Friday May 3: 28 Aviv
It was on this day that the walls of Jericho fell down flat, as recorded in Joshua 6:
“It came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: ‘Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!’ … So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” (Joshua 6:15-16, 20)
I remember the very first time I visited the excavations and ruins of Jericho. As I looked down into a large hole and examined what remained of the old city of Jericho, I was surprised to see that a good bit of the city wall that was intact, for lack of a better word. Although there were stones that had been toppled and you could tell it had been destroyed, it looked nothing like what I expected. I anticipated nothing more than a pile of rocks, but it looked exactly as the Scripture said – the walls had fallen down, flat.
I also remember something our guide told us was discovered during the excavations. Apparently, the Canaanites had mixed the bones of infants into the mortar that was used to bind the stones together. It was theorized that the people of Jericho had established their city upon the bones of infants that had, presumably, been offered to idols such as Moloch. No wonder God caused the walls of this fortified city, once viewed as being indestructible, to fall down flat.
Interestingly, on this same date on the Hebrew calendar in 1912, April 15, 1912 to be exact, another monumental disaster struck. The RMS Titanic, having struck an iceberg hours before, sank, and upon hitting the sea floor, actually fell down flat. When the wreck was discovered decades later, it was discovered that the decks of the great ship imploded upon the others so that it flattened out like a pancake.
Hailed as the grandest vessel of its day, the Titanic attracted the wealthiest and most powerful people to set sail upon her maiden voyage. She was touted as being “virtually unsinkable,” prompting one porter to boast, “God, Himself could not sink this ship.” Yet, within hours of encountering the iceberg, the greatest ship of its day slipped beneath the waves, struck the ocean floor and fell down flat.
Why is that interesting to you and to me? The Titanic was designed, built and staffed by British, but it was owned by Americans. So I believe the Titanic is a picture of American enterprise and the sinking of the Titanic is a parable of what can be expected if we allow our pride to provoke us to defy the Almighty. Just like in Jericho, there are those Americans who are, metaphorically speaking, causing their sons and daughters to pass through the fire. How many millions of babies have been aborted and thrown away as we build our society? There are organizations and politicians who build their careers through the “business” of abortion. One day, we shall strike the iceberg!
There is a ray of hope in all of this. There was a woman named Rahab who lived in Jericho and, according to the Scripture, her house was in the wall – the same wall that fell down flat. When Jericho fell, because of the kindness she displayed to God’s people, she and her family were spared. Not only that, she was destined to be an ancestor of King David and the Messiah. This is to demonstrate to us that, even though everything around us looks as if its going to implode at any time, we should take heart in the fact that those who place their trust in God, will be delivered. Those who professed a faith in the God of Israel survived the destruction of Jericho. There were survivors of the Titanic disasters and there will be survivors of the things that are coming upon the world in the days, ahead. Those survivors, however, should actually be considered “overcomers.” That’s what you and I are called to be; we are to overcome and, with His help, we shall.