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Jericho

The Bible in Art: Jericho

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Verses for Consideration: Joshua 6:15-20

15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”

 

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.

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Jericho must have seemed like a brilliant gem of a city to the Israelites. They had traveled for four decades through some of the most desolate territory on the planet. Now, as the Lord brought them into the Promised Land, this virtual paradise stood before them. There was water all around, large trees, acres of green grass, and cultivated crops.

But the city was not to be theirs. “All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury,” Joshua told them. Everything living in the city was to be destroyed along with all of Jericho’s buildings. No one was to rebuild Jericho.

The Lord intended that Jericho would become a firstfruit offering. Every growing season, God’s people set aside a portion of their crops for the Lord. Marked out long before the harvest, that portion of their crops was dedicated to God. No matter what happened to the rest of their crops, that portion belonged to God. God’s part was always harvested first and set aside as an offering.

This gift testified to their faith that the Lord of the harvest was gracious and giving. They refused to give him leftovers. He received the first and best portion.

Giving God the desert oasis of Jericho was a statement of faith: we trust you, Lord, to do even more for us than this.

Our heavenly Father is no less committed to us. If anything, because of Jesus, we have even more reason to trust him. Paul wrote, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

So live as one who abounds in God’s grace. Don’t be afraid to part with your “Jerichos.” Jesus’ grace always provides what we need.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, take my hands, my voice, my intellect, and my goods; and use them to build your kingdom. Amen.

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Title: The Walls of Jericho Falling Down (1889)

Artist: Gustave Dore