The Walls of Jericho
Conquering your blessing.
This content is available in Spanish here.
Israel had left Egypt and were, at last, approaching the promised land, but there was still something that stood between them and their promise: the walls of Jericho.
According to archaeologists, these walls were imposing, since it was not a simple brick wall that could be demolished, but this wall was 2 meters wide and approximately 5 meters high.
Besides, there was another interior wall of about the same size. Let us also remember that the Israelites knew about the giants they would have to face after crossing the wall. How would they get the city?
Following a Promise
Conquering Jericho was not an easy task, but the Israelites had something that no one else had, God’s promise that this land would be theirs. A promise they’d been waiting since the time of Abraham, who originally received this promise; and the time had already come. Thus, in obedience, the Israelites approached the city; but God gave them very particular instructions on how to conquer the land.
The Lord instructed them to surround the city, once a day for six days, and then seven times on the seventh day. The people were to march in silence behind the Ark of the Covenant. The priests would go in front of the ark blowing their horns, and the armed men before them. On the seventh day, at the end of the seventh lap, the shofar would sound and all the people should shout, then the walls would fall. Why did God give them such a strange plan?
A Higher Purpose
One would think that just one turn was enough to bring the walls down, God can do it, right? Why wait a week then? God often gives us instructions that don’t seem to make sense but only to the human mind. For God, everything makes sense, because in Him it is not about the end, but about the process. Being a God of purposes and covenants, what He has determined for our life will come as certain as that He lives.
God doesn’t mind the end; He already has it resolved. But he does care about the process because shaping us is a constant task. He could have handed the city over to the people, but what would the Israelites have gotten from this? Also, sometimes things are happening in the spiritual realm that we are not aware of. Let’s analyze the story in detail.
The Secret Battle
First, let’s look at what was happening from the Israelites’ point of view. The people had been in this position before, about to enter the promised land. They had even sent spies to explore the city, Joshua had been one of those spies. But when they talked about the giants the people got scared, they were not ready to conquer the blessing. So God delayed the promise 40 years. Now they were back in front of the city, and God was asking them to surround it.
Although it was a strange order, surely it wasn’t a problem to obey it the first day. But in the days that followed, they surely faced some battles in their minds, especially since they had to remain silent. It is difficult to remain constant by doing what God told us to do when it doesn’t make sense, nor do we see the results.
But it is during these circumstances that we develop our faith and our constancy. When we decide to obey the command, even though we don’t understand the purpose or see the immediate change, we are forced to believe and trust God and we grow in the process.
On the other hand, the Israelites may have had to endure mockery from their enemies, who saw them march in circles with no apparent purpose. Just as the enemy plays with our minds to discourage us when he knows we are not sure about what we do. So we must take the shield of faith to protect ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. It is in those moments that we learn to walk by faith, not by sight.
Furthermore, God tests our obedience. When we walk by faith, trusting and obeying, regardless of time or circumstances, we are saying to God that we are ready to receive what He has for us. Because we already have the maturity to understand that, if God said it, He will do it; because if he didn’t allow us to die in the desert, he will not allow some walls to steal our blessing.
Behind the Walls
Let’s see what was happening on the side of the Canaanites. It seemed that the enemies had an advantageous position, but in verse 1 we read the following:
“Now Jericho [a fortified city with high walls] was tightly closed because [of the people’s fear] of the sons of Israel; no one went out or came in.”- Joshua 6:1 (AMP)
It might have seemed like the enemies had the advantage, but they were scared. The enemy likes to play with our minds because it is the only place where he can get an advantage. If he manages to intimidate us we will surrender, even before we try; and he will buy some time. The truth is that he knows he is defeated; he cannot attack us head-on because he would have to face God himself. So he uses the divide and conquer strategy.
If he can make us doubt and weaken our faith, our connection with God will be affected and we will not obtain victory, at least not at that moment. But the enemy knows that if we go with faith and determination to recover what is ours, he doesn’t stand a chance. That’s why Jericho was closed. They’d heard of Israel’s previous conquests, and of how “odd” they had been. So they locked themselves up behind their walls. No one entered or left.
One day they saw the Israelites approaching. They trusted their walls, but surely they were alert and ready to fight. But the Israelites approached the wall and then began to surround it. Perhaps the soldiers thought that the Israelites would try to attack the city from behind, or that maybe they had planned some kind of ambush.
However, the Israelites finished their round and left. The same thing happened the next day, and the next, for six days; but the Israelites did not attack. The enemies were puzzled. When the Lord gives you instructions that are difficult to understand, don’t worry, the enemy is also puzzled because he doesn’t understand the mind of God either.
The enemies were scared, and now they were confused by the Israelites’ strategy. Surely, panic reigned behind those walls. However, the days passed, and Jericho got used to the round of the Israelites; until the seventh day came.
After the first round, the soldiers let their guard down, assuming the Israelites would leave again; but the Israelites kept marching. The enemies couldn’t know why the Israelites changed their routine, how many turns they would do this time or their purpose. They were confused and scared, then the shofar sounded. To the amazement and horror of the enemies, the walls fell.
The Miracle Beyond the Miracle
Not only did both walls fall at the same time, and for no apparent cause, but something supernatural happened the moment they collapsed. The walls were built in such a way that, if they collapsed, the rubble would fall into the city. So the enemies could not climb the pile of rubble.
According to archaeologists, in the case of Jericho the walls collapsed outwards; in such a way that the Israelites were able to climb the rubble and enter the city, while the enemies could not get out.
When God has given you a promise, He is true to his word. If He says He has delivered something into your hands, it is already done. If the enemy stole your land and built walls around it to prevent you from taking possession of what belongs to you, in the name of Jesus recover it today.
You may have to surround the terrain for a while, but with each lap, you are declaring that the terrain belongs to you. With every walk of faith, you declare war upon the enemy, warning them to release your blessing because it belongs to you.
When the trumpet sounds, indicating that the time for conquest has come, the walls will supernaturally fall out to help you take possession of the blessing that was promised to you.
The walls that the enemy built to stop you will be the ladder that God will use to help you take possession of the land that the enemy stole from you. But this will only happen if you are willing to obey and believe without limits, while standing firm, marching behind the presence of God, without looking back.