“You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.” . . . But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner.”—Joshua 6:3, 15
When God commanded the Israelites to march around the city of Jericho, they did it. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of Jericho were probably laughing. What a bunch of fools! Look at these guys! Maybe they were throwing things at the Israelites or dumping garbage on them. Who knows? But every day, they would march around the city.
Why did God let them do that? I think one reason is that He was giving the inhabitants of Jericho an opportunity to repent. These people were wicked. They were into every kind of idolatry, perversion, and sin. God had patiently endured the evil of the Canaanites from the time of Abraham to Moses, a period of 400 years. They had plenty of opportunities to repent before Jericho fell. The Canaanites knew the Israelites were coming. Their reputation preceded them.
Another reason I think God told the Israelites to march around the city was so they would see what a formidable obstacle it was and that they couldn’t handle it on their own.
As believers, we have our Jerichos in life, so to speak, problems that loom large and things that we can’t handle on our own. And sometimes the Lord will have us march around them so we will see that we cannot rely on ourselves.
The greatest difficulty for many is to get to the place where they are willing to admit that the whole thing is simply too big for them, where they are willing to say, “I can’t do this on my own.”
Do you have a Jericho right now? Maybe it’s an incurable illness. Maybe it’s an unsolvable problem. Maybe it’s a hopeless marriage. Maybe it’s a prodigal child. As you think about it, you don’t know how you will resolve this conflict. That, in effect, is your Jericho.