March 17 I Thursday
“Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.’” —Joshua 6:2
After God miraculously parted the Jordan River, as He did the Red Sea, for the Israelites to enter the land of Canaan, He met with Joshua to go over the battle plan on how He would deliver the city of Jericho into Joshua’s hands. God told Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March round the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Make seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march round the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, make the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in” (Joshua 6:2-5).
What was about to happen for the Israelites was a fulfillment of signs and prophecies from God. All the way back to Genesis, God’s covenant with Abraham spoke of this moment. “I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it....Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and ill-treated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions....In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here [to the land of Canaan], for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure” (Genesis 15:7, 13-16). As the Israelites entered into the Promised Land, it was time for God’s judgment.
Symbolically, the ark of the covenant represented the presence of God. In other words, it was not simply the Israelite army that was surrounding Jericho, but also the presence of God marching around Jericho. What must it have been like for the people living inside of Jericho as they watched this army march around one time and go home for six days? Maybe some of the people in Jericho were watching and feeling full of confidence with their double walls, fresh water and food. They may have been thinking, “Surely Yahweh can overthrow Pharaoh, but Yahweh cannot take this city.”
On the seventh day, the Israelites marched around and around and around and around and around and around and around. Then, Joshua declared, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” (Joshua 6:16). With a loud shout and the trumpets’ sound, the walls of Jericho collapsed. God had fulfilled His promise.
Prayer: Father God, You are the Promise-keeper. As You said it would happen, You will bring it to pass. Thank You, God.