Trust the Lord and take the land

Israel had more than enough men to successfully invade the fortified city of Jericho. The census taken prior to entering Canaan showed the nation had over 600,000 men of fighting age. Ai, another fortress city, had a population of 12,000 people (Joshua 8:25). Assuming Jericho was approximately the same size, Israel’s army outnumbered them about 50-1. Thick walls, barred gates and a king couldn’t compensate for those numbers.

But as we know, God had other ideas about how the city would be taken. They were all wrapped around the idea that Israel would take the land by trusting Him.

The army walked around Jericho 13 times over seven days—completely silent and fully exposed. That could not have been easy. The Hebrew writer characterizes what they did as an act of great faith (11:30).

How do you conquer a fortified city like Jericho? Through solidarity. Each man in the army of Israel had to do something critical to achieving victory. Through equality. No one had a more important role than another. Through looking to God. The walls fell by faith, not by force.

In the end, the city fell one step at a time, by the army of Israel putting one foot in front on another. The process was monotonous, but the result was spectacular.

As we think about this story today, while the particulars differ greatly, the principle doesn’t. God still wants us to trustingly put one foot in front of another. That means we look to Him, treat other people the way we want to be treated and trust that He will use our small steps to His glory.

He told them another parable: "The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches." (Matthew 13:31-32)

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