In Joshua 6, God commanded Israel to conquer the city of Jericho. It was the first major city in the new land, and a giant wall surrounded it. The wall was built in three tiers. The first tier was cut into bedrock and ran vertically into the second tier which was made of stone. The first two walls were about 12-15 ft tall. The third tier was made of mud bricks and stood 20-25 feet tall. From the base to the top, it stood almost 40 ft. I’m sure every Hebrew had their opinion about how to conquer the city, but God gave strict instructions to Joshua.
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. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day, you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” Joshua 6:1-7
God told Israel to walk around the walls, and He would give them the victory. To summarize the story, Israel obeyed God’s instructions and marched around Jericho once for six days, and seven times on the seventh day. They cried with a great voice, and the walls fell to the ground. Israel received the victory by obeying God, and all they did was walk. I find it interesting that walking is all they did for the past 40 years, and walking is what brought the victory. It’s funny how we can walk in disobedience for 40 years or walk in obedience for 7 days.
The book of Joshua is a perfect Christian study in sanctification. God used Joshua’s leadership to teach Israel about obedience and conquering the enemy. Jesus is doing the same thing in our life by asking us to obey Him and put sin to death. Jericho is a symbol for the strongholds in our life that are full of sin. They are areas of our heart, ruled by a foreign king, and Jesus is our better Joshua leading us to victory.
Your city may not be named Jericho. It might be called Racism, Hatred, Anger, Bitterness, Gossip, or Fear. Whatever the city is called, Jesus wants it to crumble. He has a battle plan, and it is very similar to what Joshua told the Israelites. Do the thing you have always done, walk. Walk through your daily life, but do it in obedience to Christ.
Don’t walk through life cursing your surroundings or complaining about where you live. Don’t walk through life being angry with everyone you meet. Don’t walk through life with bitterness 40 ft high. Jesus has set you free from slavery. Jesus has saved you from darkness and is calling you into marvelous light.
Walk through life obeying the commands Jesus gave us. Walk through life loving your neighbor and being thankful in all circumstances. Walk through life with the peace that rivals anything on earth. Walk through life cherishing Jesus as the most valuable thing in your life.
Some of the cities in your heart have walls taller than Jericho. At times it can feel overwhelming, and there seems to be no hope in sight. But, if you follow Jesus in obedience on a daily basis, the walls will come down. The walls always fall when you put one foot in front of the other and take obedience one step at a time.