God’s Battle Plans…
1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.
2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.
3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days.
4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
God never leaves his people to their own strategies. God knows than mans comprehension is limited to earthy measures, where Gods plans are eternal. A plan for conquering the land was crucial and as seen in ch6 that Joshua needed a game plan in taking on the key city of Jericho. God had a divinely-provided plan and he didn’t want His people leaning on their own understanding. (Prov. 3:5-6; Jer. 9:23-24; 17:5).
God had the strategic plan all ready as he knew the full comprehension on the layout of the land and the cities. The strategic plan of con-questing Jericho first was strategic due to the geographic factors.
Campbell writes: “The pattern of divine strategy for the conquest of Canaan was based on geographic factors. From their camp at Gilgal near the Jordan River the Israelites could see steep hills to the west. Jericho controlled the way of ascent into these mountains, and Ai, another fortress, stood at the head of the ascent. If the Israelites were to capture the hill country they must certainly take Jericho and Ai. This would put them on top of the hill country and in control of the central ridge, having driven a wedge between the northern and southern sections of Canaan. Israel could then engage the armies of the south in battle followed by the more remote enemy in the north. But first, Jericho must fall—and it would if Joshua and the people followed the Lord’s plan of action.”
Joshua as a military expert knew that the plans set forth by The Lord in ch 6 illustrated the principles of God, and we as the reader see the link to passages like Proverbs 14:12 and Isaiah 55:8f. The clear directions given by God for the conquest of Jericho seems strange to human comprehension and to any military strategy that man can devise, but this plan illustrates vital concepts for man walking by faith and dealing with battles. This passage is so much richer that the battle at hand, it’s the representation of the spiritual enemies that we also face in this life.
1.God has given into their hands – with the promises comes the provisions
Vs 1 we see the preparations of Jericho. We see God introducing the plan, and in the process it shows us how Jericho stopping its normal life activities, preparing for a siege. The fear in their hearts that undoubtedly melted their hearts because of the mighty works of God seen in the crossing of the Jordan river.
2. God gives the battle plans – it’s not your own strength, but the sovereignty of God
Vs 2 we see the promises from The Lord. Before The Lord detailed out the plan, he showed in his promise the assurance of the victory. ” see, I have given.” God commanded Joshua to understand the battle at hand and that Yahweh had given them the victory already. True victory is always within the power and hand of God. The dependence on this is the true empowering to conquer the battles at hand. This is where Joshua needed to have eyes of faith and envision to see the triumph over the battle. We as the readers can see the connection to the NT passages where the ultimate triumph is in Christ. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14). (Romans 6:1-14; Colossians 2:6-15.)
3. Gods Devine Principles, plans and purposes – Devine number 7
Vs3 we see the battle plan as highly unusual as it was not a direct attacking measure. The method and weapons of warfare are not the strategic norm of the day. But we see that Joshua and the men were to employ God’s plan of victory as outlined. This plan of battle was never seen again in the attacks on other cities. This individual attack was to march silently around the city with priests carry the trumpets of rams’ horns for six days. The walking around 8.5 acres for seven days, and on the seventh day to match around seven times and the priests to blow the trumpets. This method was to teach the nation that victory is depended on two things :
A. God’s power
B. Faith and faithfulness to His directions or plans.
So what do we see within this passage to take hold of and apply in our daily battles of life and leadership?
1. God has the provisions, we need to hear
2. God has the plans , we need to rely
3. God has the purpose – we need to respond
The battle belongs to The Lord. The victory belongs to The Lord. We as believers need to respond to The battle in faith and faithfulness in God’s strength. When we hear, rely and respond to God in the battle, he provides the weapons, plan and victory in and though his son The Lord Jesus Christ. I am reminded that we have the great weapons in our hands, we need to be strong in The Lord and in his mighty power.
We need to put on the full armor of God daily, for our struggle isn’t against cities like a Joshua, it is against the devils schemes, against rulers and authorities of the dark world. Therefore we are called to battle dressed in the armor of God, belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, Shield of faith, helmet of salvation and stand on guard with the sword of the spirit – the word of God. ( Ephesians 6:10-18)
Just like Joshua, God has given us the plan for battle, it’s up to you to listen, take hold and go. Victory awaits in your life and leadership.
Application questions to journal with:
What do i make of all of this?
What do i feel God is saying to me?
What do i need to take from this?
What changes do i need to make?
How can i share this with my leadership team verbally and practically?
1. John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, Editors, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, Wheaton, 1983,1985, electronic media.