When I was a child, we sang the chorus at church titled, “Joshua fit the Battle of Jericho.” The end of the chorus said, “and the walls came tumbling down.” This is more than a jingle to entertain the children. There is significant archaeological basis for this claim.
After Moses died, it became the responsibility of Joshua to lead God’s people into the promised land. The first battle they incurred was a victory over a small city named Ai. The next city was Jericho. The battle is recorded in the sixth chapter of Joshua. God told the people to march around the city each day and on the seventh day, march around the city 7 times. After that seventh time, the walls fell.
Jericho was a formidable city. In fact, it had a set of two walls protecting it from their enemies. The city covered approximately 7 acres. The outer wall was 6 feet thick and the inner wall was 12 feet thick with a height of 30 feet. Across the two walls was a bridge-like arrangement connecting the walls and people-built houses on that connection.
Proof of the existence of the city of Jericho and the fall of it during the time of the Israelite invasion goes back to at least 1929. Dr. John Garstang was the director of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and of the Department of Antiquities of the Palestine government. He discovered significant evidence that the city was destroyed around 1400 BC. This matches the biblical account.
Because the city was so well fortified, one might ask how could God’s people be part of this destruction of the city? The proof still comes from the archaeological finds. The evidence shows that the walls fell outward making access to the inner city of Jericho. It seems there is evidence that an earthquake caused these walls to fall. This is no coincidence that the earthquake took place at the same time the Israelites marched around the city. Most of the time God uses natural elements and forces to fulfill his will. There is no reason to question why the earthquakes took place at the time of the march around the city. God told the people to do it, they did it, and the earthquake took place causing the walls to fall outward.
This is a marvelous lesson for how obedient people can be co-workers with God. We may not have a Jericho and we may not have walls about a city, but there are issues in our lives that God would love to address if we were obedient in all areas of our lives even if at times it may seem ridiculous and curious. A church hymn is titled, “trust and obey.” That is our theme to serve God.