In Joshua 6:1-10, after crossing the river Jordan, the nation of Israel was in for a colossal challenge. Their first assignment after crossing the River Jordan was to possess their inheritance; the first on the list was the city of Jericho. A great ancient city fortified with gates of iron and bars of brass. However, this was not going to be normal military warfare. They had to pick some instructions before attacking the city.
The Lord ordered them to march around the city with all the armed men for six days. The priests were to carry the trumpet of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. Upon hearing the sound of a long blast on the trumpets, all the people were expected to give a loud shout. Then the wall of the city would collapse, and the people will go up and possess their possession.
The land of Canaan was Israel’s rightful possession. On one hand, God was judging Jericho for its sins, but on the other hand God was handing over to Israel what was due them.
Today, God has promised us so much him; we have an inheritance in God (Eph. 1:14); Col. 1:12; Heb. 9:15; 1 Pet. 1:4), but many end up not possessing what has been promised to them. Not all people end up inheriting the glorious inheritance that God qualified them for. why? because of some necessary conditions.
Biblical conditions required for possessing what God has promised us:
- Possessing God’s Promise(s) (v2, 5), remembering God’s promises and acting on it. The Lord told Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands.” God has already won the battle. ‘It is your possession.’ The wall of the city shall fall (Josh 6:5). It was only a matter of time and the promise will be fulfilled!
God’s promises never fail (21:45; 23:14).
In his word, the Lord had promised to send fear before them; and to cause confusion among all the people to whom they will come across (Ex. 23:27).
The two spies sent by Joshua confirmed that the people inside the city of Jericho were in a panic and were sure that God was handing over their city to Israel (Josh. 2:9-11; See Deut. 2:25; 7:23; 11:25; 23:27).
The promise of God must have given Joshua courage. That the task ahead of him has been counted as done. The victory is already won! The Lord is a mighty warrior.
It was great and powerful cities like Jericho that had convinced the ten spies sent by Moses that they could never conquer the land (Num. 13:28; Deut. 1:28). From their eyes, it was mission impossible. But the two spies remembered God’s promise.
A promise always comes with a challenge. God promised Israelites the land flowing with milk and honey, but an enemy city stood in between.
Are we aware of God’s promises about our lives and situations around us today?
As God’s people, we must know God’s promises and claims it for ourselves. We must know what God has promised in his word: Ps. 23; Jer. 29:11; Matt. 28:20; Jn 14; 16:33; Rom 10:17; Heb. 13:5.
-God never promised us the absence of strange and confusing times but promised his enduring presence; I am with you always, to the very end of age, Matt 28:20
-God has not called us citizens of this world but called us aliens and His ambassadors; we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us 2 Cor. 5:20
-God never said that he is making the world a better place but promised that he’s gone to prepare us a place; And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am Jn 14:3
-God never promised that things around us will not grow from bad to worse but promises to make all things new; I am making everything new! Rev 21:5
-He never guaranteed a world devoid of trouble but spoke comfort saying, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33
-God never promised a Christendom in this world but promised a kingdom of people called unto himself, the church; But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, 1 Pet 2:9
-God did not promise the comfort of religious freedom but warned of hate, persecutions even death. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own Jn 15:18
- Obedience (to the Lord’s leading)- We need to accept the Lord’s strategy (vv. 3-5)- The command to march around the city for six days, blowing trumpets, and shouting might have looked absurd. But it was the Lord’s strategy. The directions might have sounded illogical to people who solely rely on logic. It might have looked foolish and ridiculous to many military minded people. But it was the strategy had God approved for his people to inherit their possession.
Note that before the battle, God already pronounced a victory, he gives the strategy; not vice versa. I have given you this, but this is the strategy. …. job, addiction, degree.
Key to possessing our inheritance is obedience and heeding of God’s voice.
The Bible instructs, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5).
Joshua did not rely on human tactics; though he could have relied on his military strength.
The Bible records many people who were commanded to do what we might call strange/ridiculous. Abraham being called to go to an unknown land. Gideon was called to downsize his arm to 300 against an army of 135,000 (Judg. 7,8). Prophet Elisha told Naaman, the military commander of Aram, to go to the river Jordan and wash himself seven times in the Jordan (2 Kings 5:10). Jesus asked Philip where they can buy bread for 5,000 people, (Jn. 6:5-6); Philip wonders, but Andrew fronts an idea of a boy with two fishes and five loaves of bread. At the wedding in Cana Mary told the people around to do whatever Jesus tells them (Jn. 2:5).
God’s plan may look foolish; but in it is divine wisdom that the world does not comprehend (Isa. 55:8-9; 1 Cor. 1:26-29). God may choose the unexpected to educate you through university and close the expected doors! In such a case, will you force your way or heed God’s voice/leading. He is a God of surprises!
We need to develop in our obedience to God and trust his plan for our lives.
We should obey and follow because we know the identity of the one calling us.
- Faith in God- (v. 6) Israelites had to trust the God who commanded them.
In this, they were required to walk by faith and not by sight. The author of Hebrews (Heb. 11:30) retrospectively looked at this victory as a triumph of faith. Faith against all evidence.
The people had to take a faith step, to their possession.
As they laid the city to a siege, they needed to walk by faith and not by sight because they had never attacked any city in this manner- singing and blowing of trumpets.
You will note that fear had caused the inhabitants of Jericho to close their gates; instead of trusting in God, they trusted in the strength of their walls. They were not willing to surrender because their hearts were hardened. They lived inside walls of unbelief/doubt. They found security and refuge not in God but in their walled city.
Through faith, there is no situation is that is too great for the Lord to handle, and no problem is too much for him to solve.
Faith makes us be still and know that God in control and will fight for us (Ps. 46:10)- the Lord is a chain breaker, miracle worker, way-maker. The battle belongs to the Lord.
We need to trust God for the impossible things in our lives. Have a look at the following verses.
- “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son.” (Gen. 18:14)
- “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
- “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”(Jeremiah 32:17)
- “For nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).
- “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt.19:26).
- “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13)
In Jericho, the Israelites stared at walls of impossibility. Conquering this city needed God’s enabling power. It was going to be brought down not by powerful arsenal, or by military strategy or by strong men; but by faith in God.
Those impossibilities in various areas of life are opportunities for God to display his power.
God has given us numerous promises in his word. But we need courage to believe in what has been promised; that the one who has promised is faithful. We need to know God’s promises concerning our spirituality, finances, relationships, and families.
We need to believe that the battle shall be won, the iron gates shall be opened, that the mighty walls shall come down tumbling because the Lord has said it. Because the Lord has said, then we shall inherit the land occupied by giants.
Many times, life can present to us some ‘walls’ that seem unconquerable. In such cases, we need faith to conquer what is impossible. Faith laughs at impossibilities. Hudson Taylor: three stages in God’s work: Impossible…Difficult…Done
Faith in God compels us to focus on God who is bigger than any mountain/challenge we face in life.