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 6:2-5 NIV
The story of the fall of Jericho is one of the better-known stories in the Bible. And what makes it so popular is the unique way in which the city was conquered. For seven days, the army was to march around Jericho. In the middle of the marching line was the ark of the covenant, carried by priests, preceded by seven priests blowing trumpets. And on the seventh day, they were to do this seven times. Then, on the final lap, the priests would sound the signal, the army would give a great shout, and the walls would collapse.
But why? Why seven days? And why seven times on the seventh day? Why seven priests with horns? So many things about this story do not make sense from a human perspective. Why didn’t God make the walls collapse on the first day once the army had encircled the city?
Many answers could be given to these questions. But the reasons are secondary. Most importantly, it is what God told them to do. They did not have to know why they were marching around Jericho. Only that God had told them to. And, when they faithfully obeyed, the city fell.
How often today do we find ourselves in the position of Israel’s army? Marching around in circles, seeming to accomplish nothing? Now it may be that you are marching in vain, not following God’s leading. But if you are marching in faithful obedience to God’s direction, then the seventh lap of the seventh day will eventually come. And then you will see the Lord’s victory. So, until that day comes, keep walking in faithful obedience.