Joshua 6 Commentary
Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. Who talks about an open door policy for the saint’s battles? The battlefield has no red carpet. Victory doesn’t come on the cheap! But look at Joshua’s military strategy! Silly, many would say. Imagine explaining to your wife that you have been going round the city of Jericho for the past 4 days without any attempt to break-in.
The instructions of the LORD may sound silly and outdated. Who has ever succeeded without cheating? Who has ever succeeded without stealing? And who makes money by being honest. Seeking the kingdom and its righteousness, how can that put food on the table? Aren’t these questions on every saint’s daily puzzle? Doesn’t the LORD’s formula for success look outright silly? This chapter would prove us wrong.
The chapter is graced by one key event: the fall of Jericho. Around this key theme are various symbolisms that are clearly important but hardly understandable. The instruction to march around the city six times may represent the six days of work ordained for man. During these days man is working but his work is a walk with the presence of the LORD represented by the Ark. The contents of the Ark (the law) actualizes the presence of the LORD.
The seventh day emphasizes the thought of Sabbath rest but it was actually the day of victory over the enemy. In the short term, Israel would rest from their life of wandering. In the long term however, the symbolism here is pointing to a greater victory over the real enemy of man. This victory is completed by the LORD of the Sabbath in Jesus Christ – what he does here for Israel. The seven priests and the trumpets may remind us of similar objects in the book of Revelation. The law of the LORD shall be declared loudly and victory shall come.
In the immediate context it is the loud shout on the last day of several ‘marchings around Jericho’, that collapses the wall. It had to be the wall since that is the item that stood in between Israel and victory. Obedience won the day. That is the message that was communicated to Joshua by the Commander of the armies of the LORD. Joshua had asked what message the Commander had for him. In response the Commander had simply instructed Joshua to take off his sandals. Obeying the law of the LORD is the only strategy that the saint needs.
For her trouble, Rahab the prostitute and all who were with her in her house were spared. Later on she would carry in her womb the seed of the messiah. However, this victory carried with it another seed – a seed of disobedience. Not everything was done as per instructions. That is the story for the next chapter as the nation advanced onto another target, Ai.
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