The Preacher continues his Hall of Faith with accounts from Israel’s conquering the land under Joshua, both of which illustrate faith. In the first case is the fall of Jericho. Jericho is considered among the oldest cities of the world, and at the time of Joshua (late second millennium B.C.), her walls were deemed impregnable. But if man couldn’t breach those walls, God could. And He had a faultless plan: March around the city once for six days straight and seven times on the seventh. And then at the sound of trumpets and rams’ horns, the people are to give a loud shout and the walls will come down. Got it? Yep, that was God’s strategy for conquering the unassailable, invincible, impenetrable, indestructible city of Jericho. If you haven’t guessed, at least to my knowledge, no general has ever copied the plan, and I doubt you will find it in the war manuals at West Point or any other of our fine military institutions.
And the reason that it has never happened again is that God did it—not the trumpets, not the rams’ horns, not the shout of the people, not the marching, not the psychological warfare (or were the people of Jericho laughing the whole time?)—No! The walls came down because God knocked them down; all the other pageantry was His way of testing the Israelites. Would they be faithful to follow such unorthodox military tactics? Would they want the glory all for themselves? To their credit, they took God at His word and experienced victory (Joshua 6:1-27).
Then there is the account of bad girl, Rahab. Israelite spies came to her house in Jericho—a great idea as no one would think anything odd about that. When the “police” learned that this woman had taken foreigners into her den and visited her, she was able to get them off the scent and track another way while she hid the spies. “I know that the Lord has given you the land,” she told the spies, and then secured their oath to “deal kindly” with her family as she had done so unto them. Joshua made sure the oath was kept and Rahab and her family were spared and given a place in Israel.
Rahab turns up in another place, quite unexpectedly—in our Savior’s genealogy (Matthew 1:5). We wish more would have been said about her after her rescue. Did she become a decent woman? Surely she was instructed in the Law of Moses, particularly the Seventh. But the Preacher thought enough of her to include her in the Hall. Let’s assume she turned from the impure Canaanite gods and embraced the purity of the true God.