“Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.” (Joshua 6:1 ESV)
Have you ever sat watching people as they go about their day? I have. Actually, I’m the kind of person who could sit for hours and do nothing but watch people! I know, I’m kind of weird. My only defense is I come by it honest.
As I watch people go about their hectic day, I wonder about their spiritual life. Do you? I wonder if they’re as free as they want people to believe? Can they go anywhere they desire, or are they limited by chains and walls of addictions? Do they have the authority to open their gates and leave the old life behind, or is someone, or something else controlling who comes and goes? Have they ever tried scaling the walls, calling for help; or have they given in to the devil’s spin, “this is the way it is; the way it will always be”?
Most people know the story of Jericho; and how God had Joshua shout the walls down so they could go in and kill all the people. Well, that’s MOSTLY true.
But there’s a more important storyline here. I believe Jericho was attacked for the following reasons:
– Israel needed to have a unified nation, not divided by pockets of doubt, unbelief, and allegiance to other gods.
– Israel, and Joshua, were having special training on how worship and warfare worked hand in hand.
– God wanted to answer the cry of Rahab’s heart.
I will mention, briefly, the last two bullet points.
“When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.”(Joshua 5:13-15 ESV)
Joshua was making last minute preparations to invade Jericho. There is no indication that he had any sort of plan; he was just flying by the seat of his pants. But the Captain of the Lord’s army appeared, and like a good soldier, Joshua challenged Him.
Recognizing the Lord’s Presence, he prostrated himself before the Lord and worshipped. As Joshua worshipped, the Lord gave him the plan.
Note – read Joshua 5 and 6 together, ignoring the chapter division. “And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” (Joshua 5:15-6:2 ESV)
When we 1) Desire to do God’s will, 2) Recognize His Presence, and 3) Worship Him for Who He is; we will experience:
– Greater unity in the Body,
– God’s specific plan to remove the barriers holding the Rahab’s in bondage,
– Victory over spiritual enemies, and
– The exceeding greatness of His power to those who believe (Ephesians 1)!
Worship and Warfare. Though the two words seem miles apart, God uses one with the other. After all, He is the One Who subdues our enemies before us.