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The Long Road To Jericho

Richard Walton

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  • May 19, 2007
    10:00 AM
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him this very special Sabbath morning in this special place in your spirit to be here may your spirit filled this place and disappeared maybe only words the people here today viewers and not my Jesus before I was born the Lord called me from my brother who has made mention of my name in my mouth like the sword in the shadow of his hand he hit me he said to me you are my servant Israel in whom I will display my sport but I said I spent my strength in Dayton for nothing that the Lord says it is too small a thing for you to be my servant I will make you a light to the Gentiles that you may bring my salvation to the end of the world my topic this morning is the long run to Jericho if I could ask how many of you here today are going to be graduating next weekend I like to speak especially to each of you next week January giant free elite group to become doctors doctors of dentistry doctors of medicine perhaps the last of the service professions is still as much respect from your fellow man attorneys CPAs of all prove themselves in recent years to be unworthy of the public 's trust him or so one profession that people truly trust and truly believe in lesser healthcare professionals will become one next weekend you'll celebrate a long journey and vision dedication perseverance is an easy road they are your that moment there will be many roads still the travel residencies in practice children families the community to serve the community that will respect you will expect you to live up to a high and yet I know from my own practice and from life that each of us everyone in this room will face the Jericho a chance time of great opportunity and also moment when things didn't go the way we thought they would like to get the job we hope for the residency we pray for whatever the challenge whatever the moment the road to Jericho teaches us a lesson about how to deal with opportunities to accept defeat out always know that no matter how far the road however while it may take you there somebody there that like to go backwards in time and talk about another journey in another time and another place in the closing moments of his ministry Jesus what I have been a little willingness town called Ephraim driven there because after having raised Lazarus from the dead he was so hated by the Pharisees that had he not gone ere they would have tried to put in the death but I was deathly travel on this time schedule not man's and so to buy some time he had fled fourteen miles northeast of Jerusalem to the little village called Ephraim Ephraim stands a high PR with a wide panoramic view the East Uganda plains of Jericho and the Dead Sea the low road that winds up from the southwest the road from Jerusalem is in plain view it's a perfect place for a fugitive anyone approaching will be seen for miles getting the people hiding their chance to go to safety and so Jesus and his friends it subtly hidden there but the time time for a fateful appointment for a little hill the only thrown the Lord would occupy while on this earth was time to go back to Jerusalem but instead of going there directly instead of following that spine of mountains that led to Jerusalem the Lord did something incredibly he went a long way away from Jerusalem and then he came back there was an easy journey not at all brutal twenty eight hundred foot percent decline in the Jordan River Valley to little city called Jericho before climbing back up to the heights for Jerusalem is located in Jericho yet he felt the city almost as old as time in Hebrew the place that way once you keep that in mind for just a few moments because it's important I also found indications that Jericho was one of the oldest cities in the history of the world it's a beautiful place the cellular deposits called cool days and warm nights and client easy money to be made on the caravans traveled through the irregular Jericho is a fun easy place to live in fact our right describes it this way a few miles from the Jordan on the western edge of the valley that here spread out into a plane the city lay in the midst of dropping your urine luxuriance of beauty with its palm trees and rich gardens watered by living springs it gleamed like an emerald in the setting of limestone hills and desolate ravines and interposed between Jerusalem and the city of the plane in this place that's a very different from where we sit today it seems to of been very thin veil between the cosmic war between good and evil seven miles south east of Jerusalem waited to see in his salty work-related raise of four cities including Sodom and Gomorrah consensus Jesus said would be seen again at the end of time not far from here Kagan Kagan captured Lot Abram and renew a start risky Lucifer attempted to block the entry into the promised land when God 's people advanced on pain is really done the impossible and through direct divine intervention had overcome a militarily impregnable fortress but also why they were asked him over here just a few short days later when trusting in themselves God 's people have been soundly defeated by inferior forces of nearby AI and I get one of the only two to ever experience as an burst through the mysterious barrier experienced something call translation also here exercising a portion of Elijah 's spirit