One of the most exciting miracles in the Bible for me is the Battle of Jericho. After the death of Moses, the Israelites’ leader became a man named Joshua. He led the people under God’s guidance to conquer the land of Canaan.
“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
After Joshua sent spies into the city of Jericho, God instructed him exactly how to make the walls of the fortified city fall and how to conquer it. The battle plan was bizarre. Sometimes I chuckle thinking of Joshua instructing the Israelites as to God’s plan. How would I have received it? Probably, in a negative way, remarking, “I think Joshua had too much pizza last night!”
God’s plan was strange indeed. For six days the armed Israelites were to walk around the walled city, once each day. Seven priests were to blow trumpets, the Ark of the Covenant was to be carried behind them, the armed men would walk in front of them and in the rear. On the seventh day, they would circle the fortress seven times, the priests would give a long blast on the trumpets and the people were to shout out a war cry on Joshua’s command.
Joshua instructed the Israelites of God’s battle plan. They obeyed, and the walls of Jericho fell.
What can we learn from this miracle of God?
1. Joshua accepted God’s plan for him. Joshua had many insecurities about taking over the leadership of Moses. He did not feel qualified. The scriptures insinuate that Joshua was petrified but the Lord reminds him, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Realize, the same God is with you today. Joshua is as human as you and me. He has doubts. He has fears. He’s seen first hand how the people turned on Moses time and time again. He knows the difficulty of the task ahead; and probably, he wishes God would choose someone else! Despite his anxiety, he accepted what the Lord asked him to do. Joshua chose to obey God even though he was afraid.
2. Joshua followed God’s instruction. He didn’t add to it or subtract from it. He didn’t say, “No. I like some of what you’re saying, but the blowing of the trumpets is just too odd.” Joshua listened and Joshua obeyed. Sometimes God asks us to do some ‘not-so-normal’ things. Sometimes people may see us as complete nuts because of what God has asked us to do. Always remember, when God gives us direction, He will see it through to the end. It is the obedience He is looking for. Joshua chose to obey God even though he didn’t understand the direction.
3. No obstacle is too big for God. Sometimes the solution seems encased in a fortress untouchable by us. We do not know how to get around our current situation. I ‘ve been there and some of you may be there now with the impossible weighing heavily on your shoulders. God is still God. He is still on the throne. The same God who took down the walls of Jericho is the same God who will take down the walls that surround your answer. The key is believing in His solution. Blowing trumpets, marching around the walls are simply instructions God put into place to get obedience. When the Israelites obeyed, the consequences were good. When the Israelites disobeyed, the consequences were tough. Such a statement should make us sit up and take note. There is something to be said for obedience to God.
Trust in God comes from a remembrance of the troubles He has brought you through in your past. No matter how nonsensical the instructions are, if they are God’s, follow them.