What walls of Jericho in your life are keeping you from entering God’s Promised Land… His abundant life for you?

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9

We see in the Old Testament a man named Joshua, a heroic man of faith, who believes in a God of miracles. He is eyewitness to the miracles experienced by the Israelites in their deliverance from servitude to Egypt. Throughout the forty years of wandering of God’s children, Joshua’s faith in the Lord never wavers. He believes God’s word that He will lead them into the Promised Land and scatter their enemies before them.

When the Israelites first reach the land of Canaan, Moses sends twelve men as spies to scout out the enemy territory. Although the cities there are fortified and the people look like giants, Joshua and Caleb trust that their all-powerful God will do the impossible. These two men of faith believe that the Lord will go before them and fight their battles. The inhabitants can be conquered. The Almighty One will bring them victory.

Thus marks the turning point for God’s chosen people. They choose to believe the fears of the other ten spies rather than the faith of Joshua and Caleb. There before them lies the land promised by God to their ancestor Abraham. Yet the people lack the faith to enter. The Lord sends them into the wilderness for forty years, barring them entrance into His Promised Land.

The God of the Israelites raises up a new generation in the wilderness… a generation who will be faithful and believe in Him. God calls Joshua to become their leader. This man of faith bravely leads the people on a seven-year conquest of the new land. Joshua exhibits a living faith in God’s promise of victory.

After the Lord leads them miraculously through the Jordan River, the Israelites encounter their first obstacle in conquering the Promised Land. Jericho, a seemingly impenetrable fortress, looms before them… the first stronghold faced in their conquest. Yet the commander of the Lord’s army appears to Joshua with a word from God…

“See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”  Joshua 6:2

What a promise! The Lord promises to deliver the Israelites from the hand of their enemies. Will the people have the faith to follow this God of miracles? Joshua steps forward as a mighty leader. He rallies the people and sets into motion the plan God has given him for victory…

“Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it… Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”Joshua 6:6-7

Joshua carries out all that God has commanded. Each day for six days, the Israelites march once around the city of Jericho. A group of soldiers lead the way… followed by seven priests sounding seven trumpets of rams’ horns… followed by priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant… with men of the army as rear guards.

Imagine what the people of Jericho are thinking. Having heard of the miraculous passage of the Israelites through the flooded Jordan River, they tightly bar the gates of the city. What miracle is now transpiring?

At daybreak on the seventh day, the Israelites march around the city in the same way. Yet this day, they circle the city seven times as God has commanded. The seventh time around, at the sound of the trumpet blast, Joshua commands the army…

“Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord.”Joshua 6:16-17

At the mighty shout of the Israelites, the walls of Jericho collapse, just as the Lord has promised. The all-powerful God is with Joshua and His faithful people that day as they storm the city and take it over. Jericho is the first of many strongholds to be encountered in the Promised Land. Yet God is with them throughout their seven-year conquest, bringing them victory upon victory.

Just as God raised up a new generation of faithful Israelites, so He raises us up in Christ to be His faithful believers. Like Joshua, we believe in a God of miracles… a God who fights our battles for us… a God who tears down the walls that keep us from His promised rest and abundance.

We will have times when our faith is tested. Yet we can trust our Lord to lead us into battle and give us victory. Let us be strong and courageous, with the bold faith of Joshua, to overcome the challenges and difficulties we face. Let us believe in a God of miracles who will tear down the walls of Jericho in our lives that keep us from His promised favor and blessings.