There are times when the walls are meant to come down, and God wants us to know it is because of who He is, not due to the works of our hands.
Dive into Joshua with me, and take a peek at the battle for Jericho with me today.
In Joshua 6, we meet up with the Israelites outside of heavily fortified Jericho. First on the list to be overthrown in order to take the Promised Land.
And in verse one, we are informed no one could go in, and no one was getting out.
Now we know that didn’t used to be the case, because two of the spies managed to get in (in Joshua 4) and meet Rahab, who told them how all of Jericho was petrified from hearing about their God. We can only assume Jericho tightened its security after that encounter.
In Joshua 5, we get confirmation in verse 1 that all the kings in the area heard how God dried up the Jordan for the Israelites to cross and their “hearts melted in fear” as they lost their courage to face them in battle.
Then the weirdest timing I ever heard of for preparing for battle happened in Joshua 5:2. God instructed Joshua to circumcise the Israelites again. Which may seem a bit strange, but since they had been wandering for 40 years, the circumcised generation had all passed away, and their children needed it done.
I don’t know about you, but if i had been hearing rumours the town we were set to conquer was petrified of us, I would be wanting to strike while the fear was at its all time high. Not recover from surgery before war.
But three things happened because of their obedience, which spoke louder than i expected as I continued to read this passage.
- God gave the place where they obeyed Him a new name, Gilgal (which means roll), to signify He had rolled away their past in Egypt. (Joshua 5:9)
- When they celebrated their first Passover in the new land, the manna stopped the next day. (Joshua 5:10-12) This confirmed for the people God has given them the Promised Land, as not only their home, but through which He would provide for them.
- Joshua had a vision where he confronted a warrior he didn’t recognize, asking if he was for Israel or its enemies. (Joshua 5:13) The commander of the Lord’s army (Joshua 5:14) replied he had now arrived, and that the ground they were on was holy. Joshua then asked him what message God had for him.
When we pick up Joshua 6 again in verse 2, I believe we hear the message the commander of God’s army passed on to Joshua in that holy moment.
God was about to deliver Jericho into Israel’s hand through their obedience, not their might.
Here was the message: March the army around the city once a day for 6 days. Have 7 priests carry their trumpets ahead of the ark, at the front of the procession. Have them blow their trumpets, but stay silent. On the 7th day, march around Jericho seven times. Then, when you hear the trumpets sound a long blast, everyone shout loudly. Then the walls will collapse, and you can take the city. (Joshua 5:2-5)
This might sound more than a little crazy to you and I, but don’t forget who God gave this message to.
Joshua saw Moses come off the mountain with the 10 Commandments God Himself inscribed in rock. Manna & quail fell 6 days a week from heaven. Their clothing & shoes never wore out, despite 40 years of wear and tear. God’s Presence was visible to His people. The crossing of the Red Sea & the Jordan. Joshua might even have seen the plagues on Egypt.
There is no word telling us that Joshua took a moment to think it over, or was apprehensive at all about God’s instruction.
In Joshua 5:6-15, Joshua instructed the army to follow His directions. When the final trumpet blast sounded in verse 16, he commanded the army to shout, for God has given them the city but to give all inside of it to the Lord, save Rahab and those in her house.
In Joshua 5:20-25, we see Israel obeying.
Israel won this mighty battle because they walked as God commanded them to. Even when it might have brought them derision across the land as the days went on and they only walked around Jericho’s outside, without saying a word save for the trumpets’ sound. Even when those walls must have looked indestructible, and solid as they kept walking about it.
They kept their feet on the path God had for them, and let their actions speak His ways loud and clear.
Their worship was their obedience.
There are times when the walls we are facing will not come down except through His might, and our obedience to follow His instructions, no matter how strange they may be.
For His ways are beyond ours, and we don’t see the whole picture clearly. We don’t always know all the players involved in the battle, but God does. We may not need to know everything that is going on, but He knows.
Our walk speaks louder than our talk when it is God speaking through our obedience.
I have walls ahead of me. God isn’t finished with me yet, so I know the road up ahead for me to move into the fullness He has planned for me will not be all smooth sailing, or an easy jaunt.
But I am not facing these walls on my own. Even if some of them may have been of my own making.
God will overcome them as I bring them to Him, and follow His lead to see them fall.
His might, His power, His holiness, Him in all His majestic gloriousness is more than a match for any wall standing against Him or His children.
On the other side of that wall, Israel discovered the wild might of their God battling for them in a way they might never have discovered had they not put one foot behind the other and walked out their part.
Today, you and I have the same opportunity.
For the same God desires to set us free of the walls of our own making, and to bring down the obstacles hindering us from where He desires for us to be.
Spend some time with Him. Ask Him what your part is to seeing the walls within and in front of you coming down. Listen for Holy Spirit’s guidance. Confirm what you hear.
Once you know it was His voice?
Whatever He tells you to do, do it.
And watch Him show Himself strong as He battles for you, Beloved!