See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. [Joshua 6: 2]
The fall of Jericho with shouts of praise sent shock waves to four distinct places. It hit Joshua first. As the leader of the conquering army that did nothing but march and shout, the message was loud and clear- God saves. Interestingly, the phrase “God saves” is the etymological meaning of Joshua’s name. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Prophetic, yes.
The fall of Jericho sent another shock waves to the tired, worn out, hungry, and battered tribe of Jacob that has been wandering in the desert for most of their lives. These people grew up in the boredom of nomadic life, with nothing more interesting than endless mounds of sand, desert storm and sweltering heat. The story of the Exodus is almost a forgotten tale for this generation of Israelites. Conquering the walled city of Jericho was the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to them in forty years. To them, the message of the fallen wall means that at the snap of God’s fingers, their dead end, repetitious, cyclical, monotonous lives can be turned upside down.
Another set of shock waves were sent to the whole region of Canaan. This time, the shock waves were not of awe but of terror. Israel is marching on and its God comes with a power they have never seen before. For Canaanites who were used to ruling the region, being invaded by a tribe of powerful nomads whose God can split the sea and the Jordan with a walking stick is really, really terrifying news. And how do you even explain the walls of Jericho crumbling down with a shout?
Some modern anthropologists are making new discoveries at the site of the wall of Jericho. Some report that the walls didn’t really crumble down. It looks like they were pushed downward that entire blocks simply sank to the ground. If this is true, then it makes the story more interesting, like a host of angels pushed the walls from above.
The last set of shock waves that the fall of Jericho sent out reverberated down through the ages, to you and me and all the modern people who doubt the power of God in our lives. God saves. It doesn’t matter if the walls you are facing today are as thick or as tall as Jericho’s. It doesn’t matter if you are facing a power too intimidating than anything you’ve encountered before. It doesn’t matter if you are outnumbered, or inexperienced, or young, or clueless, or frightened. Jericho crumbled not because Israel shouted. The walls came down because the power of God is just too much for the enemy that it has no other recourse than to back down and be reduced to a pile of rubble to give way to the children of the Most High God.
“See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands…” Do you really need to doubt?