Through the Bible Day by Day
Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.
THE COMMANDER AND HIS PLAN OF CAMPAIGN
When the heart is perfect with God we may count on His presence and help. It is to the separated and obedient servant that the vision of Christ, as Ally and Captain, is given. Here were three hosts marshaled by Jericho-of the Canaanites, of Israel, and of the heavenly armies, waiting to war against the evil spirits which ruled the darkness of the land, Eph_6:12.
The answer to Joshua’s question depended on whether Israel was prepared to accept God’s plan of campaign, which was very humbling to the flesh. “The Lord is with us, if we are with Him,” Jos_7:11-12; 2Ch_15:2. As Jericho was the key to Canaan, and its fall was to be the earnest of complete victory, the program was carefully planned to give God His rightful position. From first to last its capture was the result of the interposition of Him who dwelled in the bush. Therefore, the Ark was borne around the city, as the symbol of His presence, Num_10:35.
And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.
JERICHO TAKEN AND “DEVOTED”
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,” Heb_11:30. Whose faith? To some extent it was the faith of the people, who marched round them day by day in full assurance that God would not fail. But Joshua and Caleb pre-eminently were deeply concerned in the wonderful result. See Mar_11:23-24.
To the citizens the action of the Israelite invaders must have appeared incomprehensible and even ludicrous. What do these feeble folk? But God’s people were being daily trained in patience, obedience and humility. Let God perform all things for you! Many strongholds of the enemy which now remain obstinate would fall if only all the Church would encompass them in faith, 2Co_10:4.
The utter destruction of the city and its people was in keeping with the usage of that age. Without doubt the city might have been a prolific source of infection. Still, its fate was terrible. We learn that God can lift human ideals by very slow, protracted processes.
But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
SPARED WHEN OTHERS PERISHED
It is not the amount of truth that we know which saves us, but the grasp with which we hold it. All that Rahab knew was very slight and partial, but she held to it with all the tenacity of her soul, and it was accounted to her for righteousness, Rom_4:15. Also her works approved her faith. She identified herself with Israel by the scarlet thread, gathered her kinsfolk under her roof, and waited in anticipation of deliverance, Jam_2:25.
She had yet to be delivered from falsehood and lying, but that God-consciousness which is the first ray of dawn had broken upon her, and would necessarily result in perfect day. Poor outcast though she was, she became incorporated with Israel and the type of Gentile sinners who are permitted to sit with Christ in heavenly places. See Eph_2:17-18.
The city was devoted to destruction, lest the microbe of corruption should, through Israel, infect the world. See 1Ki_16:34, r.v. But remember Luk_19:1-10.