Salvation and Victory
Strategy For Victory
In the Bible the number seven often symbolizes completeness or perfection. There were seven priests, seven trumpets, seven days, seven circuits of the wall on the seventh day. Though God’s plan of action may have seemed foolish to men it was the perfect scheme for this battle.
What was the significance of the blaring trumpets? These instruments were “jubilee trumpets” (lit. Heb.) used in connection with Israel’s solemn feasts to proclaim the presence of God (Num. 10:10). The conquest of Jericho was not therefore exclusively a military undertaking but also a religious one, and the trumpets declared that the Lord of heaven and earth was weaving His invisible way around this doomed city.
No battle strategy appeared more unreasonable than this one. What was to prevent the army of Jericho from raining arrows and spears down on the defenseless Israelites pursuing their silent march? Or who could stop the enemy from rushing out of the city gates to break up Israel’s line, separating and then slaughtering them? Joshua was an experienced military leader. Certainly these and similar objections to the divine strategy flashed into his mind. But unlike Moses at the burning bush who argued with lengthy eloquence against the Lord’s plan (cf. Ex. 3:11–4:17)
Steadiness of Victory
The army thus had prominent places in the procession but Jericho would fall not through their prowess but because of the power of God.
The faith of the Israelites triumphed over their fear that the enemy would attack. They also triumphed over any expectation of ridicule and scorn. Never before and seldom after this historic event did the thermometer of faith rise this high in Israel.
At the end of the seventh circuit the clear voice of Joshua rang out, Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! Also he told them to spare Rahab and her family (cf. 2:8–13). So when the priests blasted on the trumpets … the people gave a loud shout. That shout reverberated through the hills around, startling wild animals and terrorizing the dwellers of Jericho in their homes. At that moment the wall of Jericho, obeying the summons of God, collapsed (lit., “fell in its place“).
Salvation is Victory
Rahab’s history is an example of the grace of God operating in the lives of an individual and her family. Regardless of her past life she was saved by faith in the living God and even became a part of the messianic line (Matt. 1:5). In keeping with the biblical pattern, Rahab and her family were spared from divine judgment (cf. Gen. 7:1; 1 Thes. 5:9) because of their faith.