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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.”—Joshua 6:20-21 (NKJV)
We are at perhaps the most pivotal and memorable place in the Book of Joshua: the exact moment when the walls of Jericho came crumbling down. It is a powerful picture of God’s faithfulness to His promises to the Israelites—and to us as well.
Up until this point, the Israeli army had been marching in silence around the city for nearly a week. Think about that for a moment . . . What do you think was going through the minds of some of the soldiers during those first six days? Surely, more than a few must have had doubts as to whether God’s instructions made any sense or were even going to work. Yet they obeyed God’s commands and continued to march.
But on this day, the army was instructed to shout when the trumpet sounded. What’s especially interesting to note about this directive isn’t immediately obvious, but it’s key to understanding Israel’s victory: the type of trumpets they used.
What do I mean? Earlier in the chapter, the Lord told Joshua to have seven priests carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark (which represented God’s presence). This is significant because as the Cambridge Bible commentary points out, these trumpets were “not the long, straight trumpets generally used [for war], but the same kind that were to be employed on the first day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:24), and to announce the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:9).” In other words, these trumpets typically announced a time of celebration. Therefore, the sounding of the trumpet and the shouting by the army was actually an act of worship. It was a declaration of God’s victory over their enemy before the walls ever came down.
Christian, do you know that worship is a powerful act of spiritual warfare? As Zach Neese, author of How to Worship a King, puts it: “We have to remember that the Word of God is a sword. What is praise but the expressed Word, promises, and nature of the Lord? Praise is powerful, active, and aggressive. It cuts down our enemy before we even see him coming. It kicks his feet out from under him, confuses his counsel, and contradicts his lies.”
And it’s not just for mature believers, either. In fact, Psalm 8:2 (NIV) says, “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”
If you feel defeated or discouraged today, sound the trumpet, start worshipping, and wait for the walls to come crashing down!
DIG: Why was the type of trumpet used in this chapter so significant to the Israelite’s victory over Jericho?
DISCOVER: What is your view of worship? Do you see it as a powerful tool in your spiritual arsenal?
DISPLAY: If you’re up against a wall in your life that just doesn’t seem to budge, step out in faith and start praising God for who He is and what He has done before you see any change. It may be that the key to victory is declaring it before you can see it.
Rob Nieminen is a seasoned writer and editor who has written devotionals for Calvary since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, FL. He serves in the Worship Ministry at Calvary Boynton Beach and is an avid reader, an erratic golfer, and an aspiring photographer who loves to cook and spend time with his family.