More than 500 years had passed since God first promised the country called Canaan to Abrahamís family. And 40 years had passed since they crossed the Red Sea.
During those 500 years, the family had increased to become the great nation called the Israelites. But they were a nation without any land. Now they were entering Canaan to take possession of it as God had promised.
The Israelites had a strong army. But God did not want them to trust in their military power. God wanted them to trust him, that is, to have faith. So God gave them strange instructions for their first battle, which was against the city called Jericho. They should not attack the city as an army usually would. Instead they should just march round its walls. And God would hand over the city to them.
They trusted God, and so, they obeyed him. They marched round the walls for 7 days. On the last day, they marched round the city 7 times. Then the priests sounded their trumpets (loud musical instruments). Everyone shouted. And the walls fell down.
They had done nothing that would cause the strong walls of a city to fall down. This was the work of God; he caused the walls to fall. Without walls, Jericho had no defences. The Israelites rushed in and they took the city. They destroyed it completely, as God had ordered them to do.
Other battles in Canaan happened in a more usual manner. But the Israelites had learned an important lesson at Jericho. People do not receive the benefit of Godís promises by human effort. We must receive them by faith. We must believe God, and we must trust him. You can read more about the battle at Jericho in Joshua chapter 6.
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© 2014, Keith Simons.