Wednesday, January 18, 2023

            Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel just before it was time to take the land that God had decided to give Israel.  Jericho was a city that Israel had to conquer and take in order to possess the land.  As Joshua approached Jericho, he encountered the “commander of the LORD’s army” (Joshua 5:14).  The commander advised Joshua to remove his sandals for the place where he stood was “holy ground” (5:15).  Scripture teaches that God Himself would deliver the city to Israel.  And the Bible adds this fascinating detail, “Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.  Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men’” (6:1-2).
            Victory was assured and guaranteed even when Jericho’s gates were locked and barred to protect against the army of Israel.  Here that again...the gates were locked and the doors were barred to keep Israel’s army on the outside.  But God had already decided to hand the city to Joshua and his fighters.  There is a lesson for us to see in this battlefield account.  God’s power and His victories are never stopped by barred and locked doors.  There could be times where, humanly speaking, we see no pathway forward and no solutions.  But God does.  God has already made a way.  God has already decided to grant us a victory or some kind of deliverance. 
            The conquest of Jericho involved some activities and strategies that most generals would probably not employ on the battlefield today.  You can read about the conquest of Jericho in Joshua 6.  God called Joshua and Israel’s army to march around the city, to blow trumpets and shout.  The reason for these peculiar tactics was to ensure that Israel realized that God had given them the victory.  They could not claim that they conquered Jericho because of superior numbers or weapons.  They could not boast about their strength, acumen or experience.  God wanted the glory so He organized this battle in a way that left little doubt who was the real victor and champion in battle.  The God of the Exodus delivered Israel through the Red Sea and even through the defended gates and doors of Jericho!
            When we enjoy victories in life, we must be quick to give praise, thanks and glory to God.  He is our deliverer.  He gives us victory and breakthroughs even when gates are locked and doors are barred and the situation looks hopeless from a human point of view.  Pray, rely on God, patiently wait for Him to move and work.  Our ways are not His ways.  By noting Jericho’s locked gates and barred doors, the Bible wants us to see the power and might of God at work.  The Bible wants us to see that nothing is too powerful for God to do and no obstacles are too great for Him to overcome.  Near the end of Joshua 6, we read “so, the LORD was with Joshua” (6:27).  Faith is trusting that the Lord is with us.  Your circumstances might suggest otherwise.  People might try to convince you that God is nowhere to be found. Live by faith and not by sight.  Trust God’s power and presence more than your own instincts and wits. 
            Perhaps there are some locked gates and barred doors in your life.  Maybe there are places where you have neither asked nor expected God to work.  Perhaps today is the time to make some changes and ask God to give you victory.  And when God delivers for you, give glory to Him.  There could well be a Jericho in your life today that you need to defeat and conquer.  It could be an old habit that just hangs on.  It could be some resentment that has festered for decades.  It could be sin and shame that seem to have their claws deeply dug into you.  No Jericho is too great for God!  Have a wonderful Wednesday.  Remember worship is always available at  

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