“And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into your hands Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor. And you shall compass the city, all you men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shall you do six days.” Joshua 6:2, 3
So let us notice once more under this head of work, they worked with patience and courage. God kept this people laboring in the presence of difficulty. They were compassing the city, taking their walks, but always with the formidable walls of Jericho close under their eyes. Surely they must have had these walls photographed on their eyes, and on their brains. “I shall know every stone in it,” says one. “Six times I have been round, no, 12 times, and the walls have not begun to rock—12 times! Seven is a perfect number, but we have gone beyond it, and yet the walls do not stir.” “Mark well her bulwarks, and count the towers on her.” These men were practical surveyors of Jericho; they could well understand the strength of the battlements, how many feet long the huge stones were at the corners, and how near the stars the loftiest towers were raised. They had the difficulty, I say, always before them, yet they kept on in simple faith, going round the city. Sometimes we get into the habit of shutting our eyes to difficulty; that will not do—Faith is not a fool. Faith does not shut her eyes to difficulty and then run headlong against a brick wall—never. Faith sees the difficulty, surveys it all, and then she says, “By my God will I leap over a wall.” And over the wall she goes! She never brings out the flaming accounts of, “signs of the times,” in her favor; she does not sit down, and say that evidently public sentiment is changing; she does not reckon upon any undercurrents that may be at work, which she is told by Mistress Gossip, really are doing great things, but she just looks at it, and does not mind how bad the thing is reported to be. If anybody can exaggerate the difficulty, faith is of the same noble mind as that famous warrior who, when told there were so many thousand soldiers against him, replied, “There are so many more to be killed.” Faith reckons—“So many more difficulties, so many more things to be overcome.” And even impossibilities she puts down as only so much burden to be cast upon Him, with whom nothing is impossible! She keeps Jericho’s walls before her…
I want you to be driven more and more to think, as far as the agency of man is concerned, that the thing is almost out of the category of the possible, and out of the category of the probable altogether! And when you can get to that point, and hear the voice, “Compass the city six days,” yet still have courage to go on, on, on—notwithstanding all the manifest difficulties—then, when God has taught you your nothingness, and brought you to feel that if victory is given, it is all His, and that divine omnipotence and sovereignty must wear the crown—then, I say, He will make the old rampart rock, and the harlot of the seven hills shall rue the day when Israel shouts, when her sons are slain, and God shall triumph right gloriously!
And then, again, they can say, “We are bearing testimony.” Every man who looks over the wall of Jericho can see the ark of the Covenant. He can see the troopers of God with their swords upon their thighs; they see what they never saw before! Oh, worshippers of idols, you see today the ark of the true God borne round your walls! Oh you who bow to Baal, and adore Ashtaroth, the gods of wood and stone, the true God, the Mighty One, Jehovah, is come out against you, and the trumpets sound defiance to your power, while the warriors of God shout for your overthrow!