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This is Nuts

That's why it's so convincing when it works.

Joshua 6:1–7

Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.” And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the LORD.”

The citizens of Jericho have retreated within the city walls and closed its gates. This is normal preparation for war when a city faces a superior army. It’s why ancient cities had walls. Jericho is preparing for a siege.

This confirms everything that Rahab said. Their hearts have melted. Joshua can see the obvious implications, and the LORD points this out.

Then the LORD gives Joshua another one of His “unique” military plans—no siege needed. We’re going to do it with seven trumpets made of rams’ horns (shofars) and the ark. Make just the right noise and the walls come a tumblin’ down.

No one does “shock and awe” like the LORD.

As usual, this sounds crazy. It’s a test of faith. Despite the track record, each new “crazy” request is a challenge. Will they follow, or will a secular mindset take over?

This will be the question for the rest of the Old Testament. Sometimes God’s people follow and good things happen. Sometimes they don’t and bad things happen. We will see both play out here soon.

Both often play out in a single life. Such is the story of David—and Saul, and Samson, and pretty much everyone else except prophets. (Jonah is an exception to the exception.)

Of course, this applies to us too. Our faith varies. Everyone has bad days, even with their faith. God shows Himself faithful, but memories fade. Our sinful nature works against remembering things correctly.

So, we fall. And get up again. And fall again. And …

Do not be discouraged by this. It even happened to Jonah.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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