Joshua, the Man and the Book #7 November 28, 2017

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred 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 the whole army give a loud shout;then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”  Joshua 6:1-7

Jericho

There are many fortifications that exist in the world that have been designed to protect those who are inside from their enemies.  For example, consider the Rock of Gibraltar, located on the southern edge of Spain and the northern coast of Africa.

The British took advantage of the geography by building one of the most famous fortified positions for its time. The eastern face of the Rock of Gibraltar is a sheer cliff face, while the western slope is comparatively less steep but still a formidable position for an invader. Hundred tunnels were carved into the rock and used for communication, for storage maneuvers and cannons. The biggest triumph came during the Great Siege, when the garrison held on for three and a half years and suffered only 333 deaths as a result of military action. Hence, the saying, “solid as the Rock of Gibraltar” is used to describe a place of safety and strong.

Gibraltar

Now, the walls of Jericho that Israel had to conquer loomed large and menacing. They were designed to protect Jericho from invaders. These walls were formidable and structured on a three tiered plan, starting from the bottom with an earthen rampart, or embankment, which ran from ground level, upwards on an incline to a stone retaining wall which stood 12 to 15 feet in height. On top of the stone wall, stood another impregnable wall made of mud-bricks, 6 feet thick, and 20-26 feet high. Together, these two walls combined to form a strong fortification of 32-41 feet high, as high as a 4 story building. Such was the height of the walls of Jericho.

To the Israelite below, just looking at this massive wall seemed overwhelming and impenetrable. The people inside felt well protected and well defended by their huge wall.

However, walls can give false sense of security. You might think that everything is fine, but it really isn’t. Nothing is invincible. All walls and fortifications of men can be easily destroyed and demolished over time. NO walls regardless of how strong these are made of can protect us completely.

Only God can protect us. Only God is our source of peace of mind. Only God is the source of care and freedom. He can break those walls because He is our only wall of security. He can demolish any obstacle that rises against us.

Joshua 6:2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

Rightly understood, the walls around Jericho were not obstacles but opportunities that challenged the Israelites’ faith to trust in the word of the Lord. Walls are not dead ends but favorable circumstances that happen for our good so that we will be liberated from all of our fears.

Joshua 6:3  March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days.

The power of obedience, regardless of how foolish it may have seemed at the time, gained them the victory.  Imagine, going around in circles for six days and in total silence, no less.  Yet it was the wisdom of God.

Every time we trust God’s wisdom and follow His direction, even when we don’t understand it, we deepen our relationship with God. Obedience to God is not out of duty, nor out of fear or compulsion. We obey God because we truly love Him and we trust Him completely because He knows what is best for us.

What if Joshua did not follow God’s command to march around the city of Jericho six times?  The children of Israel would not have entered the Promised Land.

The greatest tragedy in life is to stand at the edge of our destiny but fail to enter into all that God has planned for us.  Faith that produces obedience takes risks and is rewarded with the manifestation of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Application:

Are there walls in your life at present that you would like to see demolished? God will bring them down….if you will do as He directs you. Let faith arise, go ahead a take the risk and see what God will do.

 

 

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