Our Bible Reading for today is Joshua 6-10. It’s the famous scene where Joshua and his army are commanded to march around the city of Jericho for six days. On the 7th day they were to march around it 7 times, shout, and the LORD would make the walls fall flat.
The walls were about 7 feet high, with a ditch around that, and atop a steep incline. The wall was actually a double wall. Towers were built into the walls, and anyone attempting to climb the hill and attack would be at a severe disadvantage.
It must have been unnerving for the Jericho-ites to see the Israelite army marching around and around day after day, the tension heightening, the strangeness of the scene increasing their apprehension. It was a good lesson for the Israelite army too. Obedience in the face of a strange command. Its fulfillment promised blessing, though, and would be a tremendous miracle.
And it was!
Some people say that such a thing could not physically happen. Others say that archaeology does not confirm what the Bible says, that Jericho never even had a wall. In both cases, these are not a problem for the Bible believer. We believe God, therefore we believe what He says in His inspired word. The walls fell flat? Yes, the walls fell flat. Praise God for His mighty and mysterious ways.
Joshua 6:21 says that all the people and animals in Jericho were then killed by the sword. (Except Rahab and her brethren). It’s always rough to read something like that. But the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says-
It should be remembered that the Canaanites were incorrigible idolaters, addicted to the most horrible vices, and that the righteous judgment of God might sweep them away by the sword, as well as by famine or pestilence. There was mercy mingled with judgment in employing the sword as the instrument of punishing the guilty Canaanites, for while it was directed against one place, time was afforded for others to repent.
God is good, He is gracious, and He is merciful. He is also righteous judge, and if idolaters refuse to repent, and continue idolizing the devoted things, then their sin will be paid with death. Joshua’s march shows that obedience brings blessing.
Answers in Genesis: The Walls of Jericho