Joshua 6:1

 

 

The Bible says in Joshua 6:1-6, “Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.[2] And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.[3] And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD.” In verse one we something that happened many times in ancient cultures: an attacking army comes and everyone goes inside the city and closes the gates. They feel vulnerable, and instead of fighting, they hope the aggressor will eventually give up and go away. And so God says to Joshua in verse two, “See.” The Canaanites are already afraid of you because I made them afraid.

 

But God did not want the Israelites to win the battle of Jericho the way that armies normally win, because God wanted to show them that He alone was giving them the victory, and that God would also give them victory over all the other peoples in the land of Canaan. What happened at Jericho is one of the great events of the Old Testament. There is a wonderful song to commemorate the event: “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho.” It starts like this: “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho; Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.” In verse five God told them exactly what would happen if they did things His way: “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.”

 

The Bible says in Joshua 6:7-10, “And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD.[8] And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.[9] And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.[10] And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.” Not only were the Israelites not allowed to do anything that an army would normally do, but they were not even allowed to talk. In verse ten they were told, “neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth.” Once again this is an emphasis on the fact that they were totally dependent upon what the Lord would do, and not upon what they would do. Maybe we would talk less if we had more faith that God must do His work. Only God can accomplish what really needs to be done. Only God can touch hearts. Only God can perform miracles. Christians are told in James 1:19, “Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath

 

The Bible says in Joshua 6:11-20, “So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp.[12] And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.[13] And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.[14] And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.[15] And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.[16] And 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.[17] And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.[18] And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.[19] But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.[20] So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Why was there such a great victory in Jericho: because Joshua and the rest of the people did things exactly the way that God wanted them to do. The way that we find out what God wants is from the teachings of the Bible. That is why every church should study the epistles of the New Testament because those are the letters written by the inspiration of God to the churches and to the Christians so that we would properly understand law verses grace, the life of faith, and the implications of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even if your church is not called a Bible church, it should be a “Bible” church.  

 

The Bible says in Joshua 6:21-27, “And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.[22] But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.[23] And the young men that were spies went in, and brought Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.[24] And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of brass and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD.[25] And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, which Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.[26] And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it.[27] So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.” Verse twenty-one says that “they utterly destroyed all that was in the city.” This was war, and these were harsh times, and it was the Old Testament, and they fought to win. Also, God wanted the Israelites to remove every one of the heathen from the land. God decides who lives and who dies, and God had given the Canaanites hundreds of years to repent and they only became worse and worse. The time of judgment always comes to those who refuse to repent. God knew that if the Israelites were intermixed with the heathen, that the Israelites would be corrupted by the heathen. It is the principle of separation of believers from unbelievers. Of course, we do not use war for this because we are in the age of grace, but the goal is to be a witness to the lost souls of the world, and not to follow their bad examples or their ungodly ideas. It is not easy in the world we live in today because the influences of the unbelievers are all around us. They decide the educational curriculums at most schools and colleges. They create the entertainment. They control the mass media and news outlets. And so it is coming at us from all directions. Make sure you read the Bible, hear good sermons at church, listen to gospel music, and memorize Bible verses. As it says in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God

 

There are exceptions to most things, and even though everyone in Jericho was destroyed, Rahab and her family were not as it says in verse twenty-five, “And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had.” What happened in Jericho is a good illustration of what has happened and what will happen to the rest of the world. Most people do not get saved. Jesus made that very clear. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:[14] Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Those who become like Rahab and believe the message of God’s servants who preach the Gospel of Christ, will live forever in heaven with all the people of God.

 

Notice that verse twenty-six says, “Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho.” There are a lot of curses in the Old Testament, and that is because the law brings a curse. Thankfully, there are no curses for those who trust in Jesus. Jesus became a curse for us. It says in Galatians 3:13, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree

 

The Bible says in Joshua 7:1-5, “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.[2] And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai.[3] And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.[4] So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.[5] And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” One person committed one sin, and the result was “the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.” Believers are one unit together. All believers together are the congregation of the Lord. That was true with Israel in the Old Testament, and that is true with Christians in the New Testament. We are no stronger than our weakest link. No wonder the church is so ineffective. If you fail, turn to the Lord quickly for forgiveness. You do not want to fall under the chastising hand of the Lord.

 

Evidently Ai was a small city and not considered to be very powerful, so it says in verse three that the Israelites would only send “two or three thousand men” to fight them. But because there was sin in the camp the army of Ai defeated the Israelites. It says in verse five, “And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.” If you want to have victory in the spiritual warfare, make sure you sins are confessed to the Lord Jesus so you can be in fellowship with Him and have His power in your life. You are weak without Him.                 

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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