I wonder what the Israelites thought when they saw the towering walls of Jericho looming before them? Did they start to doubt? Did fear begin to invade their confidence? God told them to go and claim their promised land. This was his directive for his chosen people. Conquering Jericho was to be God’s battle and not their own.
Could God’s specific instructions to conquer the city have caused them to question?
It was a crazy idea. From man’s perspective, it was completely foolish, even ridiculous. To march around the walls of the city for six days in a row and on the seventh day, the priests will blow trumpets and the people will shout. Then, the walls of Jericho will fall down. The plan was so crazy that the walls may have looked even taller to the Israelite people and more impenetrable than before. Trust can be that way. Past performances can be easily forgotten when confronted with a formidable opponent called fear. Upon seeing these walls and hearing God’s plan, the Israelites may have muttered, “These walls are too big! They are too strong. They have been built and re-fortified over the course of many generations. There is no way we can reach those people. Why even try?”
The plan to conquer Jericho was simple enough. March around the walls of the city carrying the ark of the covenant. No brandishing of swords. No taunts or threats. And do this for six days before raising a shout on the seventh. It was not going to be the power and cunning of his people which would conquer Jericho, but the power of God. It was a matter of taking him at his Word.
The Bible clearly gives the directive to all Christians to share with others the message of good news that by faith alone we receive citizenship in heaven. In carrying out our role of being ambassadors for Christ, we are reminded that by being rooted in Christ, fear is displaced by perfect love (1 Jn 4:18); words are formed on our lips when we do not know what to say (Mark 13:11), and his presence is always with us (Matt 28:20). Our message of salvation is given to us by God. The power that tears down the walls of unbelief strictly comes from God.
Sharing God’s Word with others requires persistence, patience, and trust on our part. The persistence means a commitment to prayer and never giving up. Patience is always relying on God’s Word to win the soul and refrain from trying to win the argument. Trust comes from believing that God’s Word works.
When sharing God’s Word with others who appear disinterested or hostile to God, sometimes people focus on the walls and not the people. “They are unreachable!” we try to convince ourselves. “Their walls of false teaching are too high! Their hearts are impenetrable!”
What seems impossible, God deems possible. Perhaps it may takes years of walking around the walls people have built up. But that doesn’t mean a person should give up. Like Jericho, perhaps it will that seventh time, that seventh year, that seventh day when the walls come tumbling down. That’s the trust we have in God’s Word and the power of his name.