Imagine with me for a moment. You’re standing outside a wall, not an ordinary barrier, but a structure measuring roughly fifty feet tall and around six feet thick and on the other side is a promise of God or an answer to prayer. Now imagine God has already said it’s yours to have, but you must march around the enormous walls, by faith, for seven days and they will fall. What will you do?
Joshua 6:2-5, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse, and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
Joshua 6:22-25, Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
As I read and reread this scripture, the same questions kept nagging me. Why seven days? And why thirteen trips around the walls? God could’ve quickly caused the walls to tumble and allowed the Israelites to march right in, saving them seven exhausting and silent days (Joshua 6:10). So why didn’t He?
Now, I can imagine marching around the Jericho walls, day after day, seemed insane to the people. I thought about the fact that they couldn’t even complain because they were commanded to remain silent. I’m sure they were wore out and probably wanted to sit down and quit or take a Snickers break. Circling their promise was tough, but I am convinced when we march on is when prayers are answered and our promise is made possible.
Perhaps you are more spiritual than me, but it seems as though becoming discouraged is easily done when we’re stuck staring at the walls surrounding our promise. As we stand and face these barriers, it’s critical we refuse to receive the enemy’s lies that tempt us to sit down and quit. So why does God not always tear the walls down immediately? I believe it’s to build our faith and the faith of those watching us. You see, our promises and prayers are never just about us. Think about the lives you will reach if you will only keep marching. Or sadly, what lives might be missed if you sit down and quit? I believe God made them circle the city, day after day, because they needed to learn to trust His word. Secondly, it was vital that a woman named Rahab saw the faith the Israelites had in God. Jericho wasn’t just about them, it was also about a prostitute and her family.
I don’t pretend to know what walls you are facing, but I do know that if God has promised you what’s on the other side, you can take Him at His word. Don’t quit marching, the walls are going to fall!
“By faith, the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.” Hebrews 11:30