Many have heard the story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. God had given instructions to Joshua and the children of Israel to march around the city in silence one time for six days in a row; and to march around the city seven times on the seventh day, shouting and blowing the trumpets on the seventh time around. When they did what God had told them to do, the walls of Jericho fell down flat and the children of Israel went into the city and destroyed it. With that the conquest of the land had begun (see Joshua 6).
But why was Jericho first? Is there any significance other than geographical as to why Jericho was the first city of conquest? The name Jericho means “city of the moon,” which depicts night and darkness, a time of limited activity and limited vision. Jericho was first spiritually, because darkness is the first thing any of us must overcome in order to possess our true inheritance.
Inability to get beyond the darkness will keep you from obtaining what God has for you. I see this as the primary reason for Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Christ. He was unable to get beyond the darkness. Scripture points out, Jesus answered,
“It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night (John 13:26-30).
Judas stepped out into the night to betray Christ. He wasn’t able to get beyond the darkness. There is a darkness or iniquity within each of us, and it will manifest itself in and through our lives if we do not overcome it. Jericho had to be defeated first so that the children of Israel could begin to walk in the light of God’s inheritance.
Remember too, that Jericho and everything in Jericho were to be devoted unto the Lord (see Joshua 6: 17). I would encourage you to write down what you sense the Lord speaking to you about in terms of darkness in your life. Along with that, write down some action steps you can take to see your own walls of darkness fall. I heard it said that the children of Israel marched around the walls of Jericho so they could get a full view of the wall they were facing.
Today’s challenge is for us to get a full view of the darkness we are facing in our lives, and then do as Paul instructed the Romans:
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh (Romans 13: 11-14).