The account of the Jericho wall falling flat after being circumambulated by the Israelites for seven days (Joshua 6:1-27) is an amazing and matchless event in the history of the world! If you are thinking that the Biblical account of the destruction of the Jericho wall is merely an interesting story or one of those legendary myths of yesteryears, you are grossly mistaken.
Archaeological evidences prove the veracity of this Biblical event dated to the 15th century B.C. (Late Bronze I period). The ruins that have been found stand proof of the event just the way the Bible describes it.
When the Israelites were liberated from bondage in Egypt, they set out for the land of Canaan – the Promised Land – under the leadership of Joshua. On their way, they had to cross the Jordan and conquer many small cities. Jericho was the first city en route Canaan that had to be conquered so that they could move forward towards Canaan. The protective wall that surrounded the city of Jericho was tall and impenetrable. Excavations have found the wall to have been 11 feet high and 12 feet wide, on top of which there was a smooth stone slope angling 35 degrees for 35 feet. A massive wall indeed!
And how were the Israelites supposed to conquer this walled-city in order to proceed towards Canaan? The seven-day war-plan given by God to Joshua was a bit out-of-the-box!
The Israelites didn’t have to hammer down the wall. That way, it would have consumed huge amount manpower and would have taken a long time to demolish it. It would have also made the Israelites vulnerable to attacks from the people within the city, who already had intelligence inputs regarding their city being spied upon, thus making their king quite jittery (Joshua 2:2-3). Moreover, the people of the city were well-prepared for external attacks as excavations have found.
The unique plan of action given by God was that of an entourage (armed men in the front, next – seven priests bearing and blowing seven trumpets of rams’ horns, next – the ark, finally – the rear guard) encircling the walled city for seven days. This was to be followed by a shout by the people (only) on the seventh day, at the command of Joshua. (Joshua 6:3-5) Seems so unusual a plan of conquest! Ever heard of a mighty wall being demolished by people encircling it or shouting? Seems weird to hear in the first place! But, it worked! The wall fell down flat and the Israelites went up, invaded the city, destroyed it and marched forward towards the Promised Land.
So, what was it exactly that caused the wall to tumble down? Was it the fact that it was cicumambulated thirteen times (once each day for six days and seven times on the seventh day)? Was it because of the sound of the shofar (trumpets made of rams’ horns) being blown by the priests? Was it the by the shout of people?
If you ponder upon this, you’ll realize that the falling down of the wall was a natural effect of a supernatural cause!
- Whatever God promises, He brings it to fruition
The Bible is full of God’s promises for those who trust in the Lord. God speaks through the prophet Isaiah to convey –
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
Further, 2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For all the promises of God in Him (in Jesus) are Yes, and in Him (in Jesus) Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
He promised to liberate the Israelites out of bondage from the Egyptians and lead them to Canaan. He kept the promise!
- He gives the plan of action
God gave the plan of action to Noah to build the ark and preserve the animals, birds and creeping things before the floods came in to destroy the world (Genesis 6:13-20). He gave the plan of action to Moses to build the tabernacle (Exodus 36:4-19). He gave the plan of action to David to win battles (2 Samuel 5:22-25). He gave the plan of action to Solomon through David to build a temple (1 Chronicles 28:10-19) Above all, God carried out His plan of action for the redemption and reconciliation of mankind by demolishing the wall of sin (John 3:15-16).
- He flattens the walls that threaten victory
Obstacles often come in the way of fulfillment of God’s promises making us doubt God’s existence, God’s will, God’s word, God’s love and God’s purpose. However, when we are in God’s plan, there is more to victory than meets the human eye. For every promise given by God, there is active resistance by the powers of the devil and darkness. With our physical eyes we cannot see the battles happening in the supernatural realm (Ephesians 6:12). But, the heavenly hosts are constantly battling on our behalf to release God’s promises to us. The fallen wall of Jericho remains etched in history as the physical evidence of the supernatural stroke of God’s hand. There is victory when you are in God’s camp!
What are those impenetrable walls in your life? What are those barriers that are preventing you from enjoying a fulfilling life in the presence of God?
Are you staring at a tall wall of sin before you?
You don’t have to worry as to how you’ll hammer it down. The wall of sin that posed a barrier between God and man has been demolished by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The shofar has been blown and the battle has been won! All you need to do is confess your sins, repent, seek God’s forgiveness and His strength to turn away from sin and then march on ahead atop the demolished wall to claim the promises of God.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)
Is there a wall of impossibility preventing a breakthrough in your life?
Jesus said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) It was impossible for men to break the huge stone wall of Jericho. But, God made it possible. No matter how sturdy and hopelessly impossible the wall before you is, God is powerful enough to flatten it and lead you over it to help you enter into a victorious phase in your life.
Whatever be the insurmountable odds in your life, God is able to hold your hand and let you overcome them. If you are staring at stone walls of rigidity, rejection and loneliness, at mounting debts and unpaid bills, at years of physical, mental or sexual abuse, at failures, at prolonged sickness, at uncertainty, at addictions to alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography in your life, remember that the God who has created the heavens and the earth cares for you and is mighty enough to flatten the wall before you. He is a God of Love and Justice. He wants you out of your situation for His glory.
You will see the wall before you come crumbling down if you choose to obey Him in faith, just as the Israelites did. The plan that God gave to the Israelites may have sounded a bit illogical to some of them that day. Yet they chose to follow the plan with obedient faith and saw the impossible happen before their eyes. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30)
You may think it too far-stretched to have obedient faith in God beyond sensible reasoning. But, if you do, you will see the wall tumble down and flatten before you.
My Prayer for us: Lord, give us the obedient faith to see difficult walls crumble down before us by Your power and might. Amen.