On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched seven times. And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout for the Lord has given you the city.” … So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat…” ~Joshua 6:15-16, 20 (ESV)
Ancient cities were surrounded by strong walls to help guard against an attacking foe. Jericho was no different. As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land and went up against Jericho, they would face the difficulty of the walls.
Yet, God had a plan for them: They would attack the wall by marching around the city and shouting. It was quite the unusual strategy. For six days, the army marched around the city one time each day. On the seventh day, they marched seven times around the city, then trumpets blared, the people shouted, and the walls fell flat. This allowed the army to storm the city and capture it with this obstacle no longer in the way.
Throughout the Bible, God fought for his people in unusual ways. In Exodus, he went against Egypt with a series of ten plagues. In Joshua, the walls fell. In Judges, he whittled a large army to just three hundred men.
The point of all of these acts and more were to show our dependence on God and his strength.
Next week we celebrate the greatest and most unusual victory of them all: Jesus’ death on the cross. The death of Jesus seemed to be anything but a victory. After three years of teaching, he was arrested and crucified with criminals in a plan to silence him and his followers. For a moment, at least, it seemed to work.
Yet, three days later, Jesus came from his grave, never to return. What seemed like weakness and foolishness turned into great strength. Jesus bore the sins of his followers so that we would not have to face the wrath of God. He kicked down the door of the grave so that we would have hope of life eternal. Jesus’ death and resurrection were God’s victory over our sin.
So, we are thankful for the God who fights for us, for the God who wins victories in unusual ways, but ways that show his greatness and his love for his people.
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