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Joshua Chapter 6 - Don't Rebuild

Joshua 6:26  Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, "Cursed be the man before the LORD who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates."

Before we go into Chapter 7 this week, I wanted to take a last look at something in Joshua 6.  The verse above has been with me this week and caused me to wonder why Joshua would curse anyone that tried to Rebuild Jericho.  God destroyed Jericho.  He did not spare anything.  The city and everything within it was given to the Children of Israel in victory, so why go with overkill and curse anyone who tried to rebuild?  There are several scriptures that speak to rebuilding something God has destroyed.  Paul said to the church at Galatia:

Galatians 2:18  For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

Transgressor means "violator."  If we rebuild things which have been destroyed, then we become violators.  What could we possibly rebuild that would put us in this category?  Our old lives.  Our old attitudes.  Our old ways of thinking.  Our old man.  

Micah 7:19  He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.

He has taken our sins and cast them into the depths of the sea.  Psalm says as far as the east is from the west.  So, why would we chase after them to rebuild them and bring them back into His remembrance?

Malachi 1:4  Even though Edom has said, "We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places," Thus says the LORD of hosts: "They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.

Trying to rebuild our old selves, the sinner within us, the part of us that is ruled by the things of the world and of the Flesh will lead us to destruction and death.  The scriptures above are pretty serious.  The Lord said even if the people rebuild what has been destroyed, He would tear it down.  I know. This is old testament stuff, right?  We no longer live under the Old Covenant.  However,

James 4:17  Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

If we know the right things to do but do not do them, then it is sin to us.  If know that we are to love one another as Christ loved us yet hate our brother, then Jesus said we have committed murder in our hearts, which is a sin.  Remember what Paul said to the church in Galatia?  Let's look at the verses right after that:

Galatians 2:19-21  For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  (20)  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  (21)  I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

If we continue in the old ways we say we are dead to, then we have set aside God's grace for us.  We cannot be righteous through the law.  We can only be made righteous through the saving grace of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  That's it.  If we set that aside that grace and we do what we want without regard to the word of God, then we have stepped into rebellion to Him making Christ's death of no effect for us.  When we step into rebellion to His word, it can take the shape of many things, but most importantly we are unable to grow the fruit of the Spirit because what we are putting forth is not feeding or watering the spirit, it is fulfilling the lusts and desires of the flesh.  When we rebuild what God has destroyed, we are not leaving a memorial of what God has done in our lives. There are three things which I believe happen when we choose to rebuild what God has destroyed for us.

  1. We remind ourselves (and others) of the past. 
  2. People could look at us and say that God isn't Who He says He is or can do what He says He can do.
  3. We could become stumbling blocks for others. 
We are to be living sacrifices and provide a living testimony to what God has done for us.  

1 Timothy 6:12  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

How can we make a good confession in the presence of many witnesses if we are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives?  

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our bodies are to be a living sacrifice.  We become those sacrifices by choosing to be transformed through the renewing of our minds.  Renewing our minds prevents us from resurrecting old thoughts and old behaviors.  Renewing our minds allows us to show the power of God in our lives to others.  Our confession before others begins to bear weight because the evidence of what God has done is seen by others.  We are not just speaking empty words or making noise (1 Corinthians 13:1).

We are cautioned more than once in scripture about being a stumbling block to others.  Christians are watched constantly by the world.  People pay attention to our behavior more than our words.  Are we living out what we are teaching?  Other Christians watch us, too, and are quick to judge our behavior.  New Christians are seeking examples of how to live the new life God has given.  When we are not following the examples set forth in the bible and following His precepts, we place ourselves in a position to cause another to stumble in his walk. 

Matthew 18:6  "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Jesus said above it would be better for us to drown in the sea than to be guilty of causing another to stumble in his or her walk.  That is pretty serious.  

1 Corinthians 8:9  But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

Our freedom in Christ is not intended to make others stumble.  Our freedom in Christ is to love and serve Him and others with an abandon that can only be found once we have shed the devices of the flesh and the world.

Galatians 5:13  For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

We should move forward so that others can see the new building of the new creation within us.  We should not use the freedom found within Christ to satisfy our flesh, but instead to show love to others and be servants to those God would lead us to, or to us.  

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

If the old things have all passed away and all things have become new, then why would we want to go back to the old things?  The old things bring death and destruction, as I said earlier.  The new things bring life.  Let your life be a testimony to what God has done.  Don't let others look at you and see the old life you once lived begin to appear on the horizon.  Don't rebuild what God has laid to destruction.  Don't be a stumbling block to others. Let others look at you and see the good confession of what He has done for you, with you, and through you.  Don't seek to rebuild something God has destroyed.

John 1:12-13  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  (13)  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This post first appeared on Living In The Word, please read the originial post: here

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Joshua Chapter 6 - Don't Rebuild


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