8:13For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
American King James Version×– Colossians 3:1-17 Colossians 3:1-17  If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory.  Mortify therefore your members which are on the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:  For which things' sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience:  In the which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.  But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.  Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfection.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
American King James Version×putting to death the sin that is in our lives and our minds
The Disobedience of Achan
Joshua 7:1 Joshua 7:1But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.
American King James Version×Achan disobeys
Joshua 7:14-26 Joshua 7:14-26  In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD takes shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.
 And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has: because he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he has worked folly in Israel.
 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:
 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:
 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give, I pray you, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to him; and tell me now what you have done; hide it not from me.
 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the middle of my tent, and the silver under it.
 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it.
 And they took them out of the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.
 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them to the valley of Achor.
 And Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? the LORD shall trouble you this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.
 And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Why the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, to this day.
American King James Version×Achan (and family destroyed; just like Canaanites)
Ephesians 5:5-10 Ephesians 5:5-10  For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.
 Be not you therefore partakers with them.
 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
 Proving what is acceptable to the Lord.
American King James Version×everything not fit for the kingdom of God will be burned.
Conclusion: Going into battle is a frightening thing. Israel standing on the plains of Jericho could see their enemy, they could also see their prize. You and I face principalities of power and wickedness in high places we cannot see and we face an enemy within… our own minds which long for fleshly things. The walls we face are high, sometimes built up over many years. And like Israel we are not much to look at. God has not chosen us because we are special or deserving of His attention… but because we are ordinary. The one thing we have to be is willing.
Joshua 1:2-9 Joshua 1:2-9  Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread on, that have I given to you, as I said to Moses.
 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
 There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you.
 Be strong and of a good courage: for to this people shall you divide for an inheritance the land, which I swore to their fathers to give them.
 Only be you strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
 Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
American King James Version×