and he requested a lie she heal the spring of water still flows to this day here here Jesus was baptized and once again that is what separates the scene from the unseen humanity from the divine was ripped apart by the Holy Spirit descended invisible form what about that name yet eco- Jerry something interesting about the root word for your ego is wrong anyway so the word back to Genesis Genesis chapter one verse one that she had seen in the beginning God in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth year form and void and he lot of God hovered over the face of the guerrilla the win spirit and power of God yet radio in the special town in this fertile valley that spirit first human site is one in place during the entire history of the cosmic war between good and evil Jericho seems to impress against and sometimes rude the curtain that hides the unseen world it was a place of repeated opportunity and failure I got the so much history and your Nazis as the last few moments of his life this is taking this long beach you were out of his way to siphon the triangle basically the building why are you thinking about that I'd like to discuss a little bit of the history of Jericho is over the millennia of history surrounding God 's people they came to the Valley many time to face challenges and opportunity usually like all humans they fail the Lord typically miserably whatever mistakes of Jericho what went wrong for God 's people at Jericho and might there be a lesson for each of us as we walk around half-life is something we can learn from Jericho what was a mistake that was made in Jericho Akins mistake selfishness and failure to follow the instructions of God trying to rebuild it but mistakes were made in Jericho him very early early history of Israel 's exodus from Egypt to come directly to Jericho the first time they came to the promised land they approached into the south end C they get here Jericho is located up to the northeast and yet here in a sense doubts into the land turn in your Bibles numbers chapter thirteen chapter thirteen and let's start with verse twenty seven members thirteen twenty seven seven seven five the promised land they come from you directly up from Egypt and through Sinai and up to the promised land they fairly recently received that was written with his own finger they fail the Lord miserably at Sinai they had been given a second chance they can set up here and finally they have arrived at the place they left Egypt to go see what happens next yes there which will best report well yes and it was a false report in one critical since he satisfies out of the lands it to reconnoiter routes tactic is oldest men struggle against man you wanted to write you one of the battlefield you want to know the enemy you want to know what you're up against so these stats are sent out the comeback and the campers twenty seven and they told him and said we came into the land whether now sentenced and surely it flows with milk and honey and this is the freedom but but what it just a little bit too strong him well in this land are strong their cities or Walden very great and where we saw the children not one who was not as pretty big to the children of Israel go in and AC/DC giants they see these wall cities they say something that in human terms they don't see a way to overcome and they let a few inches worth of height difference scared out of the promised land the first mistake is a coming towards Jericho on the road to Jericho versus day 's failure to belief your God is bigger than your giants in fact if you really wanted to find out the entire history of the Bible means sixty six books of work of literature fifteen hundred years what does it all come down to the human that has summarized the Bible in one simple question what would it be God never fails absolutely right God never fails another story we take repeatedly from the Bible is that we frequently do never fails we often do why we say time after time what is the state got people make when they encounter a challenge right themselves and what does self-reliance really stem from Friday let me put it to you this way if somebody was threatening my life and my best friend was a Secret Service agent him Secret Service presidential detail address sixteen hundred Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest Washington DC my friend was standing right behind me why when I rely on myself I wouldn't unless I didn't think he was doing and have enough to handle the job the real issue of the Bible if you have summarizing the six short words has to be do you really trust the Lord you really trust the Lord Israel faces a challenge in the fourth that of animated history hinges on that one issue even the garden do I trust God 's word I trust my senses no do I trust the proven principles of science or to let my whole life and life savings on the line because he said so Joe tormented by apparent misfortune unaware at first that the whole cosmos was working on but even in his pain even at his lowest point preaching the message of the Bible in one of the most powerful statements anymore it was ever uttered though he slay me yet will I trust Abraham in that moment with I think directing that an exegesis of the commandment thou shalt not steal or do I trust the voice I know so well on Israel at the Red Sea Israel Thursday in the desert is really pejorative Jesus in Gethsemane not my will but thought leader the message of the Bible the whole point of the mind do you really trust the