The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the town!” Joshua 6:16
The people of Israel were in quite a predicament in Joshua 6, and they certainly looked a little bit crazy to the people watching. God had promised them the city of Jericho, a land occupied by "giants" and surrounded by a strong, fortified wall. Amidst their situation, God told them how He was going to give them the land of Jericho. The people of Israel were to march around the city for six days in a row. When they finished their six days, they were commanded to march one more time and then to shout, and the walls would fall. To the people watching them march around the city, they looked crazy, but they were demonstrating an act of faith. You see, as we study Scripture, we find that faith trusts God even when it does not make sense.
Joshua 6 tells us that the Israelites were finally going to take over the land of Jericho, the land that God promised to them. Their instructions were to march around the city of Jericho seven times, and God would give them the land. During the six times they marched, they were to be silent. On the seventh time, however, they were supposed to march, and at the right time, they would shout and God would give them the land.
Many people might have thought these instructions were too strange, and it was impossible that marching around the city would lead to taking the land. The Israelites, however, acted faithfully. They marched around the city for six days. On the seventh day, God performed a miracle. Joshua 6:16 tells us that on “the seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the town!'" When the people shouted, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and they captured Jericho. God did exactly what He said He would, and the Israelite’s faith was rewarded.
The story of Joshua and the Israelites reminds us that faithfulness is trusting God even when what He calls you to do does not make sense. Even in the confusion and chaos, we can trust His voice and direction in our lives. So, what is God calling you to do that you know is His calling on your life, but it does not make sense? What step can you take today towards obedience? Remember, His plan can be trusted.
Is there an act of faith that you know God is calling you to take, but it seems a little scary or does not make sense? What is that act of faith? It may not make sense to you, but God is faithful and trustworthy. Commit today to take a step towards the direction you know God is calling you to, whatever that looks like. Remember, God is faithful. We get to respond faithfully in return.
Read Joshua 6:6-27 (NLT)
So Joshua called together the priests and said, “Take up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and assign seven priests to walk in front of it, each carrying a ram’s horn.” Then he gave orders to the people: “March around the town, and the armed men will lead the way in front of the Ark of the Lord.”
After Joshua spoke to the people, the seven priests with the rams’ horns started marching in the presence of the Lord, blowing the horns as they marched. And the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed behind them. Some of the armed men marched in front of the priests with the horns and some behind the Ark, with the priests continually blowing the horns. “Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So the Ark of the Lord was carried around the town once that day, and then everyone returned to spend the night in the camp.
Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests again carried the Ark of the Lord. The seven priests with the rams’ horns marched in front of the Ark of the Lord, blowing their horns. Again the armed men marched both in front of the priests with the horns and behind the Ark of the Lord. All this time the priests were blowing their horns. On the second day they again marched around the town once and returned to the camp. They followed this pattern for six days.
On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the town! Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed as an offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies.
“Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.”
When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it with their swords—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys.
Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, “Keep your promise. Go to the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family.”
The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. They moved her whole family to a safe place near the camp of Israel.
Then the Israelites burned the town and everything in it. Only the things made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron were kept for the treasury of the Lord’s house. So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lives among the Israelites to this day.
At that time Joshua invoked this curse:
“May the curse of the Lord fall on anyone
who tries to rebuild the town of Jericho.
At the cost of his firstborn son,
he will lay its foundation.
At the cost of his youngest son,
he will set up its gates.”
So the Lord was with Joshua, and his reputation spread throughout the land.
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