We’re ready for phase three of the Lord’s battle plan for taking the city of Jericho, living out the word of God; taking the knowledge we’ve gained from all those Bible studies and the sermons we’ve been listening to and putting it to work in our lives. It’s going out and doing what the Lord has called us to do. It’s time to stop learning how to fish and just go out and actually start fishing.
Israel is setting out to possess the land the Lord promised Moses He would give them. Their first obstacle; their first challenge was the city of Jericho. Joshua revealed the Lord’s plan for taking the city. It sounded ridiculous, even to his most loyal and trusting followers, but the Lord is divinely serious and in order to be successful, in order to achieve the victory, everything has to be done exactly as the He wants it to be done.
Joshua 6:8-9: “When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets and the rear guard followed the Ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding.”
The Church received its marching orders from Jesus when He commanded us to “Go into the whole world and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19-20) The march has begun. The church is on the move.
Joshua 6:10a – But Joshua had commanded the people, ‘Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices. Do not say a word.’”
When Joshua said that there were probably some people thinking; “That’s just fine with me. I’m not a talker. I’m a doer. I’ll do anything you ask me to do Lord, as long as you don’t ask me to stand up in front of people and say something. Trust me, I won’t say a word.”
But there probably also people who were thinking; “Don’t say a word? You can’t possibly expect me to march all day without saying anything. The Lord has shown me so much. He has taught me so much. I can’t keep it all to myself. I’ve got to share it with others. They need to know about our God. I’ll do anything you say Lord, but please don’t ask me to be quiet.
Joshua 6:10b – “Do not say a word until I tell you to shout. Then SHOUT!”
I’ll just let the shouters do the shouting. I told you I’m not a talker and I’m definitely not a shouter. I’m a quiet person. I like to keep my feelings to myself. I prefer to keep my faith private. I’ll go along with this for now. But if he tries to make me shout, I’m out of here.
Joshua 6:11 – “So he had the Ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there.”
That went well, don’t you think? I know they were watching us. I could hear them snickering. Did you see the size of those walls? They look even higher up close. They must be thirty feet high and at least six feet thick. Did you realize there was another wall behind the first wall and it’s at least twelve feet thick? If we ever do manage to get past that first wall, what in the world are we going to do about that second one?
Joshua 6:12 – “The priest took up the Ark of the Lord,” The Ark of the Covenant represents the presence of the Lord among His people just as the Holy Spirit is present within believers and the church today.
Joshua 6:13a – “The seven priests…marching…and blowing the trumpets,” This was definitely not meant to entertain or impress the Canaanites with how well Israel’s priests could play those trumpets. The priests were blowing “Shofars, “ or ram’s horns. Those horns were blown to unite the army and to give them confidence and courage. The horns were also intended to alert the enemy that Israel’s God was coming against them.
The Word of God calls the Lord’s people to worship. When God’s people unite to praise the Lord, it serves as a witness to everyone around them that Jesus is real, Jesus is alive, and Jesus is here
Joshua 6:13b – “The armed men went ahead of them.” The armed guard out in front represents the “Prayer Warriors” of the church; those faithful souls who devote themselves to calling on the name of the Lord for the protection, for the provision and for the victory of the church. There can be no victory without unceasing, fervent prayer leading the way.
Joshua 6:13c – “The rear guard followed the Ark…while the trumpets kept sounding.”
The rear guard represents careful study of God’s Word guarding against false teaching, stopping the enemy’s attempt to dilute or corrupt the truth of the Gospel. It’s another way of saying, “Don’t forget to lock the back door.” Don’t get carless in your understanding of the truth. Don’t slide into compromise.
1 Peter 5:8 – “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Stay together. Don’t drift back. Don’t go off on your own. We need each other.
I realize that this post is a little shorter than the others. But if I keep going, the post will become too long. So, we’ll pick it up again, Lord willing, next Tuesday. As always, I appreciate your comments and questions. I hope these teachings make the Word of God more relatable to whatever you may be dealing with right now.