God Is Victorious
Key Verse: “It came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.”
THE ISRAELITES WERE now in the land of promise and on their way to Jericho to conquer the city. “About forty thousand prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.” (Josh. 4:13) After the people had set up camp east of Jericho in Gilgal, Joshua spoke to the people telling them that they should always remember what God had done for them—“That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever.”—vs. 24
Jericho was a walled city that was located about five miles from the Jordan. Frequent battles in the past over its wealth had made the wall that surrounded it a necessity. As the time approached for the siege of the city to begin, God told Joshua to “circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.” (chap. 5:2) Circumcision is the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. (Gen. 17:7-14; Rom. 4:11) The time had now come for the reproach of Egypt to be “rolled away.”—Josh. 5:9
It was during the later years of the Egyptian bondage that this separating sign had been neglected (Exod. 4:24-26), and this neglect had continued during the wilderness journey. All of the men of war, which came out of Egypt, had now died, and it was time to dedicate the people to conform to the will of God. Following this event, the people “kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.”—Josh. 5:10
We are then told in the account that Joshua “looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand.” (vs. 13) He was actually an angel, and the captain of the Lord’s host. Through this heavenly messenger, Joshua was told that the Lord had given Jericho to him, and he revealed God’s plan on how this would be accomplished. It was yet another miraculous sign that God was with them. Joshua, as a faithful servant, immediately put the plan into action.
Every day, for six straight days, all the men of war were to march around the city. Next, a company of seven priests would “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.” (chap. 6:4) This was to be followed with a long blast of the ram’s horn, and a great shout from all of the people. After these things were done, God told Joshua that the “wall of the city shall fall down flat.” (vs. 5) So the people did all that God had told them to do. When they had made the seventh circle of the city, they stopped in front of it, still blowing their rams’ horns and, after a great shout, the walls of the city crumbled and fell immediately in front of the ark. The wall fell to such an extent that Israel’s army was able to easily enter the city and complete the work of its destruction, which the Lord had commanded.
The events that took place concerning the fall of Jericho show how important faith in the Heavenly Father is, and also how nothing can stand in the way of God’s plans and purposes being carried out.—Ps. 76:7-9; Isa. 14:26,27