Some people say life is a battle. They are right. We face danger and hardship. We risk. We fight. Sometimes we lose, and other times we are victorious. But one thing seems certain: life’s challenges never end.
One of the most famous battles in Scripture involves Joshua and the city of Jericho. God’s chosen people had faced an arduous journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. They had experienced hunger, exhaustion, and discord. Now their path was blocked by fortified enemy cities.
Jericho stood in their way. It was walled, and although relatively small, it was extremely well-fortified. Some scholars say it could easily have survived a year-long siege. The battle of Jericho is the subject of songs and spirituals, because what happened next was incredible.
God gave Joshua peculiar instructions about how to fight this particular battle. He begins by declaring victory. The Lord says, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands” (6:2).
The Israelites were instructed to march around the city once every day for six days. The priests were told to carry trumpets before the ark of the Lord. On the seventh day, they were to march again, seven times, but this day the priests would blow the trumpets. The people were to give a loud shout—and the walls of the city would collapse (6:1–5).
From an earthly perspective, God’s instructions did not make sense. I can only imagine their hesitation and doubt. Wasn’t it better to sneak up on your enemy? Why march around creating a huge spectacle? But regardless of any doubts they had, God’s people obeyed and victory came. As the walls collapsed, it was clear that the honor belonged to God alone. He had gone before them.
God goes before us as well. Too often we fight life’s battles on our own. At the beginning of the book, God tells Joshua, “Be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land” (1:6). He says, “you will”—not “you might.” God promised, and He would keep that promise.
The Lord continued, saying, “Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (1:9). These are great words for Joshua and also for us today. As we study the book of Joshua, we will learn about the nation of Israel and the mighty God they served. But we will also learn how God can help us face our own battles.
When we are up against daunting circumstances, we place our trust firmly in God. We are to remember His faithfulness in the past, trust Him with our present, follow His instructions, and watch as He leads us to victory.