-Chapter six begins with a depiction of the situation in Jericho in anticipation of the inevitable attack that was looming. The gates were tightly shut with no one coming in or out of the city. In other words, it was under siege. The LORD spoke to Joshua on the eve of this conquest to give him assurance, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors (Joshua 6:1-2).” Then came the marching orders from the LORD. They were to “march” around the city for six days with seven priests carrying seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the Ark blowing them vigorously. On the seventh day, they were instructed to “march” around the entire city seven times. The priests would blow a long blast on the horns and then the people would shout with a great shout. The people were not allowed to speak to let their voice be heard up until that point on their march. They were prompted to “go forward” and accomplish this mission, and so they did. After the first day they came back to the camp and spent the night there. This went on for the required six days. On the seventh day, at dawn, they arose to “march” around the city in the same manner. Only this time, they went seven times as the LORD had prompted them. At the seventh encircling, when the priests blew the long blast of the trumpets, Joshua ordered the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.” A reiteration of the ban was mentioned in the text as Joshua gave his final admonition, along with instructions for the two spies to go and get Rahab and her relatives according to their word. The reason for the ban? To keep the people from coveting possessions according to God’s command. However, all the silver, gold, and articles of bronze and iron were to be confiscated as holy materials to the LORD to go in His treasury (Joshua 6:3-19).
-“So the people shouted, and the priests blew the trumpets; and when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight ahead, and they took the city. They utterly destroyed everything in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword (Joshua 6:20-21).” As the attack ensued the two spies were sent out by Joshua to go get the harlot and bring her and her family with all they had out the chaos and destruction. They were place outside the camp of the Israelites, but they were indeed saved. Israel ended up burning the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the things taken for the LORD’s treasury survived, which consisted of the silver, gold, bronze, and iron. The narrative jumps back to Rahab one final time as she was spared along with her father’s household and all that she had. She ended up living in the midst of Israel up till the writing of the text, and it could easily be assumed for the rest of her days on earth “for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.” After the completion of this conquest, Joshua made the people take an oath. Cursed before the LORD would be any man who would one day rise up and rebuild this city of Jericho. Joshua prophesied that they would lose their firstborn if they re-laid the foundation and they would lose their youngest son if they set the gates of this city back up that the LORD had destroyed (for the fulfillment of this prophesy see 1 Kings 16:31-34). “So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land (Joshua 6:22-27).”
-*Application* God doesn’t always accomplish His promises to us in the way that we at first expect. He is very creative in His fulfillments. How has God surprised you with His uniqueness in circumstances and situations that He has undoubtedly shown Himself faithful? When God gives His marching orders, “go forward” with great expectations even when you don’t fully understand how things are going to happen. The other thing to consider here from this passage is God’s blessing to those who decide that it is best to go His way. Reflect on Rahab and her family. They made it out alive when the rest of the city was destroyed. Why? They went God’s way. Don’t you think God would have spared that whole city if they would have just gone God’s way? I think the LORD would have been gracious had they turned and not had the warrior spirit, just like He was with Nineveh in the time of Jonah. Let’s face it, when we fight with God, He always wins. We might as well let Him have His way without the struggle; then we will realize His goodness and grace in a brand new way.
Verse to Memorize: Joshua 6:20