Break Down The Walls of Jericho!
Payback is prettiful (yes, I did just combine “pretty” and “beautiful” to come up with that gibberish. Haha)! When we think of payback, we think of someone returning something that we previously gave them (such as money, time, or homework help (Bro, have you finished the math assignment?!)). The word “payback” also makes us think of some lowlife getting what he or she deserves for wronging someone else (such as going to jail for committing a crime, going to detention for stuffing Billy in a locker again (in the words of Stephanie Tanner from Full House, “how rude!”), or getting in trouble at home for making your little brother do your chores (Dad: I told YOU to clean up the kitchen! Guess what, Sunshine?! You get to clean up the entire house now! HAVE FUN, AND HAVE A NICE DAY!!!! Haha)).
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all like the idea of payback-we don’t want our efforts to be ignored, nor for troublemakers to get away with doing their dirt. There are certain types of payback, however, that only God can dish out; his payback is far more powerful, devastating and exciting than anything we could ever come up with (bow down, Bruce Wayne! Haha). This brings us to the story of the Battle of Jericho (hi, Y2J. Haha) in the Bible. I am attempting to summarize 6 chapters of Joshua to get us to this point, so my summary *might* be a little longer than most. No worries, though! This summary is action packed, and things will get juicier than Sunny D on a sunny day! Haha
If we’ll recall from my previous post, “I See The Red Sea! Pharaoh’s A Weenie!”->https://jesusbedtimestories.com/i-see-the-red-sea-pharaohs-a-weenie/), God used Moses to help free the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (let my people go, sucka! Pharaoh’s a punk! Haha). Once the Israelites had been set free, God promised them a land of their own in Canaan, but there was just one problem…they were scared to death of the Canaanite army-those big gorillas thought that they were bad (pssst, if Planet of the Apes didn’t scare me, those jamokes don’t scare me either. Haha). The Israelites doubted God’s ability to help them win their battles, and as such, they actually wanted to go back to Egypt…WHERE THEY WERE SLAVES!!! Have the Israelites lost their ever loving minds?! God sent Moses to rescue you all, you all SAW God miraculously part the Red Sea so that you all could cross over and reach the Promised Land (and he drowned Pharaoh’s entire army in the process), and he told you all that Canaan was yours-why are you still doubting him?!?!?!?!?!?! Calm down, Carletta. Woosah, woosah; peaceful meadows, peaceful meadows. Haha Due to their constant doubt, God made the Israelites wander around in the desert for 40 years, and when they returned to the Promised Land, they were sad-Moses had died, and they no longer had a leader to take them to their new home in Canaan…or so they thought.
Joshua had helped Moses during those 40 years (they were homeboys!), and while remembering Moses, he wondered what had happened to his people (the Israelites); who would be their new leader? God Almighty himself answered Joshua, telling Joshua that he (God) had chosen HIM (Joshua) to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land. Just like Moses, Joshua didn’t think that he was qualified for the job-stop your whining, Joshua! You have work to do! Haha God gave Joshua specific directions as to where the Promised Land was (that’s where the world got the term “GPS” from! GPS=God’s Perfect Specifications) and told Joshua that they would face many dangers, but God would be with them, would take care of them, and they would make it to the Promised Land (Hallelujah!). God further told Joshua to always keep his Commandments (God’s laws, y’all!), as doing so would ensure their safety, success, and prosperity. Joshua proved that he was smarter than the average bear, as he loved God, obeyed him, and didn’t give him any more lip. Haha Joshua had the officers tell the Israelites what was going down-start packing now, because we’re rolling out in 3 days! We’re crossing the Jordan River (and we’re not talking about Michael Jordan crossing Doc Rivers over on the court. Haha) to claim that land that God has for us! No procrastinating! The Israelites got the message loud and clear, and just as they had listened to Moses, they would listen to Joshua (thata’ tribe! Haha).
In the 2nd Chapter of Joshua, Joshua sends two spies to see what’s going on in the city of Jericho (that boy is slick with it! Haha); they convince a woman named Rahab (a woman of the night who gave ABC the idea for the show Scandal) to let them camp out there. The King of Jericho (that frozen french fry-WEAK!) found out that the Israelites had crashed the party, and sent a message to Rahab to send the spies out; Rahab told the guards that the spies were no longer there, and sent them off to look for them (Rahab had actually hidden the spies on her roof and was determined to protect them-our girl! Haha). Rahab told the spies that she knew God had given the Israelites the land of Canaan, the Canaanites knew that God had parted the Red Sea and destroyed those gummy bear Jordan kings (soft!), and as such, they were afraid of the Israelites and God Almighty (they tinkled in their tighty whities, y’all! Haha). Rahab asked the spies to not kill her or her family in exchange for her helping them, and the spies gladly agreed to spare their lives (you scratched our back, so we’ll scratch yours!). The spies told Rahab to bring her family into her house and tie a scarlet cord around her window to show that they were protected; if anyone laid a hand on them, it would be on the Israelites’ heads (and that’s a BIG OL’ head! Haha). Rahab helped the spies to get back to Joshua, and they told him everything that had happened (those Canaanite creampuffs are SCUUURRREEEEDDDDD!).
