IS THE ENEMY ANY LESS DEFEATED BECAUSE YOU HAD TO CRAWL?
JERICHO & JEBUS
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.
As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.
1 Chronicles 11:3-7
3 Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.
4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
7 And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
2 Samuel 5:6-10
6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
7 Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.
9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT KINDS OF VICTORY
The defeat of Jericho by the Israelites is always counted as one of the greatest victories in the Bible. You rarely ever hear anything mentioned about the victory at Jebus, yet it is the city of Jebus that became Jerusalem, the city of David. In this message I want to contrast the victory of Jericho against the victory at Jebus. It is my intention to show you that God does not always give a Jericho victory and sometimes He gives us a Jebus victory. Does that mean that God does not love us? Or that God is punishing us? No. It just means that some victories are hard fought and hard won but, nevertheless, they are victories.
Jericho was a high victory, but Jebus was a low victory. We speak about the high victories but we often ignore the low victories. Is the enemy any less defeated because we fight a hard, dirty battle?
God does not always give a Jericho Victory! Sometimes God gives us a Jebus Victory!
THE VICTORY AT JERICHO
Most of us are familiar with the victory at Jericho. The great city of Jericho was heavily fortified and thought to be impregnable. The walls of the city were high, thick, and well defended. We know from the Word of God that the walls were thick enough to house families and some theologians contend that chariots could be raced side by side on top of the walls.
The city of Jericho was a stronghold and it was the first city in the path of the Israelites. God had a plan and the plan went like this: the Israelites were commanded to march around Jericho once each day for six days and on the seventh day to march seven times. They were further commanded to carry the ark and to keep silent until the appointed time. At the end of the marching on the seventh day, the priests blew the trumpets, the people shouted and the walls came tumbling down. The Israelite soldiers went straight up and took the city. This was truly a victory!
THE VICTORY AT JEBUS (JERUSALEM)
We know less about this victory because so little is ever preached about it. Jebus, which later was renamed Jerusalem, was also an impregnable stronghold. It was so strong the Jebusites mocked David’s army and boasted that they could defend their city with the lame and the blind. This angered David and he commanded that whoever would take this city he would make the Captain of his Army. Joab took the challenge and crawled through the sewers of Jebus until he finally made it inside the city and then he opened the gates for the army.
Can you imagine the dirty job of having to crawl through miles of sewage?
Can you imagine having to swim through filth with your nose just above the sewage-tainted water? Can you imagine the dark? The hours without any light? The darkness pressing in on your from every side? Can you imagine the vermin? The rats? The roaches? The Mice? Can you imagine the claustrophobia? Can you just imagine all of the disease that must of lurked in that foul sewage ditch? Yet, this is the path to victory at Jebus!
CONTRASTING THE TWO VICTORIES
At Jericho the enemy was defeated with a shout.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated with a shimmy.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated with a march.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated with a crawl.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated in the open.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated in darkness.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated in freedom.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated in confinement.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated standing up.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated lying prostrate.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated above.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated beneath.
At Jericho the enemy was defeated by going over.
At Jebus the enemy was defeated by going under.
IS THE ENEMY ANY LESS DEFEATED BECAUSE WE HAD TO CRAWL?
Some of you have been looking for a Jericho Victory, but what God is trying to tell you is that this time you are going to have settle for a Jebus Victory.
Not all victories come in the Jericho Variety. Sometimes they are going to Jebus Victories! Not all victories are going to be easy. Sometimes they are going to be dirty and grimy! Not all victories are going to be handed to you on a silver platter. Some victories you are going to achieve only after an exhaustive ordeal.
But the question is: Is the enemy any less defeated because you had to crawl? The answer to that question is a resounding “No”. Defeated is defeated! The enemy that suffered a defeat at Jericho also suffered a defeat at Jebus. Both were victories and both advanced the Kingdom of God. One may have been easier than the other but both achieved the same result.
Jebus Victories are dirty, cold and dark. Jebus Victories are humbling. Jebus Victories are not the ones we like to brag about. Yet, why should we complain if the Lord strengthens us to climb through the gutter to obtain victory? The enemy is just as defeated at Jebus as he was a Jericho (and I may add as a side note: at Jebus there was no Achan with a hidden sin).
Victory is victory. It is victory is you achieve it standing flat on your feet and it is victory if you achieve it crawling through a gutter. The important thing is that you do not give up until victory is achieved.
WHY A JEBUS VICTORY?
You may be asking the question, “Why a Jebus Victory at all? Why not make all of our victories Jericho Victories?”
This is a good question and here are my reasons:
1. God likes to change his tactics to keep the enemy confused- If every victory was a Jericho Victory the enemy could plan ahead. God works in wondrous and sometimes, mysterious ways.
2. God wants us to learn not to be proud but humble- We get too proud and cocky when our victories come to easy. In order to teach us humility, God allows us to struggle.
3. Jebus Victories build character- God knows that difficulty builds strong character. No Christian will ever develop Godly character without going through struggles.
4. Jebus Victories make Generals- Joab was promoted to Chief & Captain of David’s army (The equivalent to our modern day General) because of his heroic victory at Jebus. If you want a promotion in the Kingdom of God then get ready for some Jebus experiences.
5. We get to keep the city!- At Jericho the city was lost. At Jebus the city was given to the Israelites and became their Capital. When the battle of Jericho was completed there was nothing left but a pile of rubble. When the battle of Jebus was finished the Israelites got to live in houses they had not built, shop in markets they had not developed, and enjoy fruits of their victory.
VICTORY BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
No matter how the victory is won, the important thing is that we have victory. Whether it be Jericho or Jebus, victory is a must for the Child of God.
If it takes crawling through sewer to get victory then so be it! If it takes shimmying in the dark, tight places to get my victory, then so be it! If it takes just holding my head above water to get victory, then so be it! The important thing is that I have victory!
Some climbed Sycamore trees, others were lowered through the roof, some knelt and washed Jesus feet with their tears and hair, and there were some that touched the hem of his garment. They sought victory for their lives. And they received it by any means necessary.
I want to tell you, dear child of God, just because you are struggling does not mean you are an inferior Christian. No! Just because it seems that everything you get in the Lord comes at a high price does not mean that God does not love you. Just because life seems so hard to you and looks so easy for others does not mean that God prefers them. No! Jesus does love you. That is why He is giving you a Jebus victory.
I want you to understand this: Jebus victories are superior to Jericho victories. The blessing of the Jebus victory far outshines the blessing of the Jericho victory. You may be saying within yourself, “Everything is so hard for me. It just does not seem fair!” I say unto you, “Look up”. God has a divine plan and he is going to bring you to a place of victory if you will but follow His will. And if it is hard, then so be it. For, is the enemy any less defeated because you had to crawl?