Good morning!

Greetings in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


He said: ‘Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15)


In the unfolding narrative of Joshua 5:13-6:27, we step into a critical juncture in Israel’s journey to possess the Promised Land. Here, Joshua encounters a mysterious figure identified as the Commander of the Lord’s army. This divine meeting sets the stage for one of the most remarkable episodes in the Bible—the conquest of Jericho. Unlike conventional warfare strategies, the plan divinely imparted to Joshua defies human logic, emphasizing not the might of arms but the power of faith and strict obedience to God’s commands. 


This passage serves as a vivid illustration of how victory in the spiritual realm often requires us to transcend our understanding and trust in God’s plan. The Lord’s message to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men (Joshua 6:2)” is a powerful proclamation of assurance and victory even before the battle begins. It underscores a profound principle that resonates through the ages: victory is not achieved through human strength or wisdom but through divine intervention and adherence to God’s word.


As we delve into this significant biblical event, we are reminded of the importance of approaching our battles—whether spiritual, emotional, or physical—with a posture of submission to God’s will and an unwavering faith in His ability to lead us to victory. The story of Jericho is not just a historical account; it is a testament to the enduring truth that when God commands, the impossible becomes possible, and walls that seem insurmountable crumble at the sound of faith-filled obedience.


Encountering God Before the Battle


– Joshua 5:13-15: “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand… The commander of the Lord’s army replied, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”

– Exodus 3:5: “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”


In the shadow of the impending battle for Jericho, Joshua’s encounter with the Commander of the Lord’s army represents a pivotal moment not only in the narrative of the conquest of Canaan but also in the spiritual journey of God’s people. This divine meeting is a profound reminder of the necessity of seeking God’s presence and guidance before undertaking any significant endeavor or facing any battle in life.


The figure Joshua meets does not immediately offer military advice or strategy; instead, the instruction given mirrors that which God gave to Moses at the burning bush: to recognize the holiness of God’s presence. This command to remove his sandals signified Joshua’s need to acknowledge and submit to God’s sovereignty and the sanctity of the moment. Similarly, Exodus 3:5 underscores the importance of reverence and humility before God as God commanded to Moses, principles that are timeless in their application.


The act of removing one’s sandals is deeply symbolic, representing a posture of humility and readiness to listen. It signals a stripping away of barriers between the divine and the mortal, an act of vulnerability and openness to God’s will. For Joshua, this moment of worship and submission was crucial preparation for the challenges ahead, grounding his leadership and actions in divine authority rather than human strength.


This encounter teaches us the importance of seeking God’s presence with a posture of humility and worship, especially when faced with life’s battles. Before Joshua received instructions on how to proceed with Jericho, he was reminded of who was in command. It’s a powerful lesson that our first step in any challenge should be to seek God, recognize His holiness, and submit to His authority.


In practical terms, this can be realized through dedicated times of prayer and worship, both individually and corporately. Thus, we need to cultivate a practice of seeking God’s guidance in every decision, big or small. This could involve creating spaces of silence in daily routines to listen for God’s voice, engaging in corporate worship with a heart of submission, or even physically demonstrating humility, such as kneeling in prayer, to remind us of God’s greatness and our dependence on Him.


Moreover, acknowledging God’s sovereignty in our challenges means trusting in His overarching plan, even when the path forward seems unclear. It’s about recognizing that the same God who commanded Joshua commands our steps today. Through prayer, we align ourselves with God’s purposes, drawing strength and direction from His presence.


In conclusion, Joshua’s encounter before the battle of Jericho serves as a timeless reminder of the foundational step in any spiritual or life endeavor: encountering God in His holiness, submitting to His will, and seeking His guidance. As we encourage every one of us to seek God’s presence in prayer and worship, let us remember that it is in these moments of submission and reverence that we find the clarity, direction, and strength to face whatever battles lie ahead.



Obedience to God’s Unconventional Strategy


– Joshua 6:3-5: “March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days… On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.”

– Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”


The battle of Jericho stands as a testament to the power of obedience to God, especially when His commands defy human logic and conventional warfare strategies. The instructions given to Joshua were anything but conventional. Instead of a direct assault or siege tactics, God prescribed a ritual of marching around the city, blowing trumpets, and a shout. To the onlooker, this plan might have seemed absurd, yet it was God’s prescribed method for victory. They just circled Jericho six days, and on the seventh day, they just shouted per God’s instruction. The Jericho wall fell, which was the strongest and unbeatable.


God’s strategy for Jericho challenges our preconceived notions about how victories are won. It serves as a powerful reminder that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). The Israelites’ obedience to these specific, albeit unusual, instructions underlines a critical aspect of faith: trust in God’s wisdom over our understanding. This trust is not passive but requires active obedience, even when we cannot see the immediate rationale or outcome. 


Yes, obedience to God’s unconventional strategy is an act of faith. It signifies a reliance on God’s omnipotence and His perfect understanding of every situation. The Israelites’ compliance with God’s command demonstrates their trust in His sovereignty and their belief that victory comes from Him alone, not from their military prowess. This level of obedience is a model for us, showing that following God’s guidance—no matter how illogical it may seem—is paramount to experiencing His blessings and provision.


The event captured in Bible invites us to reflect on our willingness to obey God, especially when His directions conflict with our expectations or societal norms. Like the Israelites, we are often called to trust in God’s plans for us, even when they seem impractical or beyond our understanding. This could mean taking a career path that doesn’t align with worldly success metrics because we feel called by God, or it might involve forgiving someone when it seems impossible to do so, simply because God asks us to forgive as we have been forgiven.


Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)


To apply this lesson in our lives, we must cultivate a relationship with God that is rooted in trust and obedience. This involves daily surrendering our plans and expectations to Him, seeking His will through prayer and Scripture, and being willing to step out in faith, even when the path is not clear. Engaging in regular spiritual practices such as meditation on Scripture, prayer, and community worship can help us attune our hearts to God’s voice and strengthen our resolve to obey Him.


In summary, the unconventional strategy for the battle of Jericho teaches us that God’s plans, while often beyond our understanding, are always perfect. By obeying God’s commands, the Israelites experienced a miraculous victory, demonstrating that success in God’s kingdom is not achieved by might or power, but by Spirit-led obedience. Let us challenge ourselves to trust and obey God’s directions in our lives, remembering that His ways lead to ultimate victory and fulfillment.


So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty (Zechariah 4:6).



The Power of Persistent Faith


– Joshua 6:15-16, 20: “On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!’… When the trumpet sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.”

– Hebrews 11:30: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.”


The conquest of Jericho is a profound illustration of the power of persistent faith. For six days, the Israelites marched around Jericho without any visible signs of progress. It was on the seventh day, after persisting in obedience and faith, that they witnessed the miraculous collapse of the city’s walls. This episode not only underscores the importance of obedience to God’s commands but also highlights how persistence in faith can lead to divine breakthroughs and victories.


The Israelites’ action of marching around Jericho for seven days exemplifies a steadfast faith in God’s promise. Despite the lack of immediate results and the seemingly absurd nature of their task, they continued in obedience. This persistence is a key element of faith that Hebrews 11:30 celebrates, acknowledging how faith, coupled with perseverance, can bring about the impossible.


It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. (Hebrews 11:30)


The story of Jericho teaches us about the significance of persistence in prayer and faith. Luke 18:1-8 parallels this lesson in the parable of the persistent widow, encouraging believers to always pray and not give up. Just as the Israelites’ faith was tested through their repetitive action, our faith is often tested through the persistence of our prayers and our continued trust in God’s timing and methods. This persistence is not a passive waiting but an active demonstration of our faith, believing that God will act in accordance with His promises.


And one of the challenges in practicing persistent faith is overcoming discouragement, especially when results are not immediately evident. The Israelites might have faced doubts and questions as they marched around Jericho day after day. Similarly, we may face doubts when our prayers seem unanswered. However, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 encourages us not to lose heart. Though outwardly we may face trials, inwardly we are being renewed day by day, focusing not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)


To apply the principle of persistent faith in our lives, we are encouraged to:

  1. Persist in Prayer: Continue to bring our requests to God, trusting in His power to act and His wisdom to provide the best outcome.
  2. Stay Obedient: Remain faithful to God’s instructions, even when they challenge our understanding or when fulfillment seems delayed.
  3. Cultivate Patience: Develop patience, understanding that God’s timing is perfect and that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).


In conclusion, the power of persistent faith as demonstrated by the Israelites in the battle of Jericho serves as a potent reminder for us. It challenges us to keep faith in God’s promises, persist in our prayers, and remain obedient to His word, trusting that in His appointed time, He will bring down the walls in our lives, leading us to victory. Let us hold fast to our faith, knowing that our persistent trust in God is never in vain.



Summary and Life Application


In the narrative of Joshua 5:13-6:27, we encounter profound lessons that are as relevant today as they were for the Israelites. First, Joshua’s encounter with the Commander of the Lord’s army reminds us of the importance of recognizing God’s holiness and seeking His presence before we face our battles. This encounter teaches us the value of humility and submission to God’s will, setting the foundation for our actions and decisions.


Second, the obedience to God’s unconventional strategy for the conquest of Jericho highlights the necessity of trusting in God’s plans, even when they defy human logic. This act of obedience demonstrates that victory in life’s battles comes not from our strength or conventional wisdom but from following God’s unique directions for our lives.


Third, the power of persistent faith, as shown through the Israelites’ march around Jericho, underscores the importance of perseverance in prayer and faith. It teaches us that breakthroughs and victories often come after a period of steadfast faith and obedience, encouraging us to persist in our faith, even when immediate results are not visible.


Here are some practical steps:


  1. Dedicate Time for Prayer and Worship: Make a conscious effort to seek God’s presence daily, dedicating specific times for prayer and worship. This can help us to draw closer to God and recognize His sovereignty over our lives.


  1. Seek God’s Guidance in Decision-Making: Before making important decisions, seek God’s guidance through prayer, Scripture, and wise counsel. This practice ensures that our choices are aligned with God’s will and leads to His blessings.


  1. Persist in Faith During Challenging Times: When faced with challenges or when waiting for prayers to be answered, continue to trust in God’s promises. Use the story of Jericho as a reminder to keep faith, even when the outcome is not yet visible.


Heavenly Father, we thank You for the lessons learned from Joshua’s encounter with You, the obedience to Your unconventional strategy, and the power of persistent faith. We ask for Your guidance, strength, and the courage to obey Your commands. Grant us the faith to believe in the victory that comes from You, even before we see the outcome. Help us to apply these lessons in our daily lives, drawing closer to You in prayer, seeking Your will in our decisions, and persisting in faith through all of life’s challenges. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”  (2 Corinthians 10:4)


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