Victory in Battle
As the Children of Israel were facing their first battle in their newly acquired promised land, Joshua gives them some very strange instructions from the Lord. It’s clear to see that this will be no ordinary battle, and in typical “God fashion”, He does the complete opposite of what comes natural.
Only God would:
- Send an army in to march around the City wall for six days without making any attempts to fight. They were told not to make a sound, or in any way use their voice. Perhaps this was to keep them from voicing their concerns about how this was going to work??? Especially given their forefathers, who did nothing but question and complain in the wilderness.
- Armed with the weapon of God’s choice – trumpets made of rams horns before swords
- And then tell them to march around seven times on the seventh day, and when they hear the trumpet, they are told to “shout” and they’ll see the walls around Jericho fall flat!
Now God had already assured them of their victory, yet He was working in the people:
- Unity – they marched together, following the priest who carried the Ark of the Covenant
- Obedience – they followed God’s orders without knowing how He was going to accomplish His promise for victory – and when it made little sense in the natural.
One important tool the Lord highlights in this story is the power of praise. A shout of victory can still bring down spiritual walls and break spiritual bondage to this day!
In the Bible, the number seven symbolizes perfection. They had seven priests with seven ram’s horns, and were told to march around seven times -on the seventh day they were to shout…surely the number seven is significant! We see in Gen. 2:2-3 that after God created the earth in the first six days, He rested on the seventh. Therefore, God blessed the seventh day. In the battle of Jericho, they marched for six days (that was their work) and on the seventh, they marched and shouted because that was the day of perfection, the day of their victory!
“Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!” – Joshua 6:16
The Israelites did exactly as God commanded, and they saw the walls crumble before their eyes. The entire City was destroyed – every man, woman, child, and animal, with the exception of Rahab and her family. Joshua had instructed them to spare Rahab, according to the promise they made to her when she hid the spies. It is important to keep your promises – just as God is trustworthy, so are His people.
The battle of Jericho was special in that it was their first victory in their promised land. In the battles following Jericho, the Lord allowed the people to take the spoils (riches). But for this battle the Lord required the spoils to be consecrated to Him.
“But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron are consecrated to the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” – Joshua 6:19
This was in keeping with the command to give your “first fruits” to the Lord. God wanted the first fruits of their first battle to be consecrated to Him. He still wants us to put Him first in all areas of our lives, giving Him top priority – and of course the first fruits of all our wages earned.
The Israelites went on from Jericho to win many more battles – and God was with them just as He promised. “So the Lord was with Joshua and his fame spread throughout the country” – Joshua 6:27
- Just as God was with Joshua, He is with us today.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Matthew 28:20
- We still have guaranteed victory over the battles we face.
“A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” – Psalm 34:19
- We each have to take possession of our own personal promised land
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Let’s end with these very encouraging words found in Joshua 21:43-45
“So the Lord gave to Israel all the lands of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”
When God fights your battles, you always win! When the enemy sees that you are taking possession of your promised land, he will fear you – God will give you rest as long as you continue to trust and follow Him. God’s promises, no matter how long they may take to come about, will come to fruition exactly as He promised. God never fails to keep His word!