And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times.
Israel hadn’t had a lot of battle experience, but certainly this strategy must have seemed kind of strange to them. They weren’t building machines to break through the walls. They weren’t crafting ropes to climb over the top. They weren’t devising some plan to trick the people of Jericho into opening the gates. And what must the people of Jericho have thought as this fearsome nation surrounded them with trumpets blowing before simply going home for the day?
The people of Jericho had shut themselves into their walled city, and the only way to victory was to remove those walls. God had just proven when Israel crossed the Jordan River that He could remove any obstacles and give them a clear path through. All they had to do was trust Him, believe Him, and then obey Him. So now they patiently march for seven days and then seven times the seventh day. And things unfolded exactly as God said they would when the walls fell down and the army rushed in.
God’s ways may seem foolish to the world, and maybe even to us at times, but following Him leads us to victory. We have to do things God’s way. We have to obey specifically and fully without deviating from the plan. We can’t get ahead of Him, but we have to wait on Him. It wasn’t like they could march seven times on the third day to try to hurry things along. There were no shortcuts and there was no changing how it was supposed to be.
What did it mean for Israel to follow through with this plan? It meant that they were trusting God completely, that they believed doing what He told them would bring the result they needed. In our own lives, may we commit to doing things God’s way, to obeying Him carefully, and to trusting all of His promises. Let’s be patient as we go through the course and follow through with our part so God will follow through with His. We may not always understand why He’s asked something of us, but we don’t have to know why as long as we are trusting the God who is guiding us.