Lord in all human history and every religious agendas ever been or ever will be that easy usually he had to summarize that question in one simple thing really trust Israel didn't amount away from the promised land because there were people that were just a little bit taller than them that's one I personally don't understand everybody's taller than me but whether you are just a Chinese vase that you just don't think you can overcome the temptation the habit the inclination in stride so often fail so frequent well that however the challenge is that you face whatever that giant is your guy is big enough to handle it and he will keep bringing you back to facing like Abraham you can trust his voice invited the children of Israel back to face an old challenge forty years later Israel approaches the promised land this time from the north a circle back from their disastrous failure they wanted through the wilderness and finally they come back into the land of my letter to the point where you can live across the Jordan River and see the city of Eureka what happens next mistake number two Jericho Israel enters the land of Moab him him living in easy sand by beholding they gradually become changed and once again they failed war you know the story better I couldn't defeat Israel militarily so I went out and hired a renegade craft a fellow believer to call down God 's curse upon the children of Israel but even they will renegade apostate belly light of the end couldn't do it he couldn't call them and her son God 's people he spews forth these blessings a cry from God 's own heart of what might be when that didn't work Israel stayed as the little too long close to seem it was the same old story God 's people always encounter when they stay too long incident and friends and whose ever control in that order once again children of Israel sale the lowest time it wasn't pagan apostates they did it to him it wasn't a lack of faith they did it to themselves they took their eyes off the Lord and when they get they feel miserable weather not the only fragile time in Israel's history that something like death happened years later Israel had a champion a mighty man of valor by the name of Sampson who made the same mistake in almost the same place that finally took his eyesight and finally his wife to correct that mistake integrated none of us ever make those same mistakes if we do if we ever him where we have to trust him where we have no other choice for Sansone it was his eyes his eyes were what kept leading him away from the path the Lord had for them finally after many tries the Lord took that away from him the thing that he relied on Internet moment of really getting rock-bottom of having L 's to go he really found below and through his life and finally through his death we learned that no matter how many times we fail in and it's the same mistake time after time Lord keeps bringing us back to that feeling and will ultimately give this triumph of it was a very chance for Israel after the debacle of Moab finally they got across the Jordan River in yet another miraculous intervention by the Lord but before they went this before they crossed over that river Moses that mighty old man of faith he led them for so many years climbed up to now in the words of a very famous American sought counseling at was the Jericho Valley in a beautiful city Nissan moment filled with opportunity and challenge for God 's people turn to Deuteronomy Deuteronomy chapter thirty first one Deuteronomy chapter thirty in verse one and it shall come to pass always things are finally the blessing and curse which I have said before the last so-called mind among all relations with the Lord thy God has driven me shall return of the Lord thy God shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day that my children with all my heart and with all his soul but then when I got to verify connectivity and have compassion upon a single return and gather you from all donations whether the Lord I got scary if anybody be driven to the outermost parts of parts of heaven and since will the Lord by Doug Kennedy and then slowly sixty will bring you in the land which your fathers possessed and you shall possess and he will do you good and multiply above your father 's once again Israel is a Jericho Moses climbs that he only looks out he sees a goodly land a land that he knows Israel has the faith to go possess this time it also allows it yet again they'll fail below many times but he promises than that every moment of failure is God 's greatest opportunity to work in your last points Richard Nixon former president of the United States said it best you'll never appreciate life 's tallest mountains in the insurance lowest balance in those valleys most Jericho moments the Lord is waiting to turn what seems like human defeat an overwhelming victory that the promise of Jericho finally him is really crossover they defeat Jericho through direct miracle got himself the sins into the valiant costs with Joshua 's mighty partnership of the divine and the human conqueror fortress of scenes from human terms to be impregnable this time guys people got it right they weren't scared of giants they had faith but as soon as they achieve what they had always one they made what I think is the third and perhaps most important mistake of Jericho they made the mistake of thinking they did it themselves just a few miles from Jericho 's little city four AI easy nut to crack militarily so full of confidence and full of themselves