March 4 - Nº 63 Joshua 6:3–27
The city of Jericho was well fortified. An outer wall twenty feet high and six feet wide circled the city. Iron gates guarded the entrance. Several feet inside, there was a second wall, also with iron gates. Approximately 1200 people lived and worked inside these walls. Jericho represented an overwhelming obstacle to the children of Israel as they entered the land they were supposed to conquer. But God had promised Joshua that He would deliver this imposing city into their hands. He gave Joshua precise orders on how they were to conquer Jericho. All the armed men were to march around the city. Behind them, seven priests, each carrying a trumpet made from a ram’s horn, were to follow. The Ark of the Covenant was to be carried behind them, with a rear military guard following the Ark. Joshua told the people to remain silent while they marched around the city. Only the sound of the priests blowing their horns was to be heard. After they circled the city one time each day, they were to return to their camp. They were to do this for six days in a row. But on the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. Then, when Joshua gave the order, everyone was to shout. When the walls collapsed, they were to rush in. Only Rahab and her family were to be saved because she had demonstrated faith in the God of Israel when she had hidden the Hebrew spies (see #61 - March 2). Although this battle plan seemed ridiculous, the Israelites carried out the instructions exactly as they had been told. They got up early each morning, marched silently around the city while the priests blew their trumpets and carried the Ark, and then they returned to camp. They repeated this march around Jericho for six days. At daybreak on the seventh day, they marched again. But this time they circled the city seven times. After the seventh lap, the priests sounded a trumpet blast and Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!” They all shouted in unison, and the wall collapsed! The Israelite soldiers scrambled over the debris and took the city. The two spies that Rahab had protected immediately rushed to her house and brought her and her whole family out safely. Everyone else in the city was killed, and everything was burned except for items made of gold, silver, bronze, and iron. These were confiscated and put into the Tabernacle treasury. God was obviously fighting with Joshua. His fame and reputation spread through the whole land. Rahab and her family were put in a safe place outside the camp of the Israelites. Eventually she married an Israelite from the tribe of Judah named Salmon. She became the mother of Boaz and an ancestor of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 1:5)!
Have you ever questioned something you thought God wanted you to do because it seemed too foolish or futile? Can you imagine how the Israelite warriors felt marching quietly around the walled city of Jericho? Then shouting so the walls would fall down? Then rushing in to save a prostitute? Victories are always so much easier and sweeter when we let God be in charge!