And he told the people, "Advance and march around the city, with the armed troops going ahead of the ark of the LORD."
I. THIS DIVINE CAPTAIN HAS NEVER LEFT THE ARMY OF THE HOLY, though He may NOT AT ALL TIMES have made Himself VISIBLE. He was with the Church when it entered upon the conflict with the old world. Weak, insignificant, without power, and without prestige as it was, His sword of fire sufficed to ensure it the victory. It was He whom Luther saw in the dawn of the Reformation morning, when he sang: "The Son of God goes forth to war."
II. This Divine personage is the same with whom Jacob wrestled all the night at the Ford Jahbok. He begins by turning His sword against His own soldiers, and plunges it deep into their hearts to destroy their pride and sin. Blessed wounding, which makes them in the end more than conquerors, and Israelites indeed. We must not, then, marvel if, often in the early stages of its warfare, the Church is humbled, foiled, for a time it might seem almost crushed. Neither should we be surprised if the Christian soul is made victorious only through suffering. Soon the Divine Captain will take command of the host which He has disciplined, and will lead them on to victory. This Captain is the very same whom St. John saw in vision with a flaming sword in His mouth. He is the Word made flesh, the Redeemer (Revelation 5.). He Himself was wounded before He triumphed. The conquering Head of the Church is "Jesus, who was crucified." - E. DE P.
Ye shall not shout.., until the day I bid you shout.I. ONE OF THE ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES OF A GREAT LEADER — THE POWER TO REPRESS THE PASSIONS OF A NATION OF WARRIORS: "Ye shall not shout," &c. This was the command of a young ruler. The temptation of the young and inexperienced is impatience. We but gradually learn the lesson, "He that believeth shall not make haste." Joshua, however, had learnt this. It is easy to arouse a nation when new scenes suggest new possibilities, but it is difficult to suppress emotions at such a time, and to insist upon silence "until." This is one of the tests of ruler-ship. Every general should be equal to this task. Joshua was.
II. ONE OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT PEOPLE — WILLING OBEDIENCE TO THE COMMAND TO REPRESS THEIR EMOTIONS AT SUCH A TIME AS THIS. Joshua does not seem to have told them all that the Lord had told him. Their ignorance of the final issue made obedience to the command to go round Jericho for six days without giving vent to their feelings in one single shout the more difficult, and on that account imparted to it a grander meaning. At the outset the nation of conquerors had to conquer their own spirit. There must be a reserve of force. Only those who can be silent can shout to good purpose. So has it ever been with God's servants. They have had their seasons of delay. Moses in Midian; Christ's disciples tarrying in Jerusalem "until," &c.; Paul in Arabia; so here the people who could persist in their apparently meaningless rounds "until" they were bidden to shout, had the making of conquerors in them. The shout would have all the momentum of the delay in it.
III. THE DIVINE METHOD OF ACCOMPLISHING TRIUMPHS: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit." The triumph thus gained is often the consummation of patient waiting and implicit obedience on our part. The world misunderstands the meaning of the apparent monotonous routine of Providence, and asks sneeringly, "Where is the promise of His coming?" All the while we know that the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, and that every apparent delay hastens the final consummation. And "this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
PeopleIsraelites, Joshua, Nun, Rahab
TopicsAdvance, Ahead, Ark, Armed, Body, Circling, Compass, Forward, Guard, March, Pass, Round, Town
Outline1. Jericho is shut up
2. God instructs Joshua how to beseige it
12. The city is composed
17. It is accursed
20. The walls fall down
22. Rahab is saved
26. The builder of Jericho is cursed
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJoshua 6:1-21
'And Joanna paved Rahab the harlot alive... and she dwelleth in Israel even unto this day.'--JOSHUA vi. 25. This story comes in like an oasis in these terrible narratives of Canaanite extermination. There is much about it that is beautiful and striking, but the main thing is that it teaches the universality of God's mercy, and the great truth that trust in Him unites to Him and brings deliverance, how black soever may have been the previous life. I need not tell over again the story, told with such …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Siege of Jericho
The Shout of Faith
Whether it is Lawful for Clerics and Bishops to Fight?
Five Kings in a Cave
The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
Memoir of John Bunyan
He Does Battle for the Faith; He Restores Peace among those who were at Variance; He Takes in Hand to Build a Stone Church.
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