Scripture printed text: Joshua 5:13-15, 6:1-5, 15-16, 20
Joshua records how the Lord dried up the Jordan River right before the children of Israel eyes, and kept it dry until they all crossed. The Israelites camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho. Jericho name meaning moon, and is recorded as the oldest city in the world. Also, the first city Israel conquered under Joshua leadership. Jericho is situated in the lower Jordan Valley, a walled city of approx. ten acres. Jericho gates were tightly shut, because the people were afraid of the Israelites. Jericho feared the Israelites because they heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan River from before the children of Israel, until they passed over. This caused their hearts to melt in so much that no one was allowed to go in or out of the city.
Now as Joshua nears the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him. Joshua demanded the man to answer whether he was a friend or a foe of his. The man replied, he was the commander of the Lord’s army. Joshua fell to the ground in reverence. The commander of the Lord’s army told Joshua to take off his sandals because the place where he was standing is holy. Joshua receives word that the Lord had given him Jericho, its kings and warriors. The commander of the Lord’s army gave Joshua instructions on how they would conquer the city. Any deviation from following God’s instruction would forfeit their victory over Jericho. One’s obedience to the Lord’s commands, guaranteed success over our enemies. But disobedience will always result in defeat.
God commanded Joshua and his men to follow behind the priests as they carried the ark. They were instructed to walk around the walls of Jericho daily for six days. And on the seventh day, they were to walk around Jericho seven times with the priests blowing their horns. At the completion, they will hear the priest give one long blast, and when they hear the long horn blast, all the people shout as loud as they can. If they did exactly as the Lord commanded them, they would gain victory over Jericho. The Lord said the walls would collapse and the people can charge straight into the town.
And it came to pass, that on the seventh day Joshua and his men rose up early and compassed the city seven times and when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua told the people, shout for the Lord has given you the city. The people obeyed the Lord and the walls fell down to the ground. Jericho walls came down and all the people were destroyed except for Rahab, the harlot, because she protected Israel’s spies.
God’s ways and thought are not like our ways and thoughts, but God’s ways will always go according to His will. God has given His people victory over their enemies. Victory always results from obedience to God’s instructions. Do you want victory? Obedience is the key to victory!