Why the Wall Came Down

Text: Joshua 6:1-20

When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed (v20).

The opening of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 was an unexpected event which stunned the world. For nearly thirty years, the Wall had stood as a stark symbol of division and separation. Although unplanned, the sudden fall can be traced to a series of events which culminated in a speech gone wrong. As a member of the German protest movement put it, “the opening of the wall did not bring us our freedom; rather, we fought for our freedom, and then, because of that, the wall fell.”

Residents of Jericho must have experienced a shock with the sudden destruction of their heavily fortified, double wall. Although the “gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites” (Joshua 6:1), historical records indicate that the town was prepared for a drawn out siege. Fully stocked from a recent harvest and boasting an in-house water supply, Jericho could afford to wait out an onslaught from the Israelites.

But the onslaught never came. Instead, the Israelites arranged seven priests with rams’ horns to march in front of the army and the Ark of the Covenant, blowing horns as they went along (Joshua 6:6-9). Even more disconcerting, the marching was conducted in complete silence (Joshua 6:10). This went on for six full days. “On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town seven times. The seventh time around, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the town!’ [So] they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed” (Joshua 6:15-20)

God promised to deliver Jericho to the Israelites if they would obey His instructions (Joshua 6:2-5). And because they listened, the wall collapsed. As we walk in obedience to God, honoring His commands, may the walls that stand in the way of His best for us come crashing down.

Read Zechariah 4:6-7 for God’s declaration regarding potential obstacles.

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