Sunday, March 18, 2012

Joshua Part 4 - Jericho

Now we come to probably the most famous part of Joshua's life - Jericho.  This story has been talked about several times and I know that Veggie Tales made a skit about it but here is my rendition of the story.

Joshua finally got the people of Israel across the Jordan river.  Now they had entered the Promised Land.  God had been telling them for 40 years that they would get to this land and the time had finally arrived.  As I stated in the last post, they were facing a tremendous challenge when they got there.  There were seven nations occupying their land and each of these nations was more powerful than Israel.  But Joshua had God on his side so he was determined to conquer the land.

Throughout the first several books of the Bible, we see that while God is certainly a God that can do miracles, the Israelites learn much about tactics and how to do things militarily.  Fortunately for Joshua, this is not his first campaign as their military leader and he is at home fighting wars.  So Joshua sends out a couple of guys to do reconnaissance of the land.  He needed to know what he was up against and these guys were to go take a look and give him a report on the land.  While the two guys were spying out Jericho, they came across a woman named Rahab and they stayed with her.  It's interesting that Rahab was a prostitute.

Well the king of Jericho finds out that the Israelites stayed at Rahab's house and he isn't real happy about it so he sends some people to pick the two spies up.  Rahab hides them.  Somehow she knows that the Israelites will be victorious so she makes them promise to spare her family when they invade the city even though the city has real high walls that make it almost impossible to attack and win an easy victory.  The spies give her a scarlet string and tell her to tie it to her window when the attack happens.  Anyone in her house will be spared but everyone else is going down.  They leave and tell Joshua all the found.

So Joshua loads everyone up and they prepare to cross the Jordan river which is at it's flood level.  Joshua has the people carrying the Ark of the Covenant go first.  Now as soon as their feet touch the edge of the water, the Lord stops the water from flowing and everyone crosses.  The instant that the last of the people's feet touch the other side of the river, it starts flooding again.  So the children of Israel camped on the other side of the Jordan river.  The day the pitched camp was the last day that the Lord sent them manna from heaven for food. 

Now while Joshua was standing around, he looked up and there was a man standing there with his sword drawn.  Joshua fell down on his face before the man and asked if he was friend or enemy.  The man was the captain of the Lord's army.  He was an angel.  Now Israel had surrounded the city so that no one could get in or out and the angel said the Lord is giving you this city.  Then the angel gives him the strangest battle plan ever used on a battle field.  Here is what he tells Joshua to do.  I want you to get some priests and the whole army and I want you to walk around the city once.  Do this each day for the six days.  On the seventh day, I want you to walk around the city seven times.  On the seventh time, the priests will blow their horns and everyone give a loud shout.  When that happens, the wall of Jericho will fall down and you can rush in to capture the city.

I don't know about you but this doesn't make much sense to me.  If the angel had said, I'm going to call in the heavenly Navy Seals and they are going to blow the walls apart with explosives then I'm going to hit the whole city with a bunch of bombs from a bomber, that would make sense.  But we need to learn a lesson.  God's thoughts are higher than ours and many times what He tells us to do won't make sense to us.  But if we know it's Him, we need to follow His directions. 

Fortunately for them, the Israelites did exactly what God told them to do through Joshua and just like He said it would, on the seventh trip around of the seventh day, when the people shouted and the priest blew the horns, the wall fell down flat and Israel captured the city!

Joshua went on to help the children of Israel conquer the promised land and while I could say much more about it, I am going to stop right here.

That's another of the Minion's Bible Stories.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite part about this is that they kept their mouths shut...not one word about how high, how thick, how impossible for them to tear down the wall. That of course applies to anything, any problem in our lives. I also like it for a picture about how to win a heart that has been hardened against God or anything godly or hearts hardened against each other. Often there is nothing we can do to help the situation. We just have be like Israel, keep our mouths shut until God tells us what to do or say. Prov I think says, a brother offended is harder to win than taking a walled city....But the good news/gospel is, with God, nothing is impossible...