You head of Jericho in the Bible in the Old Testament from the book of Joshua chapter 6. As the story goes, God commanded Joshua to lead his people around the city walls marching in a specific order for six days.
On the seventh day, when they did the same, and they blew their horns, and the walls that protected Jericho came tumbling down.
It's a simple story packed with a lot of Biblical truth when you dig into it.
Joshua 6: 15-17
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord.
Verses: 6: 1- 27
Context: Joshua has taken over from Moses, and he is preparing for his first test of faith. Earlier on, he sent some spies to check out the land of Jericho. They would have been killed if not for a prostitute named Rehab, who hid them.
Main Point of Chapter: God will use Joshua to lead his people to take over Jericho.
Takeaways: God will come and tear down sin that man tries to hide behind walls. Salvation will come through the word of God and not by the hands of man.
The Story of Jericho In The Bible
6 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” 7 And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
8 When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9 The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10 But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there.
12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 21 They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.
22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
24 Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. 25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.
26 At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho:
“At the cost of his firstborn son
he will lay its foundations;
at the cost of his youngest
he will set up its gates.”
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.
Meaning of the Story of Jericho in The Bible
To understand Jericho's story, you need the context of where we are in God's story to save his people. Moses has passed away in the book of Deuteronomy, and the torch gets passed to Joshua.
The enemy of humankind is that in which we call sin is on full display throughout the life of Moses. You see what Egypt does to God's people in the book of Exodus, and God redeems his people during Passover (Exodus 1 -12).
Jericho represents an impenetrable force guarding the treasures of men. Before the people can enter the promised land, these treasures and false gods need to be broken down.
God will do the work in breaking down these walls used to hide sin if we trust in God. Any work of our own will not do it.
Romans 9: 15 "... I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it depends not on human will or exertion but on God who has mercy."
The beauty of the Gospel of Jesus is that we don't receive grace because of how hard we work or anything we could earn. It's all because of God's goodness, and you see that picture being painted here. There is nothing that God's people or Joshua did besides obeying God.
Application of The Story of Jericho in The Bible
Please stop trying to do it on your own. God sent his only son to die for your sins so that you can never boast in yourself. This forces you to boast in Christ because Christ did what we could never do ourselves. No amount of money, work, fame, or treasures can buy you salvation.
Jericho's story should serve as a reminder that we need to lean in and trust in God. We don't need to try harder to be saved or to be good. Romans 8:37-39 already says that our salvation can't be taken away. 1 John 1 says that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
The practical application from Jericho in the Bible is simple:
- Believe and Put Your Faith in Jesus
- Confess Your Sins and Repent
- Live Everyday Dependant and Desperate for Jesus
- Obey God
That is all you have to do. You put your faith in Jesus; you confess your sins because the more you confront crime, the more you realize you need a savior.
The more you need a savior and the more desperate you become for Jesus. That desperation brings you to his word to seek and know him, and that makes you want to obey and do the will of your father.
Don't Forget The Big Picture
Many people read the Bible with an attitude of seeking to understand how they can improve their own life. The Bible is capable of doing that, but that is not the point of the whole book.
You are not the star of the show. The book is about God's plans to save his people that he loves so much. The star of the show is the Father, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit.
The more you recognize this going through scripture. The easier it will be to make sense of what is happening. When you read the book just looking for an application for your own life, things don't make as much sense because it's not about you.
When you read about Jericho in the Bible, it can help you, but it's just another step in God's story to save a broken people.