I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV
The story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho was always a favorite of mine as a child. I remember singing the childhood song, “Joshua fought the Battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho…” As I read Chapter 6 of Joshua, I thought about how the people prepared for the battle.
- The Lord told Joshua what to expect. He was given a battle plan. Like me, you may be thinking, “I wish God would tell me ahead of time about my battles.” But wait a minute. We have been told. Christ said that we would have trouble in this world. We can expect it. And if we know to expect it, then we can know how to prepare for it. We prepare by staying in the Word and heeding the voice of the Commander. We’re told in Ephesians 6 about our battle gear. We just need to keep that armor on, and we’ll be ready at a moment’s notice to face the battle.
- Joshua had the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was the representation of the very presence of God. Christ told us He would never leave us or forsake us. As a child of God, the Holy Spirit lives within us and there is never any circumstance that we face alone.
- Joshua told the people to not speak until he instructed them to on the last day. Only the sound of the blowing horns were to be heard as they marched around the city. When we are in the midst of the battle, we would do well to listen and praise more than we speak. Our hearts should be lifting praise to the Father and listening for Him to give us our next move. One of the ways we can be a huge witness to others around us is to allow our manner and actions to reveal a spirit of humility and grace as we endure the battle. That will speak volumes more than any spoken words we can share.
- The people took time to rest. They marched around the city once a day for six days. After marching around the city, they would return to camp to rest and then do the same thing again the next day. Whatever battle we may be in, we must learn how to rest in the Lord. Bible reading and prayer is so important, but even so much more during times of struggles. We need to spend time daily with the One who can refresh our souls.
- The people were obedient and steadfast. After a couple days of doing the same thing, they may have wondered what good it was doing to march around the city. Why couldn’t they just go ahead and finish the battle on day one? But they continued. We don’t know how long our battle may last. We are told to number our days to gain wisdom. We are told to stay steadfast. And we are promised God will perfect, complete us in the end.
- Then finally, accept the victory. On the last day, the people marched around the city seven times. They then gave a shout when Joshua instructed them to, and the walls of the city fell. When we are faithful to fight as the Lord leads us, the time will come when we can give that cry of victory as the battle is won.
Battles are never something we want or long for. But they are inevitable. So, take heart, dear friend. Anticipate those battles with the knowledge that God is with us, will lead us through them, and give us the victory at the end of them.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the example of the Children of Israel fighting their battles. I don’t like thinking about facing a battle but thank You for assuring me of Your help and presence as I go through those times of conflict. Help me be prepared before the battle comes so that during the midst of it, I can stay obedient and strong as I trust in You. Thank You, Father, for the warning and I praise You now for the victory that will come in Your time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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