Jericho was the first walled city the Israelites had ever encountered. Jericho was shut up with iron doors and bars of brass because of the children of Israel. Jericho resolved Israel shall not be her Master. It was shut up by the obstinacy and resolution of the inhabitants who agreed never to surrender. Their hearts were hardened in a way that no one could go out – probably to make peace or sign a treaty with the Israelites and no one could come in so the Israelites also would not be able to charge in or possess the land. It was more of an irrevocable decision by the inhabitants of Jericho.
God’s intention was that Israel conquers Jericho along with its King and warriors and He communicated to Joshua how the city should be besieged. God gave them his divine strategy – “March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Do it for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets. And then, a long blast on the ram’s horn–when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in”. (Joshua 6:3-5 MSG)
Ordinarily, priests were excused from war. To the human mind, it may seem foolish to obey and believe a promise which in ordinary sense seemed impossible to be realized. They patiently bore the reproaches of their enemies and patiently waited for God. Thus, by faith not force, the walls of Jericho came down crumbling.
Here’s what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days. Joshua 6:3
These were professional soldiers. They are skilled combatants. The only instruction they probably needed was for their leader, Joshua to strategically position them on how to demolish or bring down the wall, and then give the go ahead. They were all waiting for their commander to come out with a military winning strategy to achieve their aim. They were bewildered on hearing the Master say to them all they needed to do is march around the city once and repeat the cycle for 6days.
“Master Joshua, shall we be having a military parade round a city we need to conquer? This is a serious task that needs a winning strategy not a military procession. This is not a swearing-in ceremony or a passing-out ceremony of comrades”, a sergeant mutters. The entire army, which were literally hundreds of thousands of men, should walk around the city wall once a day for six-days – that’s a sheer waste of man-power and underutilization of resources, you may say.
The greatly fortified city of Jericho presented an impossible situation and God gave them winning formula that made light their skill.
God may have positioned you in a divine location and you honestly feel you could have been in a ‘better’ place; you have ‘better’ options. In many scenarios, we try to understand and reason out God’s instructions before carrying them out. They went around the city for six days; it looked like they were walking around in circles with no apparent progress and achievement. They would pass for a skillful boxer punching the air and missing his punches. In situations like this, when we get instructions that tweaks or disabuses our thinking, it’s imperative to just ‘March’ according to his bidding. When God asks you to take steps that makes little sense and seem unrelated to the victory you seek, just follow it through.
The progress may not be visible when carrying it out. Just stick with it. Does it look like a seemingly foolish plan? Just March! Act it out in faith!
2. Shut Up and March!
Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak–not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’–then shout away!” Joshua 6:10
Sometimes the best way to carry out God’s instructions is to shut out your voice of reasoning and act it out. Stop whining and moaning around. The earlier you realized that, the better. You keep moaning about God’s instruction, wanting to create a ‘pity-party’ for yourself. Stop the lamentations; quit complaining and just march.
It would interest you to know that not everybody is interested in your convictions. They only want to see the results. So, why keep explaining your convictions to people that are only interested in the results. I feel that’s the number one source of discouragement. They were not there when you saw ‘Moses and Elijah’ on the mount of transfiguration, so you shouldn’t expect them to always gel with the instruction.
When you start hearing words like, “With your educational status, do you honestly feel there is any iota of intelligence in what you are doing? Are you sure this is a viable career path to follow? Those that have experience and are well-grounded in this market have done this business and failed, you honestly don’t have a chance. You are too big for what you are doing, you are under-utilising your skills and capacity”. It’s not the time to get discouraged, just keep marching with diligence
We might want to take a cue from the Shunamite woman, She didn’t speak to Gehazi but she spoke to Elisha. God’s got this!
3. Don’t stop on 6
When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times–yes, this day they circled the city seven times. Jos.6:15
The priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it. Jos.6:20
They had gone round the city wall for six days and on the seventh day, they circled it seven times making thirteen times. They marched round the wall of Jericho thirteen times. They did it for six days and nothing visible happened but on the seventh day, the wall of Jericho fell down flat.
You are closer than you think you are. You have been persistent and diligent with the instruction and it all looks like an effort in futility and sheer waste of time; it’s not an excuse to give up, just hold your peace. Don’t stop on the sixth round, go the seventh round. Can you imagine a 600level student of Medicine wanting to quit because he’s spent quite a number of years when he has just one year left to becoming a full-fledge medical doctor? Remember what God told you when you started; reminiscence on why you started. There is more to come! There is a ‘hereafter’!
Don’t worry about how the wall of Jericho would fall flat. Your part of the bargain is to march around it. Leave the outcome to God. While you are working it out, God is working in you to make the victory manifest. It’s still a sure thing!
Just as He gave Joshua his word of assurance, God is saying the same to you; I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands.
So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! Heb.10:35 (MSG)
No regrets! Stay assured, it’s an unsinkable ground wherein you stand. It’s still a sure thing!