11 So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city.
Sticking WIth It
Here, we see another helpful reminder of how to obey God’s will, and that is to stick with it to the end. If we don’t pay attention, we can miss an important part of the victory of Jericho: how long it took. God’s command to Joshua was to circle the walls of Jericho 7 times, while carrying the ark and blowing on trumpets – so they do this again and again, 6 times in a row. It’s not hard to imagine that Joshua and the people of Israel might have gotten frustrated during this – I mean, after 3 or 4 times, most people were probably seriously doubting Joshua’s sanity. But Joshua carries out God’s will to the very end, circling 7 times, and it is that 7th time that the walls fall!
When it comes to our own lives and faith, we give up so easily. Rarely do we pray for a single thing for more than a week before we give up in frustration if it remains unanswered. Convictions (like devotionals) are done for a month, and then lay fallow for half a year. We lack spiritual staying power because we are so addicted to instantaneous results, but it’s because we don’t see things to the end that we never see the enormous victories God had intended! There will be long seasons where our lives are similar to the Israelites, where you feel like you are pointlessly trudging around in a circle, but don’t give up! Persevere until that 7th day, and the walls will come down!
One more note – notice what physical actions bring down the walls of Jericho: blasts from trumpets, and a great shout from the people. And this shout is specifically NOT supposed to be a military war shout, but something different. In essence, in the battle of Jericho, it appears that WORSHIP was Israel’s greatest weapon. For us, we have made worship into a very personal and emotional thing in modern culture, and rightly so. But we must never forget that worship is POWERFUL, and has real spiritual might to bring down walls in our lives.
1. Is there an area of your life that hasn’t been going well and you just want to quit? Is there a way you can persevere through it instead?
2. This question was asked previously, but what are your most important and highest spiritual goals in life? How long are you truly willing to pray and persevere to see those goals realized?
3. Have you ever experienced a moment of worship which was spiritually powerful and life-changing?
4. If worship has a “weapon of war” quality to it, what uses could worship have in our daily lives?