Jericho is one of the oldest cities recorded in the history. It was really prosperous. When God led His people into Canaan, He did not have them attack a little city at the beginning, instead, He started by His people a large city. From the scriptures, we learn that even the kings melted in fear. Those kings wasn’t afraid of the Israelis or of Joshua. What they were afraid of was the God behind the Israelis.
When Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sward in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” This is a common reaction for human. When we see other people, we usually start automatically analyzing, “are they with me? Or are they against me?” During the American Civil War, leaders of both North and South, Lincoln and General Lee, were Christians. It goes without saying, the leaders of both sides prayed for the victory of their side. Yet, only one side could win, and God could not support and oppose the same thing simultaneously. One day, a reporter asked Lincoln, “Which side’s prayer would God answer? Which side is God on?” Lincoln answered, ” Don’t pray that God’s on our side, pray that we’re on his side.” Dear brothers and sister, pray not God is on our side, but we are on God’s side! Remember that we all make mistakes, but God is never wrong. God will fight for whoever is on His side.
In Genesis, God made a covenant with Abraham. Every man in Abraham’s household must be circumcised 8 days after their birth. Later, Jacob took 70 people to Egypt because of a famine, and his offspring stayed in Egypt for 430 years. After that, God led His people out of Egypt and into the wilderness. They were in the wilderness for 40 years, and all men born during that time hadn’t been circumcised, so God asked that they all be circumcised before they took Jericho. This may seem a strange order to man, because having a circumcision was very painful. It is recorded in Genesis 34 that Simeon and Levi tricked Shechem and Hamor into having circumcisions, and Simeon and Levi killed every man in the city three days after their circumcisions, while they were still in pain. Now, in the face of such a powerful enemy, the Israelis had their circumcisions. What if the soldiers of Jericho attacked the Israelis while they are still in pain? They would all be killed!
This is the lesson all God’s children should learn: do as God commands, and He will take full responsibility.
To have a circumcision is to remove our flesh. By removing our flesh means eliminating our strength, talents, life, and self. Through his own method, Abraham had a child called Ishmael. However, Abraham had to remove his old self in order to have Isaac. Therefore, God had to teach the Israelis, before leading them into the Promised Land, that they should rely on God, not on their own flesh or strength.
We are like rocks, and we need to be connected to the Lord in order to be built into a spiritual house. If we are not willing to lay ourselves down, and if we all held on to our insistence, we would be like a pile of rubbles, and we would be nothing more than a ruin, not even close to a spiritual house!