Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.
One of my favourite stories growing up – for obvious reasons.
It’s funny, though, to go back and read it now and actually think about the text and the story itself. I’ve always called it – and heard it called – the battle of Jericho; but really, was there much of a battle? They took a stroll around the city each day for a week, and then God knocked the walls down for them when they gave a big shout at the end of it.
Admittedly, then they had to charge the walls and take out the people inside.
What I wonder, though, is what the people of Jericho were doing at this stage. One simple point to bear, is that when the spies were checking the city out, Jericho was scared of the Israelites. So you would think that, having the people march around the walls, they’d perhaps try to do something. I was thinking about this as I read it, but came to a possible revelation – maybe a God inspired thought – the whole nation was marching around the city. Is it possible, therefore, that they actually were marching further out than right up against the walls like we tend to think of it? This wouldn’t really make any difference to the story. I don’t know if it’s factual or been checked out, but that was just the thought that came to mind.
This is one of those bible stories, though, that I love the idea of checking out the historicity and archaeological evidence for it.
Still, like most of the stories in the biblical history – really, there’s an essence to the story, and regardless of the historical evidence, or factual truths of the matter, what I want to establish is what God’s wanting to tell me – tell us – in telling the story.
God sometimes asks us to do some crazy things. Imagine what the reaction must have been by the Israelites, when Joshua said to them that they were going to march around the city in silence, with only the trumpets playing – they’d do that every day for a week, and then on the seventh day they’d march 7 times, shout, and that would be it. Can you imagine the looks on their faces? I’m betting there were at least a few who entertained thoughts that Joshua had lost it.
I think I’ve told the story of the guy who performed a handstand next to the coke machine – although I can’t seem to find it on a cursory glance back through the pages of this blog, but it just reminds me of that. Sometimes God’s going to ask us to do some strange things – and it’s up to us just to follow, because ultimately, when we follow with faith, that’s when God’s most able to work.