“Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days…. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. Then it shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat.'”Joshua 6:1-5 (NIV)
Joshua and all Israel are on the verge of claiming the Promised Land. But their very first task is to conquer Jericho, a fortified city. Jericho stood as a physical and psychological obstacle between the people of Israel and their claiming of the land God had promised them. They have a choice: defeat Jericho and possess the Promised Land, or freak out, stay in the wilderness, and die.
While meditating on how to attack Jericho, a man appeared to Joshua with a sword drawn in his hand. Joshua asked, “Are you for us, or against us?” (Joshua 5:13). The man identified himself as the “Captain of the host of the Lord” (5:14, KJV). This title, so often afterward applied to the Son of God, revealed to Joshua that this battle belonged to the Lord.
Humanly speaking, Jericho was so strongly fortified as to be almost incapable of being taken. It guarded all the passes to the interior of the land of Canaan. Consequently, so long as Jericho held out, the land was safe from invasion.
We find that the same experience meets us once we choose to move forward in Christian warfare. For us to conquer our strongholds we need to listen to God’s word, obey His instructions, and trust Him to honor His promises. Invisible forces rise up to try to stop us and will succeed unless we follow our Captain implicitly. Satan would like to see you turn away from conquering your stronghold and go right back into the wilderness. But God desires more than anything for you to completely trust in Him and follow Him today.
No matter what your Jericho is – addictions, rebellion, adultery, bitterness, etc. – God has the power to demolish it and to polish you! “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). Hence we can confidently sing:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,“Standing On the Promises” by Carter, Russell K. 1886. Public Domain
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.