Don't Quit on Six

We all have battles and obstacles in our lives that we will have to face. At times, those obstacles may seem like they’re impossible to overcome. For instance, the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for over 400 years. Then the Lord released them from captivity through Exodus but they spent another 40 years in the wilderness. When they finally marched on Jericho in Joshua, Chapter 6, they faced a fortress guarded by elite and battle-seasoned soldiers. Historical accounts [1] show that Jericho was built on an embankment – or hill – and was surrounded by two walls. The outer wall was made of stone and was approximately 15 feet high and was six feet thick. On top of the stone retaining wall, was a mud-brick extension that added an additional 25 - 40 feet to the outer wall. Inside of the outer-wall, was the embankment and fortifications. Then finally, at the crest of the hill, was another wall that was approximately 25 feet high and also six feet thick.

By all accounts, this wall was impenetrable. To the Israelites, it was a battle and obstacle that seemed impossible to overcome. However, God was with them and fought for them. Before the battle even started, the Lord sent His army and declared that He had given Jericho to the Israelites.

Joshua 5:13-14, “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are You for us or for our adversaries?’. So, He said, ‘No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come’”

Before the fight had begun, the Lord reminded Joshua that He was with them and He was the Commander of their upcoming fight. As Commander, he was going to take full control and lead the battle, bringing to pass the will and promises He spoke over His people.

Exodus 3:17 “I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ 

After the Lord appeared to Joshua and showed that He was leading his people, He then reassured Joshua and proclaimed the Israelites victory over Jericho. Joshua 6:2 “And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.” Notice, the Lord said “I have given” – past participle tense, meaning the Lord had already ordained the outcome of the battle. The Victory belonged to the Israelites before they even started marching.

Following the reassurance, the Lord gave Joshua the battle-plan for His people to follow.

Joshua 6:3-5 “You and your fighting men must march around the city once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark [of the Covenant], each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blasts on the ram’s horns, have all the people should as loud as they can. Then the walls will collapse and the people can charge straight into the city”.

Joshua then gave instructions to the Israelites and they began their march around the city. At the break of dawn, they marched as instructed without saying a word. The people of Jericho, feeling secure in their fortress, looked at the Israelites with bewilderment, confusion, and amusement. Un-phased, the Israelites followed the Lord’s instructions and continued marching around Jericho for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around the walls seven times. After the seventh lap on the seventh day, the priests gave a long blast from their horns and the Israelites shouted a cry of victory, and as promised by the Lord, the walls came crashing down. They rushed into the remains of the city and conquered what was once considered an impenetrable fortress – an impossible obstacle – and they finally entered the promised land.

Just as the Israelites were God’s chosen people, we too have been adopted into His family through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:11). Therefore, we are entitled to the same privileges and inheritance that comes with being a child of The Most-High. There are a few key points from this story that apply to us all.

  1. God has a plan and purpose for your life that is GOOD. He uses you to accomplish His will for His Kingdom but as His child you will receive an inheritance if you let Him take the lead.

This is shown before the battle when the Lord appeared to Joshua and showed that He was in Command. The Lord declared victory and inheritance for the Israelites, and gave them the steps to follow in obedience. Likewise, victory over our own obstacles has already been ordained and proclaimed by our Father, even before we enter the fight (2 Chron 20:15) and If God is for us, then who can be against us? For the Israelites and for us, it’s God who’s ultimately fighting for us. The plans He has for our lives are even greater than we can imagine but we must cede control to Him and trust the plan and victory He has for us. (Jeremiah 29:11)

2 Chronicles 20:15 “And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans for you to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future”

  1. Do not focus on your “wall” that must come down. Instead, focus on your Commander who is on the front lines and leading the way.

At times, our own walls and obstacles seem insurmountable, and through our own efforts they definitely are. However, God asks us to have the faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20), trust in Him, and be obedient. If we keep focusing on the size of our mountains, we may never take the first step to victory. But if we focus on our Father and Commander leading in front of us, we can be assured that we will overcome. Even if the steps He asks us to take doesn’t make sense, we must trust in Him and not question it. Oftentimes, when we start questioning ourselves, we’re planting self-doubt in our mind, which is why God told the Israelites not to say a word as they marched. He knew their hearts and the fear they faced for their “impossible” battle and he knew if they spoke, they would talk themselves out of following his lead. As His children, if we focus on Him instead of our obstacles, follow His lead and trust Him, then He will surely fight for us and do what we cannot do through our own strength. Showing up and marching around the city didn’t require any special training, ability, talent, or strategy. If it did, the Israelites could’ve taken credit for their victory. Instead, God did what they couldn’t do on their own to remind them and us that with God we can accomplish the impossible. He also wanted to show the world that HE alone is the one true and almighty God who loves and provides for his people. He’s not looking for us to be skillful or have any special talent, all He asks is that we just show up and walk in his steps. 

  1. Keep walking and trusting in God even when you cannot tell that He is working.

When we face hardships, adversities, battles, and obstacles we sometimes reach the point when we want to give up and our own strength fails us. The Israelites definitely wanted to give up plenty of times during their journey. Remember, they were slaves for many years, then they were nomads in the wilderness of a foreign land, and then they were told they would have to fight unconquerable people protected by an impenetrable fortress while being undertrained and ill-equipped. In their first encounter with Jericho they focused on the obstacles that seemed insurmountable instead of trusting God. This resulted in them complaining about their hardship, refusing to take the city that was promised to them, and ultimately resulted in them wandering the wilderness for 40 years before they had another opportunity to enter their promised land (Numbers 13-14). However, in the wilderness they learned to trust and obey their Father. By the time they returned to Jericho the new generation of Israelites who grew up learning to trust God were ready to follow His lead. As they marched around the city for six days, they did not see any changes in their battle. There were no outward signs that God was working on their behalf but they had faith and kept marching. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times and as they were marching, they still saw no change. It was only after the last lap that they blew the horns, shouted, and watched as the walls came down.

Many times, we encounter what seems to be hardship after hardship, battle after battle, and obstacle after obstacle. When we don’t see any changes or results, we begin to question if God is still with us and if we’ll overcome the struggles we face. We then lose hope and feel like giving up but sometimes we are only one day or one lap away from our victory. Just because we don’t see God working doesn’t mean He isn’t working things out for our good. He promises us that he will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) but we must trust him and keep walking.

Regardless of what you're facing, if the Jericho of your life seems insurmountable, and you don’t feel or see God moving… DON’T GIVE UP! Trust that your Father is in control, leading the way and on the frontlines fighting for you. You are only ONE day, ONE lap away. Finish your seventh lap, DON’T QUIT ON SIX, and watch as the Lord hands you the victory over your Jericho!



[1] -