The Battle of Jericho is one of the Bible’s most unusual war stories, where Jesus in pre-incarnate form appears, sword in hand, before the battle, and the Israelites simply march repeatedly around the city for seven days. The city walls collapse after the blast of trumpets and a shout, and God finally judges the wicked inhabitants who had locked themselves in, while showing mercy to a prostitute who trusted in Him.
Consider how the Gospel both compares and contrasts with this event, for we can see ourselves in this story through the Gospel lens. We deserve God’s anger for offending him. Like the Canaanites, we were God’s enemies and our hearts seemed locked closed.
But the Gospel message tells us it was Christ the sword-bearer who was slain for us. Jesus the innocent was judged by God for your sake. It was Jesus who, dying on the cross, shouted with a great shout, “It is finished!” — the work of redemption that He Himself had accomplished. It is only through Jesus that you can be forgiven for your sins and experience victory over your sins. To believe in Jesus is to be victorious in life, for Jesus has conquered sin and death!
And Jesus is returning:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire… And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.” (Revelation 19:11ff)
When Jesus returns, His sword is in His mouth: He will judge all nations and every person by His word. He is still the commander of the army of the Lord, and He will descend with a shout, leading his followers. Seven trumpets will sound, heralding God’s judgment.
Am I standing in His way? Am I resisting His word?
When Christ appeared to Joshua, Joshua naturally wanted to know “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” Christ answered “No” — His position was far more exalted than Joshua realised, and He was there to direct Joshua. The point is not whether God fits into your plan. The real question is, how is God fitting you in His plan? Your best response is not to try to challenge God to be on your side, but to humbly fall down and submit to God, to lay everything aside and ask, “Lord, you are in command of all my life. What are your directions?”
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)