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Now, the walls of Jericho, like those of the city-states in its day, made the city into a fortress. The walls were thought impregnable. Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in, reads Joshua 6.1. The people inside the walls surely expected a strong attack. After all, they had heard about the crossing at the Red Sea and the Egyptians' demise (2:7). What did they think as they watched this people who carried ram's horns and a box as they circled the city? Did they shout out chidingly after the third or fourth day? The text does not say. But surely the temptation was there to miss the importance of the act of faith that was being carried out. Both those in Jericho who watched this odd spectacle and the Israelites themselves would have been ripe to misinterpret, to discount the plan, to underestimate the power of faith.
Yet, when the city walls fell, the people of Godall of His people, those then and todaywere to learn a great lesson about the clout of believers. Obedience will not often be exciting. Hope may become well used. Days upon days, weeks, and yes, even years may come and go as we wrestle to maintain faith amidst the trivialities of this world. We may struggle long and hard to believe that God is at work as we face the attacks of Satan, meeting the same temptation or the same ordeal over and over again. Even if we keep some semblance of faith in God, we may lose faith in ourselves.
But we must remember: The walls of Jericho fell. They did not fall because of any natural phenomenon. There was no superior military strength or strategy at work. Rather, the walls of Jericho fell because a group of people chose to obey God, believing that He could be trusted.
Are you growing weary? Have you struggled for years to conquer a sin that persists today? Do you find yourself battling over the same ground in parenting? Has a prayer gone too long unanswered? Are you so depressed that it seems you have no hope for tomorrow?
Maybe you have asked God for the strength to conquer these Goliaths once and for all. If so, remember, spiritual victories are not won through our efforts. God does not give his people the means to conquer these demons through their own strength. Perhaps your victory will be like the one at Jericho. Perhaps you will faithfully cover the same ground many times before the walls come tumbling down.
Truly, that day may not occur before you become weary, and certainly not before others have criticized your efforts. But have faith. For, By faith the walls of Jericho fell after the people had marched around them seven days, (Heb. 11.30). Take heart, and march on.
HEARTLIGHT(R) Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover Hills church of Christ.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Copyright © 1996-97, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Article copyright © 1997, Karen Alexander. Used with permission.
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May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.
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