Joshua 6:3-5, “And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 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. 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.”
Jericho sat on an elevated position. The city was most likely 8-9 acres in diameter and was fortified by double walls of mud-brick and stone that were several feet thick, and probably spaced 12-15 feet apart. To attack such a city meant charging up the embankment, attempting to breach the walls, all the while being shot at from their top. The tactician’s textbook would have suggested starving them out and building siege ramps to eventually attack. But the Captain of the LORD‘s host (Joshua 5:15) thought otherwise. The whole point of this strategy is to publicly demonstrate both to God’s people and those who oppose them, that God is doing this. Their obedience to this strategy was a public declaration of the congregation’s dependence on God rather than their own resources to deliver the city.
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4). Obedience is simply faith in action. Which is why we read in Hebrews 11:30, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.” God is not honored by the exercise of natural talents, abilities, or by appearances. Many people have squandered their talents and their abilities by their disobedience to God’s Word, and appearances are not always what they seem (1 Sam. 15:22). Saul was a great physical specimen. He stood head and shoulders above his countrymen, and while he started well, he finished poorly. The reason is because he only sort-of obeyed. Instead of running God’s play He called an audible.
Faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes the world because Christ has overcome the world, and the only way we may be overcomers is through obedience. Faithfulness equals obedience, not good intentions, or quick starts, or big plans, or spectacular skills, or charismatic personalities, but faithfulness to Christ. Does that describe you?