Joshua and the City of Jericho
Joshua 6 “2 But the Lord said to Joshua, ‘I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. 3 You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.’”
In the Greenhouse, we recently studied the fall of Jericho. Basically, God commanded the Israelites to do something that most would consider ridiculous. Really, I’m sure that the Israelites thought it was crazy, but crazy wasn’t new to them. The parting of the Red Sea, plagues, manna from heaven and water from rocks, they had seen it all. The Lord was sending the men of Israel into battle, but the battle strategy was a bit unconventional: be quiet and walk.
We reenacted the army walking around Jericho in the Greenhouse. This was a miracle in and of itself. A bunch of elementary kids walked up and down the hall seven times, without a peep. They suggested that we do it, and they had a lot of fun, but their yell and subsequent sigh of happiness, when they were allowed to talk, said it all. They were tired of walking and being quiet.
The men of Jericho did this for 7 days around the city. I’m sure the novelty of it all wore off quickly. There probably was a point when they just wanted to sit down and talk about their swords, sheep or whatever men talked about 3,400 years ago. I’m sure that they questioned God (because, don’t we always?). The thing is, though, they didn’t quit.
They didn’t quit, even though they know it would be harder at the end. They had heard their grandparents tell of the crossing of the Red Sea and other truly unbelievable things. This nation believed that they could be a part of another epic chapter in God’s story. As always, God delivered big time.
“20 When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.”
I guess what I’m saying is that, sometimes you have to walk around Jericho a bunch of times to see something amazing. Sometimes you don’t feel like walking, serving, showing up…. and that’s OK, but keep going. That’s when God teaches us the most. He’s going to do something amazing and yes, crazy. When you keep going, keep walking, you’re taking yourself to a front row seat for God’s story. The God of Israel, the One True God wants you there, front and center and His plans never disappoint.