(RETURN TO REFLECTIONS)
Joshua positioned himself to listen to the Lord, and yet the instruction of positioning an army to defeat a fortified city had uncanny logic. “For my thoughts are higher than your thoughts and my ways than your ways, says the Lord.” (Is. 55:8) The unseen heavenly hosts awaited the obedience of their earthy God-honoring counterparts, and on that seventh day a sound was heard; the wall crumbled as the army of heaven and earth connected.

With the testimony of Israel preceding them, the king of Jericho ordered the city to be sealed off. The double walls totaled near 20 feet wide and supported houses to help secure the city; in addition, the location was set on a steep incline. The Israelites, though at a disadvantage in the natural, were still causing fear to strike the leaders and inhabitants of this land. Joshua listened, and lead the march for victory.

“See, I have given Jericho into your hand.” (vs. 1) Vision was given to see, “the battle is the Lord’s (2 Chron. 20:15),” yet required strategy and obedience. “You shall march around the city … once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets… when you hear them sound a long blast… have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall… will fall” (vs. 3-4). Armed men (not enough space to comment on that!) perhaps 40,000 preceded all the people and then the priests carrying the shofars. Next came the ark, and armed troops followed as the rearguard. The horns, blasted during the daily march, taunted the city. Then they gathered back at the camp. (vs. 6-11). For six days they marched one time around, with not a word, but the sound of the shofar. Then the seventh day, seven times around, and a long blast and shout brought the walls down!

Six is the number representing man, human labor, secular competence, and the constant battle between the spirit and the flesh. The flesh needed to be silent as the shofar, the voice of the Lord, sounded. For six days the ways of man yielded quietly, submissively, and trustingly to the process. Doesn’t it seem like sometimes that process has us going in circles? Yet there was a silencing of the flesh, and an anticipation in the Spirit. It seemed like nothing was happening, but oh, so much was being built under the surface. The enemy trembled on the other side of the wall, as the people quietly obeyed and hoped in the promised outcome.

In seven days, the fullness of time, seven more blast were heard. A total of thirteen, known as an “unlucky” number, but not to us. It does speak of the rebellion of things, corruption, abandonment, defection and destruction. Yes, that sounds unfortunate. Yet wasn’t that the testimony of Jericho, not the testimony of Israel, the “ones who prevail with God”. Number thirteen in the Jewish culture deals in reference with someone who is loving, caring, holy. It also signifies a turning point within one’s life, indicating increased responsibility and accountability. “Ahava,” the Hebrew word for love, and “Echad,” the word for one, both have a number value of thirteen. Literally the Lord is calling us, in love, to walk in unison, ranked in order, keep our mouths shut and our ears open, and then, at fullness of time...release a united sound. We are nearing the last lap(s) and soon the mingled sound of victory will be heard as our voices and the voice of the Lord unite… and the walls of resistance will crumble.
    Shouts of Victory “It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat.  And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”  - Joshua 6:5       In Him, Rev. Sharon Carlson IAM Overseer and V.P. 3/13