Lessons From Jericho
By Kurt Bomar
Israel had been wandering around in the desert for 40 years. Finally, it was time to enter the promised land. They crossed the Jordan river and what did they see? The impressive city of Jericho. They could not take over the land without first taking this imposing fortress.
As His people marched around the walls of Jericho, God prepared them in several ways for what they would face in the future. I want to share with you a few lessons I learned from this battle of Jericho that applied to the Israelites and also to us today.
- First, He gave them a realization of the impossibility of their situation. The first time they circled the city, the walls must have looked huge. And each successive time they went around they must have looked bigger yet. There might be a huge wall between you and a family member, or fellow believer. Sometimes God will have you go around it again and again until you finally say, “I can’t manipulate this situation. I can’t solve this problem. I can’t do anything about this, Lord. Only you can solve this. “The Lord was thus showing them and us that…. Zech 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
- Second, as His people circled the walls of Jericho, God taught them the importance of Patience. Heb 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Faith and patience are needed to obtain His promises. Oftentimes we have faith, and that’s great, but God wants us to have patience too.
- Third, as His people circled the walls of Jericho, God taught them discipline. His job was to work, theirs was to be absolutely silent. If I can’t control my tongue, I won’t conquer the enemy. My tongue will get me in big trouble and so will yours. Jas 3:5-6 “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” Therefore, it is the wise man who silently- without complaint or opinion- gives God time and room to work.
- Finally, God’s strategy for conquering Jericho not only served to prepare His people for their future but He was also doing something else and you don’t see it until you look deep into the text. God was providing a witness to the people of Jericho. As proof, let’s go back 400 years. While His people were in Egypt, God gave the inhabitants of Canaan (that would include the citizens of Jericho) 400 years to repent as God told Abraham in Gen. 15. Then He gave them 40 more years while His people wandered in the wilderness. Now He gives them six more days as they watched His children walk in devotion and order. They could have repented as Rahab did. It is not God’s will that any should perish. Sometimes sinners repent, as the Assyrians did when Jonah preached to them, sometimes they don’t as was the case here. But God gave them a chance.
What will impress people around you? Seeing you walk patiently and quietly, neither panicking nor complaining, but simply walking under the authority of your Captain no matter how impossible your situation may seem. When others see the way your home, marriage, and life are being ordered in this march toward Heaven it will be a witness to them as they face their own Jerichos.
Kurt Bomar is the pastor of Walnut Grove Church located in Avery County. You are welcome to join them on Sundays at 11:00 AM for worship! (When we are allowed to meet in the building again). You can read more Christian news from Kurt Bomar HERE.