Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. (Hebrews 11:30)
Following the promise of God, the people of Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter Canaan, the Promised Land. As soon as they cross the river, they had to confront with Jericho. Jericho was strong with its king and mighty men of valor. It was completely shut up inside and outside. Jericho was strong and well-defended.
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.” (Joshua 6:2-5)
God, full of grace and mercy, came to Joshua, who was leading the Israelites puzzling about how to overcome the strongly defended Jericho. God told “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” That is, God did not say “I will give Jericho in your hand”, but He said “I have given Jericho into your hand.” That means Jericho was already given to the Israelites by the omnipotent and omniscient God, not just a promise that will happen in future. Of course, with physical eyes, the Israelites could see the victory because the event did not happen yet.
Through faith, Joshua called the priests first, 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.” Then he said to the Israelites, “Go forward. March around the city.”
By faith, 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. Then they returned to their camp on the first day. And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. For six days, they didn’t do anything except what was commanded by God.
The people in Jericho looked out what the Israelites did for the last six days, who just circled Jericho once a day, while blowing trumpets with their ark. Of course, nothing had happened. It was a really strange daily scene to the people in the Jericho. For the Israel people, it was a period of testing their faith. Circling around Jericho was risky because there was always a danger that the Jericho people broke out and attacked the Israelites who were not really prepared for a battle with the people of Jericho. As day goes by, the people of Israel felt the danger escalating daily rather than subsiding. However, the people of Jericho were awfully quite, and the Israelites could circle the city without any incidences. Despite of fear and uncertainty, they faithfully followed what was told by God.
On the seventh day, in the same manner, the Israelites got up early in the morning and marched around the city. However, on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, following the command of God, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout!” All of the Israelites shouted in one voice. The wall of Jericho collapsed. The wall was destroyed before the Israelites, not by the Israelites, but by God.
God patiently watched over the Israelites, who were faithfully following God’s command. The Israelites could not see one single sign of progress toward what they were told, but they exactly followed God’s command not just one day for six days. Even so, at the end of sixth day, nothing happened. Many of them thought why the seventh day would be different because they did not see any change for the last six days. In reality, behind the scene, God was patiently waiting for Israelite to obediently complete the seventh day in faith. Yes, they actually did, and God rejoiced because of the Israelites’ absolute obedience. Then God answered: making the strong wall of Jericho miraculously collapsed. This was the power of God, and only was it possible through the absolute obedience to God with true and steadfast faith.
God is always carefully and patiently watching over us. Why? He wants to give our victory in faith. As God told to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand,” God has already given victory into our hand. What we need is claim this victory with faith.
Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
and He will trample down our enemies. (Psalm 60:9-12)
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