Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruthby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Joshua 6 is a record of the first warfare and destruction by Israel in the land of Canaan. In order for the children of Israel to gain the good land, they had to defeat the enemy and drive out the evil forces. Nevertheless, the children of Israel actually did not need to fight. When they crossed the Jordan, God did everything. In the same principle, God’s people did not need to do anything to destroy Jericho. They only needed to believe and trust in God, to listen to the instruction from the Captain of the army of Israel, and to exalt Christ by bearing the ark. From this we see that in the spiritual warfare the first thing we should do is exalt Christ.
Jericho was strongly fortified. But when the king heard what Jehovah had done for His people, his heart melted and he lost his spirit, his boldness. Not knowing what to do, he shut the gates of the city and used the walls to protect himself and his people. There was no traffic, no coming in or going out. This indicates that the powers of darkness were bound, that there was a real binding of the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. The king trusted in the wall, knowing that the Israelites did not have any weapons to breach the wall. Even though the Israelites had crossed the Jordan, he did not think that they would be able to cross the wall. He did not have any thought concerning what God would do. It was an easy matter for God to destroy the wall.
In verse 2 Jehovah told Joshua that He had given Jericho, its king, and the mighty men of war into Joshua’s hand. Then God instructed Joshua to have the men of war with the priests bearing the ark circle the city, going around it one time. This they were to do for six days. Seven other priests were charged to carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of Jehovah. The priests did not blow their trumpets according to their own will. Instead, they waited for the captain to give the command. They needed instructions and leading, just as we today need the leading and guiding of the Spirit.
For the first six days, the army of Israel just walked around the city with the ark, which typified Christ as the embodiment of God. I believe that many of the people of Jericho were on the wall watching, wondering what the people of Israel were doing. On the seventh day, the Sabbath day, the situation was different. Israel actually did not have to fight but enjoyed the Sabbath, that is, enjoyed the rest. They walked around the city seven times, and then the visible captain gave the command: “Shout!” The priests trumpeted, the people shouted, and the wall fell down. The city was utterly destroyed, and a curse was placed on anyone who would rise up and build it. The way that Israel conquered Jericho was a strong testimony that Israel’s God, Jehovah, is a true and living God.
We may apply this account of the destruction of Jericho to the matter of preaching the gospel. As we take up the burden to visit sinners, we need to realize that every sinner is a “fortified city” that has been cursed. In dealing with such a fortified city, we must exercise patience, considering when we should be silent and when we should speak. This means that we should follow the Lord’s leading. At the right time, the proper declaration will be very effective, and there will be a Sabbath day in which we can shout, “Praise the Lord! Jesus is Lord! Christ is Victor!” The “wall” will fall, and we will be able to defeat all the demons and possess that sinner for Christ.
Let us now look at the various matters involved in the destruction of Jericho as described in Joshua 6.
In verse 1 we see the reaction of Jericho to Israel. Jericho was shut up tight because of the children of Israel. No one went out and no one went in. The people of Jericho were limited, unable to do anything. This indicates that even before Israel went up to take the city, Jericho was already defeated.
According to verse 2 Jehovah promised Joshua that He had given Jericho and its king and its mighty men of war into his hand.
Verses 3 through 5 are a record of the instruction of Jehovah, the Captain of His army, to Joshua.
First, Jehovah charged Joshua to have all the men of war circle the city (v. 3a).
Jehovah instructed Joshua that the men of war were to go around the city once a day for six days (v. 3b).
Jehovah further instructed Joshua that seven priests were to carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark (v. 4a).
On the seventh day all the men of war were to circle the city seven times, and all the priests were to blow the trumpets (v. 4b). This signifies the declaring, the proclaiming, of Christ.
According to verse 5a, when the priests gave off the blast of the ram’s horn and the people heard the trumpet sound, all the people were to shout with a great shout.
Jehovah went on to instruct Joshua that when the people shouted with a great shout, the wall of the city would fall down flat. Then they were to go up, each straight ahead (v. 5b).
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