The Battle of Jericho

Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.  Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.  March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.  Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.  When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”

 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.

Joshua 6:1-5,20

Jericho’s big walls were doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing – they were keeping the city’s enemies OUT!  It’s almost comical to picture the Israelites standing a distance away from the city just staring at it wondering “How in the world are we going to get past those walls!?”  Before them stood what had to seem like an impossible task.  And yet, God had promised not just the city of Jericho, but the entire land of Canaan to the Israelites.  The question wasn’t IF God would give Jericho to the Israelites, but HOW!? 

Then God came to Joshua, the leader of the Israelite army, and told them how.  Here’s a summary of what God said.  God tells them to march around the city once a day for six days.  Then, on the seventh day, he tells them to march around the city 7 times with the priests blowing their trumpets.  Then, when they hear the priests sound a long blast on the trumpets, all the people are supposed to shout as loud as they can.  Then the walls will just fall down.

WHAT!? Can you imagine if you were in the Israelite army and God gave you this command? It sounds ridiculous!  I’d have to think there would be some doubts.

But that’s not what we see in Joshua chapter 6.  We don’t hear about doubts.  We simply see God’s people trusting in his Word.  It didn’t matter that these commands didn’t make sense.  God said this is how he was going to deliver the city of Jericho into the hands of his people and this is exactly how he delivered the city of Jericho into the hands of his people.  God gave the Israelites his Word that the city of Jericho would be theirs – and they valued his Word!

That’s a huge lesson for us to take to heart.  As we go about our day to day lives, we may not see our God displaying the incredible power of his Word in a graphic scene like the one in our text.  But that does NOT mean God’s Word is any less powerful today than it was when he leveled Jericho’s walls.  In fact, God’s Word is as powerful today as it ever was!  Just pull out your Bible and you’ll see that power with your own eyes!  You’ll see it, because in his Word, God comes to you and me and tells us about another week in history when he displayed his power more clearly than ever.  That display of power commenced when Jesus died on a cross to pay the price God set for the sins of the world and was then sealed in a tomb of rock.  It culminated when Jesus victoriously burst from that tomb of rock three days later.  With this incredible display of power our God assures you and me that our sins are forgiven, we are at peace with him, and that he will use his power over death to raise us from the dead and to bring us to heaven where we will live with him forever!

That week in Jericho, God’s people got to see the incredible power of God’s Word with their own eyes!  And thanks to the power of God’s Word, they received a land to live in.  This week in Laramie, or wherever you live, you have the privilege to see your God’s incredible power too!  Just open your Bible and God’s powerful Word will tell you about the land you’ll one day live in!

Thankful for my God’s powerful Word, just like you,

Pastor Z.