Marching Around Jericho

Welcome to April!  It’s crazy how fast 2024 is going.  I feel like I just processed Christmas and New Year’s a few short weeks ago.  Now Easter has come and gone and spring is in full swing (or hopefully close!).  I’m always looking for new content to spark an idea for what to blog about, record podcasts, write devotionals on, and so forth.  And being that I’m working my way through the Old Testament in my daily Bible readings, I thought I’d tackle a recent subject:  the defeat of Jericho.  In my 7+ years of writing this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever specifically addressed Jericho.  Admittedly, there are a lot of Bible passages I’ve yet to look at.  But for me, Jericho seems like low hanging fruit for this month’s blog. 

We know much of the backstory leading up to this event.  The Israelites have wandered in the desert for 40 years due to the disobedience of their forefathers in taking the Promised Land.  The baton of leadership has been passed from Moses to Joshua.  And the first major step the Israelites have to take is literally stepping into the Jordan River; a feat which takes a level of faith similar to that “Red Sea” moment that brought them out of Egypt.  

The fear Israel had in knowing giants are in the land appears to be diminishing.  The fear now is in the heart’s of their enemies as they learn about all this God has done for them.  Joshua sends spies into Jericho; spies who connect with the prostitute Rahab and are safely harbored by her from the authorities.  Listen to what Rahab tells these spies:  

I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.  For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction.  And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.  Joshua 2:9-11

Rahab is expressing the fear of her people because they know the army they are about to face is different.  The Lord is with them.  The Canaanite nations are afraid and rightfully so:  God has commissioned Israel to take the land and drive out all the inhabitants.  Today’s blog focuses on the battle for Jericho itself; to look at the battle plan and see the applications we can make for our lives today.  If we follow God’s will in the battle, He promises to take us through to victory.  What was true for ancient Israel still applies for us today.  Let’s dive in.  

1.God has a battle plan that we must stick to

Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.  Joshua 6:1

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.”  Joshua 6:2,3

God gives Joshua the blueprints for success.  He is very specific with the details of how Israel is supposed to arrive each day, march around the city walls one time and then leave.  That’s for six days.  On the seventh day the instruction changes:  “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.”  Joshua 6:4,5  This last day is the culmination of the plan.  Again it is quite specific although the exact details of how the walls would fall and how Israel would win were still not clear.  Some scholars believe that an earthquake occurred at the exact moment the horns blew on the seventh day.  Others believe God just did it.  Either way, this was the battle plan prescribed by the Lord.  

When we bring a request to the Lord for an area we are seeking victory, are we quick to follow the plan He lays out?  We all have our Jerichos.  We all have areas we are looking for an answer, whether it be physical or health-related, financial, family/relationship, work, school, and so on.  If we are listening to the Lord when we pray, we come to realize He is speaking. He is saying something.  Maybe it’s through His word or in prayer.  Maybe through a sermon or message.  Perhaps from wise counsel.  But as He is speaking, are we able to say “OK God, I hear the battle plan and I understand what You are asking me to do.  I will do it.”  That is where the rubber meets the road and where our faith grows legs and moves forward.  We must stick to the battle plan.  

2.God’s battle plan doesn’t always make sense

But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.”  Joshua 6:10

All of this being said, can we just take a step back for a minute?  In the first major conquest of the land, Israel is given instruction by the Lord for how to take Jericho.  It’s probably the most fortified city they will face.  The battle plan God lays out doesn’t even sound like much of a battle is going to take place at all.  And beyond that, how awkward is it going to be for Israel (and how absurd will it look to the enemy) to march around a city for 6 days and then leave?  The fear the people of Jericho had must have given way to “These guys don’t look so tough after all.”  But sometimes the battle plan God gives us makes no sense.  

Think about other stories in the Bible.  The healing of Naaman’s servant who had to wash in the Jordan River seven times (2 Kings 5).  The disciples lowering their nets again after a night of catching no fish, only because Jesus told them to (Luke 5).  Jesus making a substance of spit and mud to heal a man’s eyes (John 9).  The only explanation I can come to with these and other stories is that God gives the victory, the healing, the positive end result in such a way that the glory can only go to Him.  I know myself too well.  If I can take the credit for the plan succeeding, somehow I will.  But if God asks me to do it in a way that makes no sense, there’s no way I’ll be able to explain it as being my idea.  The glory and praise all goes to Him; to where it belongs.  When the battle plan doesn’t make sense, we must still stick with it.  God knows what He’s doing.  

3.Following God’s battle plan sets us up for further victories

And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God Who has fought for you.  Joshua 23:3

Jericho was the first of many victories for Israel.  Despite the setback of taking Ai (read about Achan’s sin in Joshua 7), much of the rest of the book is about victory after victory for the Jewish nation.  Allotments and tribal disbursements are made.  The land God promised is finally theirs.  The long story that began all the way back to Abraham has come full circle.  God was in the details yet He guided from generation to generation, knowing that His people would see the victory if they would trust in Him.  More conquests would follow even as Israel inhabited the land.  Enemies would remain:  within and without.  If the people would choose to follow Him, they would be blessed.  If not, curses would come.  

As I study Jericho and the ensuing conquering of the land, I see a God Who is looking for the same “warrior spirit” that in-dwelt men like Joshua and Caleb.  And what I take from this is a phrase that I’m leaning into more and more:  confidence in the Lord begets more confidence.  Let me be quick to say in the Lord.  Confidence in myself has nowhere to go.  But a sort of “holy confidence” in knowing God can and will give the victory is the kind of assurance I am after in the daily battles I face.  When I see Him answer a prayer that I thought was pretty big and bold, I’m that much more willing to ask for something even bigger and bolder.  It’s a snowball sort of thing in which I end up realizing “What’s too big for my God to do?  If He wills it, He will do it.”  I find that the only thing holding back the move of God in my life is my own fear and my own lack of trust.  I have to move beyond and get over myself.  We all do.  

Guys I don’t know the Jericho you are facing today.  I do know you’ve probably been sizing it up for awhile.  Checking the condition of those walls.  Seeing if there’s a weak spot somewhere that you can just sneak through somehow.  Or perhaps you’ve just caught a glimpse and thought “There’s no way.  It’s too big.”  Fear has the ability to keep us moving forward and seeing what more God might have.  It stops us dead in our tracks and paralyzes our faith.  

For those who regularly read or listen to anything I put out under AS BOLD AS LIONS, you know I’m unwilling to accept fear as the final word for anything.  Otherwise I’m not being as bold as a lion and neither are you.  If we run, if we avoid Jericho, if we reject the battle plan because don’t want to follow it, we miss out on what God has in store.  I don’t want you to miss out.  I don’t want you to be held captive by the Jericho situation you are facing.  Give it over to the Lord.  Hear His heart.  And don’t miss the action steps He is calling you to take that will lead you on a path to victory.  

I’d love to chat more offline and pray for you.  You can message me at 

Let’s keep fighting the good fight of the faith.  I love you guys and I love walking this journey with you.  

Sign up to get these blogs delivered to your email inbox!  Visit 

Let’s connect: 

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  Ephesians 5:15-17



Leave a comment