Joshua and the Israelites went to the Jordan River, camped there for three days, and before crossing over, they were given instructions on how to proceed (follow God’s laws, the priests would go first with the Ark of the Covenant (where the Ten Commandments were), don’t be too close to the Ark of the Covenant, focus on God; God’s about to show out, y’all! FLEX! Haha). God told Joshua that he was going to use him in a mighty way and would be with him, just as he was with Moses. God instructed Joshua as follows: have the Israelites (the priests with the Ark of the Covenant first) go to the edge of the Jordan River, stand in the river, choose 12 men from the tribes of Israel (one from each of the 12 tribes), and “its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap”(Joshua 3:13 (NIV)). God stays true to his Word, y’all (of course he would! He’s God! Haha)! As soon as the Israelites reached the Jordan River, the water from upstream stopped flowing, it had piled up in a heap (I believe in miracles! Break it down, now! I believe in miracles!), they were able to cross the Jordan River on COMPLETELY DRY GROUND (mind…BLOWN!), and God told Joshua to choose 12 men (one from each of the 12 tribes) to pick up 12 stones to place where they would stay tonight-this would be a memorial of what God had done for the Israelites that day (oh wait…THERE’S MORE!!!). The Israelites didn’t start popping off at the mouth (like a kid struggling to chew bubblegum-can’t….move…my…teeth! Haha), but did as Joshua had told them to do-the 12 stones were placed in the spot where the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had stood.
At this point, Joshua, the priests, and 40,000 men had crossed over the Jordan River to Jericho, armed and ready for war (it’s getting good now! Where’s my popcorn?!)! The Israelites stood in awe of Joshua, as they had Moses; God had used this brave brother to miraculously lead them across the Jordan…and they were about to take names and tear up some serious tushy, y’all! Haha God instructed Joshua to have the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to come out of the Jordan River, they did, and the River’s waters immediately began to flow again (God wasn’t playing games, y’all! Get that Gameboy out of his face!). Joshua and the Israelites camped out at Gilgal (on the eastern border of Jericho), and placed 12 stones there as another memorial of what God had done for them (y’all better fear and honor God Almighty, boy! Haha). When the Amorites (no, you’re not right. Haha) and Canaanites heard what God had done for the Israelites this time, they were too afraid to even face the Israelites (HAHAHAHAHA, those powdered donuts didn’t have the GUTS or GRAPEFRUITS to face God’s people!). God instructed Joshua to circumcise all of his men (as a token of the covenant that God had made with Abraham to give him many descendants and to bless/protect them), and they all celebrated the Passover (a celebration of God freeing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery; bump Pharaoh!) at Gilgal (they needed to eat and get their energy up for the cans of whoop-butt they were about to open up on the Canaanites! Haha). It’s battle time!!!
While Joshua was near Jericho, a man with a sword asked him whether he was for them or the enemy; Joshua told this insecurity guard (that rent-a-cop) that he wasn’t on either side, but was a commander in God’s army! Joshua fell to the ground in reverence to the Lord and asked him for guidance, and God told him to take his sandals off, as he was standing in a holy place (take your shoes off at the door, boy! Haha); Joshua did so. Jericho was locked on all sides-those soggy Honey Nut Cheerios didn’t want anyone to enter or exit the city. God told Joshua the following:
Joshua 6:2-5 (NIV): Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
Does this seem like a strange war strategy to anyone (I can’t be the only one)? Haha God told Joshua to have his army march around the city of Jericho once a day for six straight days; the soldiers would be playing their trumpets, and the priests would be carrying the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city of Jericho seven times (get your walking shoes on!); trumpets would be a-playin’, they would be a-shoutin’, the city walls would fall down, and they would destroy those fools! God’s plans don’t always have to make sense (and oftentimes, they won’t make sense), but God knows what he’s doing (thank you, Jesus!), and we should trust him nonetheless! Joshua and his army followed suit, did as God had instructed, collected the items of gold, silver, and bronze (God wanted those for himself; he’s more precious than gold, so he has the right to demand the jewels! Haha), saved Rahab and those in her household, let out a loud roar (Simba and Mufasa have nothing on them!), and Jericho came tumbling down (Break the walls down! Break down the walls! Would you stop it, Chris Jericho?! Haha)! The city of Jericho has fallen, the Israelites have burned it to the ground (FLAMES! Haha), the Israelites have conquered the Promised Land, and God has strutted his holy, beautiful, divine, majestic, magnificent stuff once again (Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus! Praise the Lord! God is good!)!
