Victory at Jericho
Verse 1 – Now, here is one of the oldest cities built, thousands of years before Joshua was even born, with walls all around, some 25 feet high and 20 feet thick. Guards stood on top of these walls and could look out for miles. It was invincible, so they thought. It had been shut up with no one coming in or going out ever since they heard of the Israelite’s coming across the Jordan.
The Canaanites saw Israel’s God as one of their nature god’s and a war-god because He had parted the Jordan and defeated Sihon and OG. They never even considered Him a fortress God who could prevail against a walled city.
Verses 2-5 – God told Joshua that his enemy was already defeated. Sound familiar? Christians also fight against a defeated enemy. Our enemy is Satan, defeated by Christ (Romans 8:37-39; Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 John 3:8). We should never walk around in fear when battling the enemy, feeling paralyzed, helpless. Through Christ’ power and what He’s already done, the victory is ours. Let’s look at what God told Joshua to do, how he was to take the city; this battle would be clear when it was over that God had done it, not Israel’s military army. The priest carried the Ark, not the soldiers. This strange (to Israel) military maneuver was a test of Israel’s faith to trust All Mighty God, completely. These blasts of the trumpets were the same trumpets used in their religious festivals to remind them their victory came from the Lord (Numbers 10:9).
Verse 10 – The only noise coming from this army would be the blasts of the trumpets until the day Joshua would tell them to shout. For 6 days, the Israelite’s marched around Jericho’s walls, one time a day, priest blowing the trumpets and no one saying a word.
Verse 15 – On the seventh day, God’s number for perfection, and the conclusion of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, they marched around the city 7 times.
Verse 16 – This shout was a war cry!
Verses 17-19 – Joshua said all who are in the city except Rahab and her household were to be destroyed; the livestock, the idols, everything except the precious metals that were to go into the Lords treasury.
Verses 20, 21 – God was carrying out severe judgment against the wickedness of the Canaanites. This judgment required that everything be destroyed (Deuteronomy 12:2, 3; 12-18). This threat to the right kind of living that God required had to be fully removed, if not, it would affect the Israelite’s like a cancerous growth. Rahab and her household were saved because she had helped the spies and her faith in the Living God of Israel. The silver and gold were not kept to enrich the people but would beautify the tabernacle of God. Does this sound familiar with Christian living? God doesn’t want us distracted with anything that would keep us from accomplishing His purpose for our lives.
Verse 26 – This curse was fulfilled in 1 Kings 16:34, when Hiel, rebuilt Jericho and consequently lost his oldest and youngest sons.