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the Commander and His Plan of Campaign
Joshua 5:13-15 ; Joshua 6:1-11
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, Ephesians 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,” Joshua 7:11-12 ; 2 Chronicles 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, Numbers 10:35 .
Jericho Taken and “Devoted”
“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,” Hebrews 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 Mark 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, 2 Corinthians 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.
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, Romans 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, James 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 Ephesians 2:17-18 .
The city was devoted to destruction, lest the microbe of corruption should, through Israel, infect the world. See 1 Kings 16:34 , r.v. But remember Luke 19:1-10 .
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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Joshua 6". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Seventh Week after Easter