the children of Israel March into catastrophic defeat perhaps the single most important thing I would review with today the one mistake to avoid from Jericho never ever no matter how far you go on how well you succeed because you will never ever take your eyes off who put you there and the string of miracles that it took to get here I was again God gave his people a second chance Joshua chapter eight Joshua chapter eight verse one Israel comes back from studying military defeat AI and once again the Lord is therefore the Lord said to Joshua fear not neither Baghdad this him he will work with you in a rise go back to a high I get into thy hand the King of AI and his people in the city in his land you shall be a high value to the Jericho line because this time I'll be with you three mistakes of Jericho number one not having enough faith or conquer whatever giant you may be facing number two lingering so long around the wrong places but after a while you begin to see less of what used to be and more of what you used to think was a bad lifestyle lastly succeeding so well that you forget who gave you the victory in the first place his mistakes are part of being human each of us tries and fails many times some more often than others but each of us makes mistakes there is one more message from Jericho posterity very briefly Luke chapter ten verse thirty that was parable of the good Samaritan once again calling on this metaphor going down the road to Jericho lands robbed a man that is beaten and left by the side of the road forget and when that happens all of his wealthy friends his religious advisers his church the people he thought would be there for him when he needed the most walking right on by and didn't offer even a kind word for tax controversy like how a criminal defense lawyer and I have had the burden of the privilege of representing surreal pillars and communities to make some poor choices and are facing some unpleasant consequences as a result of that and I will tell you I have seen in every single instance the parable of the good Samaritan play itself out when you hit hard times it's the people you wouldn't ordinarily have spoken to better therefore he always be here for them in your practice in your life you will have the opportunity to make a lot of money do a lot of good never ever has a chance by to do good for others so in the state of Jericho lycée well is that our fate is that what we're doing or not is not my message is that the ultimate message of Jericho yes the message of Jericho is not one of failure but of redemption and of opportunity is a message that was given by our Lord himself in the last few moments of his life it is the fact that Jesus last journey before the cross in the last darkening twilight moments of his life took him far out of his way to go back to Jericho back to that fertile city rich with a history of lost opportunities in divine miracles and I know this was important to the Lord why because he did it last journey through the busy human on this earth was to Jericho as a trial lawyer when I'm trying to impress something on a jury is old trial lawyer Dison says he doesn't believe how much against Allentown women's helming and she told him the only thing people remember is what you do in the beginning would you do in the end so at the very end of his life it seems as though Jesus is putting an exclamation point on Jericho and on something incredibly important about that city where God 's people had failed himself many times why don't you lie but in the vernacular the trip to Jericho was not about history is not about what happened there the trip to Jericho the notion was about a man somewhere around the time of Jesus birth perhaps earlier perhaps a little later the baby was born in Jericho I really don't even know his name make sure that identifies them as Martha Naess but that doesn't tell us anything except who is that was he was the son of this fact when I ensure that these Jewish Arduino as a youngster he could hear the sounds of life around in the field attaches caring smell supper cooking but something was missing was obvious from what he heard people say that there was a dimension he couldn't receive otherwise provided passed quickly not groping as he had to do they could describe what he was wearing without ever him of receiving them in some way I live in touch or sound they said C they can only imagine what that wonderful dimension must be like more than anything he longed to see but his miracles the floating accident the healing of Jericho spring the famous story of how I try skyward were centuries-old and scenes of the past was there any point in prayer occasionally the lonely fantasies past the corner where he begged for a living and you can usually smell them coming because they coded their beards and faces with spiced oil except of course on the days when they fasted when a faint whiff of body odor told you that some they were engaging in reflection on the Lord usually the richest hamburger voices that aren't being salicylic wine of God any onlookers to know they were mortifying their bodies for the sake of holiness but the words they spoke these words fascinating but as a pilot in what how blessed the Lord our God King of the universe so there was a king then the cosmic King who is blessed with created everything already could create perhaps he could be what about a man who's eyes just the function and so most likely the bigger Jericho Craig maybe not well maybe not without much expectation