I love this story!!!!!!! God shows us once again that nothing is impossible with him-he led Moses and the Israelites across the Red Sea, he led Joshua and the Israelites across the Jordan River, he helped the Israelites to conquer Jericho, and all of this without even breaking a sweat (and this was all BEFORE he sent his son, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to come into the world and die for our sins!)! Never doubt God’s power (he can do no wrong! He’s all God, all amazing, he’s an A-1 BOSS, and the BOMB.com!!!!!!); he can use anyone and anything to fulfill his purposes. It’s time for the modern-day remixes to make a comeback, y’all (just the battle of Jericho itself)! Without further ado, put your swimsuits on, hop on your inflatable cots (those things are awesome!!!!), and let’s rock this popsicle stand (mmm, popsicles. Haha)! NOTE: I will be utilizing modern-day language, technology, and ways of living in this story, as we’re picturing this happening today.
Break Down The Walls of Jericho!
Biblical Reference: Joshua, Chapters 1-6 (KJV/NIV)
*God Almighty has led Joshua and the Israelites across the Jordan River to Jericho, where they will defeat the Canaanites (those crooked creampuffs!) and claim the Promised Land that God had told them about. Joshua is near Jericho, when he is approached by a clown and a half with a gun (that doofus. Haha) about his allegiances. Joshua makes clear that he is a commander in the Lord’s army (that’s right, son! Haha), and God tells him exactly what to do. This is going to be good!*
Man With Gun: Hey! What do you think you’re doing, boy?! What’s your name, where’d you come from, and what are you doing here? Are you a friend or foe?
Joshua: My name is Joshua, I live down the street, I’m a commander in God’s army, and I’m here to take what is rightfully mine (you better mark your territory, boy!)! Excuse me while God and I have a little chit-chat. *Joshua drops to his knees and prays to God, asking him what to say and do next* -Dear God, I come to you as your humble servant. What would you have me to say and do next? This rent-a-cop is working my nerves already.
GOD ALMIGHTY: Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy.
Joshua: My bad, God! Taking my shoes off now (don’t bring those dirty THANGS into God’s holy place! Haha)!
*The city of Jericho is under maximum security-we’re talking surveillance cameras, watchdogs, armed police officers, an electric, barbed-wire fence, gates, a 40-foot steel wall, the works! Those Canaanites don’t want anyone stealing their priceless collection of $2 NFL juice glasses. Haha*
GOD ALMIGHTY: Listen up, Joshua. Here’s what I want you all to do. See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.
*Joshua is wondering if God meant to kill the Canaanites, or serenade them with a song; are we going to war with these jamokes, or throwing them a party? Haha Either way, God is in control, so we’ll just hush up, listen up, and do what he tells us to do. Haha*
Joshua (to his army): Alright, men! God has spoken! Priests, carry the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, and seven of you will carry trumpets in front of it. Rufus (a 6’10’’, 295 pound, muscular stud of an armed soldier), walk in front of the Ark of the Covenant; if anyone gets out of line, tell them to say hello to your little friend (in an EPIC Arnold Schwarzenegger voice! Haha)! March!
*When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed them. The armed guard (Rufus!) marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. The trumpets were sounding this entire time (move around, Louis Armstrong! Haha), and Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” Joshua had the Ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once (they were to circle the city of Jericho once a day for 6 straight days, circling it 7 times on the 7th day; I hope they brought their Dr. Scholl’s supports, running shoes, sunscreen, sunglasses, visors, and water bottles! Haha). The army returned to camp (worn out! Haha) and spent the night there. On the 7th day (someone give them a sandwich and a Gatorade, please! Haha), after marching around the city of Jericho 7 times, Joshua spoke up.*
Joshua: Everybody, scream (AHHHHHHHHHHHH)! God has given us the land of Canaan, and we will use it to praise the Lord (ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost party, ‘cuz a Holy Ghost party don’t stop!). Kill everything moving, except for Rahab and her family; she had our backs when we snuck in the first time (no snitches needs stitches here! Haha). Don’t take anything that God wouldn’t want you to take (you all are smarter than a 5th grader; figure it out! Haha); that’ll be our behinds, and I’d like to keep mine (true dat, true dat. How will we sit down or go to the bathroom? Haha)! Take all sacred gold, silver, and bronze items in sight; God wants us to put them into his treasury (God is better than silver and gold! Thank you, Jesus!).
ARMY: Here, here!
*The trumpets sounded, the men shouted (they made Lollapalooza fans sound like a timid mouse at Chuck E Cheese…oh, wait. Haha), the walls of Jericho came crashing down, the army slaughtered everyone (except for Rahab and those in her household, whom they saved), destroyed everything, and took the gold, silver and bronze to place in God’s treasure chest. Joshua and the Israelites burned the city of Jericho down, Joshua cursed the poor souls who dare try to rebuild the city of Jericho (over your dead body!), and Joshua’s fame spread throughout the land. God wins again (like anyone is surprised. Haha)!*