Joshua 6 – Destroying Fortifications
The story of the walls of Jericho falling down, recorded in Joshua 6:1-27, is one that demonstrates the miraculous power of God. But more than that, the utter destruction of Jericho teaches us several grand truths regarding God’s grace and our salvation.
Strategy for Victory (6:1-7)
The directions given to Joshua by God for the battle to win Jericho seemed crazy when compared to the human strategies that men would come up with. That is why this chapter is crucial to study it repeats key concepts of walking by faith and dealing with the spiritual enemies we face in everyday life.
1 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. 2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 3 And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. 4 Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.” 7 Then he said to the people, “Go forward, and march around the city, and let the armed men go on before the ark of the LORD.”
Sequence to Victory (6:8-21)
These verses give us the sequence of events from the first day’s march around the city to the last day and the collapse of the wall. By simply following directions and marching the full seven days in silence, God brought down the walls to a heavily fortified city. Several hundred thousand people marching around the city without a word, not even a whisper! When God did bring down the wall, there were not just one or two places in the wall where soldiers were able to pour into the city. The whole wall around the city collapsed with the exception of the portion where Rahab’s (the prostitute that helped the spies from last chapter) house was located.
8 And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the LORD went forward and blew the trumpets; and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. 9 And the armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard, nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the LORD taken around the city, circling it once; then they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp.
12 Now Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew the trumpets; and the armed men went before them, and the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while they continued to blow the trumpets. 14 Thus the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp; they did so for six days.
15 Then it came about on the seventh day that they rose early at the dawning of the day and marched around the city in the same manner seven times; only on that day they marched around the city seven times. 16 And it came about at the seventh time, when the priests blew the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city. 17 And the city shall be under the ban, it and all that is in it belongs to the LORD; only Rahab the harlot and all who are with her in the house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, lest you covet them and take some of the things under the ban, so you would make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. 19 But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.” 20 So the people shouted, and priests blew the trumpets; and it came about, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, that the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.
The Promise Fulfilled (6:22-27)
The promises to Rahab were kept. She and her family were delivered. God’s grace and mercy is demonstrated throughout the final verses. God kept His faithfulness to His promises to help take control of the Promised Land. The faith and patience of the people were proved and increased. Joshua finishes the chapter by saying Cursed be the man that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho, or makes the daring attempt to build.
22 And Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives, and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. 25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.
26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his first-born he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.” 27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.
Too often we want immediate solutions and all our needs and wants met so we do not have to wait on the Lord and trust Him. We want to trust in our health, our bank accounts, our position in the community, our reputation, in our talent, education, and abilities. We don’t want to trust the Lord alone. What is your excuse for not trusting God or the path that He has you on?