I think the story of Jericho’s wall and its fall is probably one of the most common stories in the Bible. Almost everyone has an idea of what happened that fateful day. We have sung about it, prayed with the verse, encouraged ourselves with it, and so on. Today, however, we will be looking at it from another perspective.
The Israelites were faced with a problem. They had a promise and a land to conquer. However, the land was surrounded by walls. There were walls they needed to overcome. No one could enter or leave Jericho because of this wall.
These walls can mean anything to different people. It could be a hidden pain, rejection, rape, addiction, depression, memory, past experiences, fears, and so on. Because of an experience in the past, we have built walls that no one can break through to our hearts. You can’t let God’s love in because someone you trusted before broke it, and you think everyone is the same, so you built a wall. Maybe you promised God you would never do that one thing again, but you see yourself going back over and over again. When people talk about liberation, you don’t believe them because you have built a wall. You have lost hope. You don’t believe there is freedom from sin. But there is one! That is our good news.
I could go on and on about our different walls. But our focus is not on the walls but on breaking them.
God loves you so much that he wishes to embrace you in love, but he can’t hug you through a wall. The people he has sent to minister to you are unable to love you through a barrier. You have to break down these walls!
The City of Jericho
Jericho, a very beautiful city. It was defined as a city of palm trees, very lush and green. However, it was hard for the Israelites to tell because they had huge walls barring them from the Israelites. Like the Bible says, “No one comes in, no one goes out.”
Because of fear, perhaps a scar, you don’t let anyone see how beautiful you are on the inside. But your wall and mine are preventing people from gaining from us! Imagine the number of lives that would be changed if you stepped out of your fear; imagine the destinies that would be remolded if you completely surrendered, leaving the fear behind. A wall is constructed block by block. The devil uses each fear to add a block to the tier; with each failure, he tries to add a brick. He has a grand plan—to construct a massive wall within us that prevents us from reaching out and others from entering—but I believe God for freedom.
Joshua’s first assignment
It’s important for us to remember that this was the first assignment God gave Joshua after commissioning him as Moses’ replacement. He told Joshua, “See, I have given you this land.” The command “see” was used. God was telling Joshua, “See through these walls; see with your eyes of faith.” See the victory I won on the cross for you; see, I have given you victory over demons, principalities, and powers! Don’t let fear hold you back.
Today, God is commanding you to see your victory! Now, I said it was important for us to note that this was the first assignment because most times we are crying for more, singing more of you, Jesus! We cry, but we haven’t broken down our walls. How can he come in when we have securely barred it? “Come in, Lord!” we exclaim. Perhaps after an emotional message, but we don’t really mean it. If we did, we would not return to the same relationships that keep us stuck, nor would we return to the walls that keep us in. We cry; we want to know you more! But our walls of procrastination, lack of discipline, and laziness keep us caged in.
I am talking about myself too. You see what these walls are doing to us? See how they are limiting us. I bet the occupants of Jericho had no idea what went on outside. They didn’t have smart phones. As a result, any information they obtained had to pass through the wall. What little information that would be! What distorted information that would be! It passed through the walls. It can’t be the same.
Before that revival we are praying for comes, our first assignment is to tear down our walls. I have mine, you have yours, but for an actual walk with God to begin, these walls must come down first.
Next is battle strategy. Joshua told the people,
- The first strategy was silence!
Why was this important? The solitude enabled them to survey the environs. It gives us the opportunity to ask. What are my walls? Someone once said, “Very few people actually think.” When was the last time you sat down to think? Why is this happening to me? Is this a trend in my family? How can I stop this? What is this wall doing to my family? Who erected this strange wall? We would love to do lots of stuff today, but think. We frequently forget that our salvation lies in silence and rest.
They had only one day to talk. They had six days of silence. Be still before God today. Ask him, “Lord, show me these walls.” What he has to say outweighs ours. Be still. Joshua got up early in the morning. Desire breeds results. There will be no passion to pursue the dream if your why is not strong enough. Joshua got an instruction and got up early to do it. The only reason that wall is still in our lives is because we want it there. We have not desired its destruction. We have choices. As long as we have other options, breaking down the walls will just be an option. But if we see how much our lives depend on its destruction, we will rise up. When our loved one is on the hospital bed dying, we don’t go about saying passionlessly, “Our father in heaven.” No! We groan; we cry. These walls can come down if you want them to. It will be there as long as you allow it, building block by block.
- On the last day, they screamed!
Then blow the trumpet. The trumpet in ancient war times served as a signal. It’s screaming, and here I am! In silence, we have discovered our walls; now it’s time to scream! I need help! No one will scream for you. It’s time to talk to someone about that bad habit; it’s time to seek help! It’s time to talk about it! Scream!
Author Robert Fuhlgum writes in one of his books about an ancient practice on Solomon Island in which people gathered to destroy a tree by screaming at it for 30 days straight. After 30 days, the trees begin to wither. I don’t know how accurate this is, but spiritually, we understand the power of words. In our lives, we are the first prophets. If we don’t speak, it won’t happen. So today, scream! Scream at that masturbation, at spiritual laziness, at the words you learned in your days of solitude. Don’t be silent when you are supposed to be screaming. Tell that situation God’s word. It will respond. You speak and create a reality with your words.
Rahab was the only one saved with a scarlet thread as a signal. The scarlet thread is the blood of Jesus. It’s our signal for freedom. The breakdown of the wall may be difficult and painful, but the part sanctified by the blood will make it possible.
I end with this
Today, I beseech us to break these walls! The creation is awaiting your manifestation. Break your walls! Destroy them! We have victory. In case you have any issues, and would like to speak to someone please don’t hesitate to talk firstname.lastname@example.org! You can be free!