By Mary Vee
Joshua 5 and 6
Joshua gazed over the hill at the city of Jericho. No merchants or city folk went in or out of the city gate. And even though it was the middle of the day, the gate had been closed and locked.
He stepped closer to the road and saw a Man holding a sword in his hand standing on the other side. Joshua didn't recognize him. "Sir, are You for us or against us?"
The Man said, "I am the commander of the Lord's army."
Joshua gasped. "Oh, my Lord, I am Your servant." He fell to the ground to worship Him. "What message does my Lord have for me?"
The commander looked down at Joshua's feet. "Take your sandals off. This is holy land."
Joshua pulled his sandals off then bowed in worship again. The Lord turned toward Jericho and pointed. "I have given this city, its king, and their mighty men of valor to you. Here are your instructions:
1. Take all your warriors and march around the city of Jericho one time. Do this for six days.
2. Tell seven priests to carry seven trumpets made from rams horns and follow the warriors.
3. Priests assigned to carry the ark are to march next in line followed by the remaining priests.
4. A smaller group of warriors shall march behind the priests to guard the rear.
5. On the seventh day, everyone is to march around the city of Jericho seven times.
6. After the seventh march on the seventh day, the priests are to make a long, loud blast with their trumpets as a signal for all Israelites.
7. Tell your people to shout when they hear the trumpet sound. After all this is finished, the city walls of Jericho will fall, allowing your army to enter."
The commander of the Lord's army said, "Do you understand?"
Joshua nodded. "Yes, my Lord."
Joshua hurried back to the Israelite camp. "Gather around, everyone! The Lord just told me what we're to do."
Messengers ran throughout the camp calling out: "Hurry, go to the meeting place. Joshua has a message from the Lord."
Women and children ran behind the men to the meeting place. "The time has come!" They laughed and congratulated each other. "The Lord be praised. He promises to help us win the battle."
Joshua held up his hands to quiet the people. He waited until even the children hushed. "I have exciting news. Listen everyone to the Lord's words." He watched the people shush each other. "A few moments ago, the Lord gave me instructions for this battle. I know this message sounds weird, but we must do exactly as He said to win this battle."
He looked at their excited faces and waited again for the people to listen. He repeated the instructions from the Lord then said, "You must not say a word while marching. Only the priestly trumpets can make a sound. Everyone understand what to do?"
The people shouted "Yes" then raised their hands in praise to the Lord. "Praise the Lord, Halleluia."
Joshua smiled then waved them forward. "Let's go."
The story will continue next time.
1. Who did Joshua receive instructions from?
2. What were the instructions?
3. What did Joshua tell the people?
4. Were the people willing to obey.
5. Who promised to help the people?