“Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.” Joshua 6:1
Have you ever felt like you go from one difficulty to the next, without a break? Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Trouble is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to steal our joy, peace or detour us from living.
In Joshua 6, the people are being led to the Promised Land when quickly confronted with another significant issue, the walls of Jericho. These walls were so big scripture says that people lived within the walls.
So why can’t they simply go around the walls and “let sleeping dogs lie?” Jericho was located in the land God had promised to give the Israelites. In other words, they occupied something that did not belong to them.
We have an enemy who wants to build walls around God’s promises to prevent you from receiving them. There are some promises God has made to you that must be fought for, as a follower of Jesus.
If we are unprepared for “trials of various kinds” (James 1:2), they can lead to discouragement and depression. Depression can become a difficult hole to climb out of, but not impossible. If you are trapped in depression, find someone you can talk to and begin taking small steps out of your depression. No single prayer can instantaneously erase your depression, but by faith, you can climb out of depression and set up boundaries to keep from walking back down the same road.
From a human perspective, the walls of Jericho presented a nearly impossible challenge. Tactically, Jericho had the high ground, a defensive advantage. The city was locked up; no one went in or out.
We learn in the Joshua 5 that Joshua turned to prayer. When you are facing a seemingly impossible task, make prayer your first choice, not your last resort. We read that an angel of the LORD appeared to Joshua and gave him a strategy for victory.
He’s told for seven days to silently march around the walls of Jericho once a day but on the seventh day to walk around seven times. The priests are to carry the Ark of the Covenant, and the army is to walk before and behind the Ark. On the seventh time around on the seventh day, the Priest’s are to blow seven rams’ horns, and the people are to shout a great shout. Ridiculous?? This sounds like a strategy for defeat and mockery, not victory.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8
Joshua, a seasoned and successful military hero, does not hesitate or question the commands but goes directly to the people to relay God’s orders. We create bigger problems when we attempt to secure God’s promises with human logic.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10:4.
Obstacles are opportunities to partner with God for a supernatural outcome. We must resist fighting spiritual battles with carnal “weapons” because it only treats the symptom, not the source.
The Strategy Symbolism
In God’s unusual strategy the number seven is repeated multiple times and symbolizes completeness and perfection.
The Ark of the Covenant represented the power and presence of God. God is not off in the distance but goes with us to battle.
The army walking before and behind the priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant demonstrates how we are to prepare the way for God’s presence in our lives and our battle.
“And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” Joshua 6:2
God transcends time. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. He is the great “I AM” He has always been and is without beginning or end. He speaks regarding what shall happen from the vantage point of it already happening. When the future becomes our present, it’s already the past to God. When God speaks of what is to come, it’s not a probability but a reality!
Are you facing impossibilities that are obstructing the promises of God in your life? Maybe it’s time to take matters not into your hands but on your knees and prepare for the victory that God has already secured!