Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord following them. The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” So he caused the ark of the Lord to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets blew continually. And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days. On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.” So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.
Jericho is the gateway city to the Promised Land for Joshua and the people of Israel. What an amazing and miraculous account of the powerful hand of God! Joshua and Israel simply walk around the place for seven days, blow some trumpets and shout, and the walls of the city fall down flat! Jericho was one of the most heavily fortified cities in all of ancient history. It was situated on top of a hill where all pursuing enemies could be easily seen. Excavations at Jericho indicate that the city was protected by two high parallel walls, which stood about fifteen feet apart and surrounded the city.
Jericho is the impenetrable force, the unconquerable city. It’s the immovable mountain that only faith can conquer. Much like Goliath would be the giant facing Israel later in David’s day, Jericho was the daunting enemy before Israel now. In order for the Hebrew children to receive all God had for them, they had to overcome this first and biggest hurdle. Often times in the life of faith it’s the first obstacle that is the hardest to conquer. Once we step out that first time and see God provide, see God answer that prayer, see God save that person, and experience God’s faithfulness, our faith is strengthened and we have a new spiritual energy to conquer more.
We learn some incredible principles about victory from this battle. In order to conquer Jericho we must pray with certainty. The Ark of the Covenant is representative of the powerful Presence of God among His people, so the guards were ushering in the Presence of God! So too, when we pray we usher in the Presence of God! We welcome God and His power and provision to take over in our life when we pray. Secondly, we must praise with sincerity. As Israel walked around Jericho, the Lord told Joshua to have 7 priests blow 7 ram’s horn trumpets. The root word for the ram’s horn is where we get our word jubilee. This trumpet was sounded for celebrations. Israel didn’t sound the trumpet signaling war against Jericho, they sounded the trumpet of praise acknowledging the greatness of God and the conquest He had promised!
So, what is your Jericho? What is God calling you to do which seems impossible? What circumstances are you facing which seem immovable? Remember, you can’t have the spoils without the struggle. I challenge you today to fight the battles in prayer and praise. The weapons of our warfare are not physical, they are spiritual, and we win the daily battles by the Spirit of God. Don’t be afraid of Jericho. Don’t worry, doubt, or fret. Call on the name of Jesus in prayer and praise and watch our miracle working God do the impossible in your life!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, I know You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be stopped. Whatever you ask me to do You will give me the power, peace, and resources to accomplish. Help me seek you daily in prayer and through praise. You are an awesome God! In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.