but likely degrade leaders rabbis in the decade in heaven scene made of brass this is the first time of course the heaven seem to miss a human prayer him as a place called Bethesda another man waited decades now praying that an early sin might be forgiven and that he might walk again represent Israel likewise brainwash the rivals and disease need away their skin for everyone was the time of miracles and answered prayers over the money out of the back year to year who's number no longer mattered in Jericho heard rumors of the strange revival in the land of the main John G not far away Ford's of the Jordan is a fantasy screen after hearing and came back she is a certainty gone from your voice soon after rumors drifted south from distant gallery of a young profit doing astonishing miracles are becoming wine sit being healed of the texture word and as the months dragged I even taught that a distant village on the bleak rocky slope of the Valium just real Hamlet called me this profit and raised the dead to life at first of course memories of unanswered prayers may have made it easy to discount the rumor but as the months passed and excited voices shared new accounts of a rabbi named Yeshua 's astounding miracles perhaps perhaps they provide the men's challenge this was Jericho the miracle worker was a Galilean who seem to favor staying up north with occasional troublesome trips to Jerusalem that always seem to end badly but when anybody think he would come all the way down the Rocky Mountains died Jericho is going this year he was headed there at this for a moment he and his little band return you are on the limestone hills in that desolate routine for the oasis city where the blind man and so two men a blind man of the Lord of creation found themselves on a collision course that would finally give the real message of Jericho during your Bibles to Mark chapter ten part chapter ten verse forty six and they came to Jericho and as he went out of Jericho I'm by Timaeus the son of the mayor set by the road making and when he heard it was Jesus he began to cry you issue a son of David have mercy on and about that for a moment alone walk all that way to keep an appointment with a blind beggar but when he got there he didn't march up to them and say well I can answer lucky stiff here I am all the was walk all by and in that moment as the crowd swept by the babble of voices penetrated this beggars consciousness he hinges the split-second to ask for the one thing you always want sometimes the Lords opportunities may not seem lengthy or even promise but when the Lord wants a long way out of his way to see you you opportunity to take the initiative and ask for a blessing as it was in part Emmaus Way heard it was Jesus he began to cry out son of David have mercy on many in the crowd wanted him to be quiet and he cried out all the more son of David have mercy ladies and gentlemen never let anybody here pressure social pressure anything stand between you and the Lord if you have an appointment with Jesus people will travel back but don't let Jesus son of David have mercy on me write out all the more nothing was going to stop his quest to see the Lord so Jesus did one stood still the Lord of creation the king of the cosmos now Dubai finance a blind beggar his full and undivided attention Jesus stood still and commanded him to be call then they called the blind man be of good cheer rights the use and throwing aside his he rose and came to Jesus Ellen ESPN the counterintuitive what was the absolute lowest moment in this man's life absolute rock-bottom couldn't get any worse than it possibly was when at that exact moment I because as an editor the only thing he owned for certain from day-to-day word is close to you I is him around this rabbi turns out to not be able to get them is necessarily find his clothing is used to generate how somebody like me to pick the thing up and walk off with it the very most moment of his life having lost everything he had with nothing but faith and faith alone with his voice calling and out of the blackness could give him an incredible blessing that blind beggar drew himself toward the Lord and we got word of the cosmos is waiting for him with the question what do you want me to do for you blind man said to him about our life my Rabbi my Lord Tony received my site and Jesus said to him go your way to say it has made you to very special weekend if you are graduating for those of you who are not walking down a road filled with promise and opportunity you will be well you will succeed to the very limits of your ambition but at some point whatever your Jericho moment Navy whenever you reach that point where you don't think things couldn't get any worse but a lot of the streets in Jericho on your looking up at the crowd swirling around you there is a process Lord of creation himself sorry what is he's there waiting for him and he will give you a blessing likes of which you have received it easier today maybe it's for a moment that is wanted by or seems to the opportunity the challenges there whatever it is you seek this morning whatever it is you seek out of life rise if good cheer deviance their Lord we've come so far we've succeeded sometimes we fail but this morning we remember that at this moment in every moment to come you are that long road to Jericho with us through life tallest mountains inland through life lowest valleys will be there guiding and protecting us in Jesus

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