TEXT: Joshua 3:1-17; 6:3-25
DID you ever wait for a special day to come, because on that day you would get something you wanted very much, something you had waited a long time for?
In the tent city of the Children of Israel the people were happy. Their special day had come at last. The men, women, boys and girls were rolling up the tents they had lived in so long. Today they would start moving across the river to the land God had promised them.
Now everyone was ready: They did not just take their families and run on ahead. Oh, no. They waited quietly for Joshua to tell them what God wanted them to do. Joshua was the man God chose to help them.
They had been camping three days by the river. They had prayed and prayed. How they were going to get across that river Jordan they didn’t know. The water was swift and deep. They had no boats, but they knew God would have a way. He would tell Joshua. Joshua would tell them.
Joshua had told the priests to take the ark-box. In this they carried some special things God gave them. Four priests carried the big ark-box on poles across their shoulders.
Joshua told the people to take the ark and walk into the river. The water was still swift and deep, but the priests walked right into the river just as God had said they should do.
A strange and wonderful thing happened. The water that was moving so fast STOPPED! The water began to pile up and pile up until it looked like a big wall. It did not move. It opened up a path in the river.
The long, long lines of people started across. Not in the water. Not in mud, but on dry, dry ground.
The priests did not go all the way across. They stopped in the middle and waited until all the people were safe on land before they took the ark to shore. As soon as the priests were on the other side the water started rolling back again.
Night came. The tired people put up their tents in the Promised Land and went to sleep. They knew God was watching over them.
This land that God had told the Children of Israel they could have was a good land. It had green fields, gardens, grapes, and flowers.
Bad people lived here now, though. People who did not love God. Some of these bad people lived in the city of Jericho near where God’s people were camped. God wanted them to have that land, but how were they to get it away from the bad people?
One day Joshua went out to see how his men could get inside that big rock wall that was all around the city. The gate was shut tight.
Joshua looked up. There was a strange Man with a sword in his hand. Joshua said, “Are you going to help us?” The strange Man said He was the Captain of God’s people. Then Joshua knew God had sent Him.
God told Joshua just how to get into that city. Not through the gates, either. God told Joshua to get lots and lots of soldiers, and to take seven priests to blow horns, and other priests to carry the ark. They were to march around the city walls one time each day for six days.
Early in the morning they got in line. March, march, march, they went around the city wall, then back to their camp. They walked so still! Not a sound. No one talked. No one sang. No one made even one little noise. Joshua told them not to make any noise with their mouth.
The next morning they marched around the city wall again. They did this every day for one-two-three-four-five-six days.
Now, on day number seven, early in the morning, away they all marched — around and around and around the big, rock wall. Not only one time today, but seven times. Then they all stood still. Not a sound. No noise, not even a little tiny noise. Oh, how still! All of a sudden Joshua told the people to shout a loud, loud noise. The priests blew hard on their horns.
Shake-shake-shake. Down went the big, rock wall. It fell down flat! Into the city they all went. They got rid of the bad people. The city was theirs now just as God had promised.
They minded God and God helped them, and gave them this beautiful city.