I’ve read the story of Jericho numerous times, always from the perspective of what God did–which is amazing. But today I read it through a different lens What must it have felt like for the Israelites to march around a heavily fortified, six-acre city, not once, not twice, but thirteen times?

As the 8+ meter wall loomed beside them, swallowing them in its shadow, did their courage fade? 

I imagine when they first received God’s instructions, they felt excited. Hoorah! God has given us the city! Let’s go! On day two, halfway around with no sign of victory in sight, did they begin to feel foolish? Then came day three, day four, five and six. How easy it would have been to give in, to walk away, to chalk it all up to a crazy idea not worth pursuing.

Then came day seven. This had to be the most difficult day of all when the Israelites marched around the city not once, but seven times. Seven times around a heavily fortified, six acre city. All total, the Israelites marched around the city thirteen times. Do the math–that’s a lot of acrage to cover. That’s a lot of walking, with zero fighting.

I can imagine the thoughts that must have filled their minds. Surely the God who parted the Red Sea could move faster. Seven days? Wasn’t there a more efficient way?

Maybe, if God was only concerned with conquering the city, but God had bigger plans–eternal plans. It’s easy to praise God when everything goes as expected. It’s easy to trust Him when life is easy. It’s another matter entirely when everything runs contrary to reason and we feel like we’re endlessly marching in circles. 

Seven long days of nothing, doubts and insecurities flooding their minds. Seven long days of their hearts crying out to God. “Do you remember, Lord? Are you still in this?” 

Then imagine their jubilation when they rounded that corner for the  thirteenth time and the ram horn blasted.  The faithful marchers shouted with victory, then the walls came tumbling down.

What’s your Jericho and where are you on your march?