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Imagine how Joshua must felt have when God ordered him to have the children of Israel march around Jericho for seven days. He was still new in the job of leading the Jewish people, and he had the unenviable task of following Moses in that role. Now he was facing a city that he had no hope of defeating militarily, and God had ordered him to do something that didn’t make sense in the natural.
Could the leader of the Israelites secretly have wondered if it was an exercise in futility? Jehovah had given the people specific instructions regarding the city that now stood between the sojourners and their promised land, and the plan must have seemed fraught with pitfalls. The people would be exposed to possible attack from those inside the city’s walls. They would be mocked and ridiculed; what good would that do? Marching around in a circle?! They were also to carry their trumpets, yet not utter a sound.
“So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, ‘You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.’” —Joshua 6:8–10
After six days of what surely must have felt like utter nonsense, they were to follow the same routine—but with two notable exceptions: They were to march seven times, and then the people were to shout in praise to Jehovah for delivering the city into their hands. Obedience was the key to moving the hand of God, even when we do not understand what He is doing. When we obey Him in a spirit of praise, He works in ways that man cannot understand—or stand against.