Do you know the song about the Battle of Jericho? The most famous singer to record it is undoubtedly Elvis Presley. The lyrics are as follows:
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho
Joshua fought the battle of Jericho
and the walls came a-tumbling down
You may talk about your men of Gideon
You may talk about the men of Saul
But there’s none like good old Joshua
at the battle of Jericho (that mornin’)
Up to the walls of Jericho
They marched with spears in hand
“Come blow them ram horns,” Joshua said
“‘Cause the battle is in our hands.”
Then the lamb ram sheep horns began to blow
The trumpets began to sound
Joshua commanded the children to shout
and the walls came a-tumblin’ down (that mornin’)
Now what the song doesn’t reveal but you may recall is that the Battle was won not on the first day, nor by the might of the Israelites, but by following the directions God gave. Compare the battle of , which lasted seven days, to the Siege of Leningrad during World War II that lasted 872 days. Siege is an effective strategy, but is not one that is normally short in duration. It is long and ugly even with “modern” weapons of war. But Joshua and the Israelites had the greatest weapon on their side: God!
To get perspective, read Joshua Chapter 6; for a quick overview look a the following verses:
Joshua 6:1–2 (NIV)
Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
Then God tells Joshua how the “siege” will be conducted…
Joshua 6:3 – 5 (NIV)
3 March around the city once with all the armed men.Do this for six days.
4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
Then the critical win or lose part: execution!
Joshua 6:6-16, 20 (NIV)
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” 7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
8 When Joshua had spoken to the people… 11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord… 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
Now we know that God supernaturally gave them the city … He delivered Jericho to them. The triumph of this battle resounded throughout the land. God did this, not the might of Joshua or the Israelites. Their might was in submitting to God’s direction.
What God delivered, He also receives. When God enables us to succeed, when He fights our battles and blesses us, then to Him goes the victory and the treasure. God’s directions also included what was to happen to the all of the silver and gold that came from success.
Joshua 6:18 (NIV)
18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it…the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”
What is your personal Jericho? What triumphs and battles has God won for you? The biggest of course is the battle over sin. Jesus Christ came and fought and died in the ultimate battle to overcome our sin. He triumphantly rose, conquering both sin and death.
This great battle fought and won doesn’t preclude the smaller skirmishes and sieges that Satan and man wage against us. Our battles may be personal or professional, at home or at work. The good news is that God is always there to guide us with His Word on how to let Him face our own personal Jerichos and tumble down the walls.
The difference between the Battle of Jericho and our own battles is often the walls that must fall are those of our own making, built high and strong shutting us off from the blessings God would bestow. Oh, we may have battles where we need to lay siege against a trial or sin, but our biggest battle is usually within ourselves—our pride—our need to “do it ourselves” or perhaps worse: to know that God has worked in our lives but we take the credit.
2 Chronicles 26:16 (NASB95)
16 But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.
Just as in Joshua 6:18 we need to remember that the treasury and the triumph belong to God.
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
All Rights Reserved