We are all familiar with the story of Joshua and the Walls of Jericho. This happened after their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Finally, the Promised Land is within reach, Israel is ready to begin conquering the land of Canaan. But there's a barrier. A huge one. Fortified, double walls. In my prior readings of this account, my mind's eye only pictured the lower wall - and thought that was hard enough. But seeing the illustration below, well, that just blows me away.
(Photo courtesy of Answers in Genesis)
How do we penetrate these walls?
This is the battle plan God gave to Joshua. Joshua 6:2-5 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
Think how that must have sounded to Joshua - the only other survivor of the Wilderness Wanderings, seasoned and courageous military leader. But he obeyed. They marched once around the city for six days, led by the seven priests who blew the ram's horn or "shofar" (used as a signal in battle). But no one was allowed to talk. On the seventh day, they marched around seven times and the result takes us to Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
The walls fell down after Joshua's obedience.
In our lives we encounter the Walls of Jericho as well. They may surround our loved ones. In some instances, they may even surround us. Walls of anger, fortified by resentment and bitterness. Walls of loneliness, coupled with despair and hopelessness. God shows us the answer here. We who are on the outside looking in are told to walk in faith. But then we question: "This is the plan? March in circles and say nothing?" In our impatience, we cannot just wait in silence, we run off and try to chip a brick here and a brick there. We offer sage advice but it falls on deaf ears. The walls remain. Nothing happens.
We would do well to follow the example of Joshua. Walk in faith and realize that we need to blow the ram's horn as well. It is a battle but it is not ours to fight on our own. It is said in Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We are no match for the "principalities" and "powers" that prop up the Walls around us. But God is and He has given us the battle plan. We walk by faith. And we blow the ram's horn of prayer. We let God's word, the Sword of the Spirit, fight our battles. And just like in Jericho, the walls will fall down - from the inside.