Walls….because of the ‘fallen state’ of man, irrespective of whether one is aware or not; there are walls in our lives which hinders one from realizing a fullness in their life be it spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially or mentally. Most often these walls are deep-rooted that one resigns to live with them. In the story of Jericho we read about the great wall which the children of Israel had to go through to realize the fullness of their blessing. In Joshua 5:10 – 6:1-27 we learn about the several principles that point to the only One who can tear down walls in one’s life.
Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home
Jericho was shut tightly….No one was allowed to leave or enter (v 1) The challenge may seem insurmountable, like the challenge that the Israelites faced that day in Jericho so long ago. Archeology and history tell us that the walls around the city were at least thirty to sixty feet high (nine to eighteen meters) and twelve to forty-five feet thick (three to thirteen meters). The gates were securely shut. Defeating the city seemed impossible, yet defeating the city was what they had to do because God commanded it! Before any of the other promises of inhabiting the land were to come to fruition, they had to deal with this wall. The same is true for you. The wall between you and your destiny must come down before you can experience God‘s blessing in other areas of your life. There they stood and gazed up at the wall an impossible obstacle. Perhaps today you stand, gazing up at your wall too. As you will see, nothing is impossible when God arrives on the scene!
I am handing Jericho over to you (v 2) Victory is God‘s will, and victory belongs to the Lord (v 2). One thing is for certain: It is not God‘s will for you to remain defeated in your life. Victory is always God‘s will. When He says that He is about to do something, victory is sure. Perhaps He has allowed you to remain mired in despair up until this point …just long enough for you to give up trying to muster victory through your own plans and in your own strength. But make no mistake, He wants the walls in your life torn down. He will make victory possible in His time, and in His way, in order to make known His glory. Ultimately, only God can bring true, authentic victory. We must, therefore, look to Him and to no other!
Victory flows out of obedience and humility (vv 6-21) No doubt the Israelites were expecting God to present a different plan for tearing down the wall. They no doubt knew about several possible military strategies for tearing down lesser walls, but none of them included marching around, blowing a horn, and shouting! God is testing both their obedience and their humility. Will they do it His way, no matter how ludicrous it seems? Will they follow His directions explicitly, or will they leave out a few humiliating details? The people follow God‘s instructions to march single file around the wall. After they march around the city one time, they go home for the day and come back the next. They repeat this silly routine according to God‘s instructions for six days. The wall has not budged. By the sixth day, I bet the people inside the city were having a good time watching. I can hear them saying, Hey, here come our little toy soldiers. Just watch them march. Don‘t they look amusing? Are we supposed to be afraid?
On the seventh day, however, the Israelites‘ routine changes. They start at the crack of dawn and march around the citynot once, but seven times. This takes them seven to fourteen hours to complete. They do not know it at the time, but this day will be their day of victory! Just as they had done every day that week, the Israelites obey God right down to the most infinitesimal detail. They realize that God is their only hope, and they trust that He is fully capable of eliminating the wall, just as He had parted the Red Sea and the Jordan River. How about you? Are you willing to obey God‘s plan for eliminating the wall between you and your destiny no matter how trying or humiliating the process might seem? Will you follow His directions obediently and humbly until victory is secured?
Victory can only be won when God is on center stage (v 9) God tells His people to arrange themselves in battle formation. He has the warriors go both before and behind the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant. Why? Two reasons: (1) the ark of God‘s presence will be protected, and (2) the Shekinah glory of God will shine in the midst of His people. God positioned His glory in such a way that when the victory was won, there would be no doubt Who deserved the glory. One may have been battling for so long…trying to bring down a wall for example of poverty, discord in marriage …doing so with self at the center stage; this great effort is all in vain. For God’s deliverance comes through when God is at the center stage! When God is at the center stage…it ceases to be about you and it is all about God’s honor and glory.
Victory happens as you wait quietly before Him (v 10) Throughout Scripture, God says to wait patiently for Him to deliver, to wait before Him in quiet anticipation until He acts (Ps 37:7; 62:5; Lam 3:25-26). God tells the people to be quiet and to be patient. When the time of His deliverance comes, then it will be time to shout. One word sums up this principle of expectant waiting: faith. Israel is supposed to demonstrate complete, unwavering faith even when it seems like nothing has changed from the day before. That is an extraordinary quality of faith. We know from Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. The Israelites waited patiently for His deliverance. We, too, must diligently seek Him, as we wait in faith and follow His instructions on when to act and when to be still.
Victory will only come as you cry out to the Lord for His deliverance (v 20) When the time is right, God tells Israel to cry out. What a battle cry it is! It is a cry that demonstrates confidence in the One who will deliver. Many times Scripture records that God hears and delivers those who cry out to Him (Ps 34:15, 17; 40:1; 77:1; 145:19). Crying out requires a certain amount of desperation, does it not? How desperate are you for God‘s deliverance from the walls that separate you from your spouse, your destiny? Won‘t you cry out to Him in desperation and believe that His deliverance draws near?
Victory won’t happen unless you are desperately obedient (v 15) The Israelites not only obey God in detail for six days, but they are up at dawn armed, focused, and ready to do battle on the seventh day as well. How ready are you to do battle to tear down the walls in your life? Do you arm yourself in the morning with the weapons of your warfare (Eph 6:10-20)? Do you seek His face at dawn in order to receive your marching orders as they relate to the battle faced in your life? Do you center yourself on Him in order to stay focused for the battle? Remember, victory will come to those who are desperate for deliverance.
When victory occurs, all glory must be His (vv 18-19) When God finally delivers His people, He commands them not to keep any riches from the city for themselves. It is all to be given to the temple. Why? So that no one would take the glory for himself/herself. God makes it clear to all: ―Salvation comes from the Lord. When God tears down the walls in your marriage, the same must be true. The glory will be His, and you will delight in declaring His glory to those around you.
After God grants victory, woe to the one who rebuilds the wall (v 26) At that time Joshua made this solemn declaration: The man who attempts to rebuild this city of Jericho will stand condemned before the LORD. He will lose his firstborn son when he lays its foundations and his youngest son when he erects its gates! This is a serious warning to the one who dares to rebuild the wall after it has been torn down. Deliverance and victory is His will for you in your life not just for a few weeks or a month, but for the rest of your life. Just as He can and will deliver you by tearing down the walls that separate you, from your destiny or blessings; so He can keep you from falling back into the separation of your past. The wall will stay down as you continue to cultivate your oneness with God; and as your honor him in your life.