Joshua 6:1-5 (HCSB) Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites—no one leaving or entering. The LORD said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.” (Emphasis mine)
Joshua and the people believed God and on the seventh day after circling Jericho for the seventh time they blew the trumpets and gave the “Shout of Faith”.
Joshua 6:20 (HCSB) So the people shouted, and the trumpets sounded. When they heard the blast of the trumpet, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The people advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city. (Emphasis mine)
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. To utter a sudden and loud outcry, as in joy, triumph, or exultation, or to attract attention, to animate soldiers, etc.
2. To utter with a shout; to cry; -- sometimes with out; as, to shout, or to shout out, a man's name.
3. To treat with shouts or clamor.
4. A loud burst of voice or voices; a vehement and sudden outcry, especially of a multitudes expressing joy, triumph, exultation, or animated courage.
The Hebrew word translated shout in is terûʿâ, - meaning clamor, i.e. acclamation of joy or a battle-cry; especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum :- alarm, blow (-ing) (of, the) (trumpets), joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout (-ing), (high, joyful) sound (-ing). - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
It is translated shout between 34 and 65 times in the Old Testament depending on the translation or version.
Why Did the Walls of Jericho Fall?
There has been much speculation about what caused the walls to fall. Archeological excavations have proved that the walls did fall. But what made them fall? Was it the trumpets? Was it the shouting? Was it an earthquake?
Joshua and the people believed that God would do what He said that He would do if they followed His instructions. They followed them and on the seventh day they marched about Jericho seven times, blew, the trumpets and gave the “Shout of Faith”, the walls fell and they took the city. It was when the people of God, by faith, followed the commands of God that the walls of Jericho fell down.
Hebrews 11:30 (HCSB) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled ⌊by the Israelites⌋ for seven days.
The literal interpretation of Joshua 6:20 is the wall fell in its place; i.e., it collapsed—except for the portion by Rahab's house. Whether an earthquake was used by God or not, it was a miracle of timing and completeness. -The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
Here is an excerpt from a commentary on Joshua 6:20 from Hard Sayings of the Bible by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce and Manfred T. Brauch © 1996 by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce and Manfred T. Brauch published by InterVarsity Press.
Accordingly, the evidence is mounting that Jericho was captured as Israel claimed around 1400 b.c. The city, indeed, was heavily fortified (Joshua 2:5, 7, 15; Joshua 6:5, 20). The attack did come just after the harvest time in the late spring (Joshua 2:6; Joshua 3:15; Joshua 5:10). The siege was short (Joshua 6:15) and the walls were breached, possibly by an earthquake (Joshua 6:20). You can get a copy of Hard Sayings of the Bible by clicking this LINK.
What Can We Learn From This Shout Of Faith?
Here’s a little bit about Jericho and its wall.
Excavations there reveal that its fortifications featured a stone wall 11 feet high and 14 feet wide. At its top was a smooth stone slope, angling upward at 35 degrees for 35 feet, where it joined massive stone walls that towered even higher. It was virtually impregnable.
In ancient warfare such cities were either taken by assault or surrounded and the people starved into submission. Its invaders might try to weaken the stone walls with fire or by tunneling, or they might simply heap up a mountain of earth to serve as a ramp. Each of these methods of assault took weeks or months, and the attacking force usually suffered heavy losses.
However in the case of Jericho God had a different strategy. A strategy that may have seemed foolish but when Joshua and Israel followed it and gave the “Shout of Faith” those massive walls fell.
- God’s ways are not man’s ways – It seemed utterly ridiculous to march around a heavily fortified and walled city and do nothing for six days and then on the seventh day march around it seven times and then make a lot of noise.
There may be times when God instructs us to do something that seems foolish but as we see from the example of Jericho we should not question God’s instructions or purpose but have faith in God and in the fact that He will do what He says that He will do.
Hebrews 10:23 (HCSB) Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
- The power of God is supernatural and beyond anything that we can comprehend – The walls fell instantly without the help of man. They fell by the sheer power of God.
- There is a relationship between God’s grace and our faith – There are many instances of the children of Israel in their 40 years in the wilderness where their faith failed. They complained often. So much so that in frustration with their complaining Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God instructed and he was not allowed to enter the Land of Promise. Their failed faith also caused them to spend many years in the wilderness unnecessarily because they didn’t believe that God could give them the Land of Promise based on a report of 10 spies. This time however they believed God and trusted Him and His promises. Just as they were saved by faith we are saved by our faith today.
Romans 5:1 (HCSB) Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-18 (HCSB) “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.
- Faith without works is dead – It’s not enough to just say “I have faith and believe God” and then do nothing. If we believe and have faith we want to obey. We want to do something to show that we believe. Joshua and the Israelites follow God’s commands, as foolish as they seemed, and when they gave the “Shout of Faith” the walls fell.
James 2:14-19 (HCSB) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
Other Shouts of Faith
Gideon and his 300
Judges 7:20 (HCSB) The three companies blew their trumpets and shattered their pitchers. They held their torches in their left hands, their trumpets in their right hands, and shouted, “A sword for Yahweh and for Gideon!”
Abijah' Army of 400,000 vs. Jeroboam' Army of 800,000
2 Chronicles 13:1-3, 13:13-15 (HCSB) In the eighteenth year of ⌊Israel’s⌋ King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah and reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah daughter of Uriel; ⌊she was⌋ from Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah set his army of warriors in order with 400,000 choice men. Jeroboam arranged his mighty army of 800,000 choice men in battle formation against him. Now Jeroboam had sent an ambush around to advance from behind them. So they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. Judah turned and discovered that the battle was in front of them and behind them, so they cried out to the LORD. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah raised the battle cry. When the men of Judah raised the battle cry, God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
The parable of the wise and foolish awaiting the return of Christ
Matthew 25:6-8 (HCSB) “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. But the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’
Jesus’s triumphal entry
Zechariah 9:9 (HCSB) Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
John 12:12-13 (HCSB) The next day, when the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet Him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! He who comes in the name of the Lord is the blessed One—the King of Israel!”
The Greatest Shout
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (HCSB) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
This shout announces the return to the earth of Jesus. This shout announces the coming judgement. This shout announced the physical resurrection of all those who died before Jesus’ return. Those who are the dead in Christ (believers, those saved by grace) will rise to eternal life along with those believers who are alive. Those who did not believe at death or who did not believe before this shout are headed to judgement and eternal damnation and separation from the Lord.
This shout could come anytime even as you are reading this post. Will you be among those caught up with the Lord or will you be among those destined for judgement? If you have never accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are in this second group. If you want to join me and those who will be with the Lord here’s all you need to do. Pray this prayer in all sincerity (only you and God know if you’re really sincere);
“Dear God, I am a sinner and need forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His precious blood and died for my sin. I am willing to turn from sin. I now invite Christ to come into my heart and life as my personal Savior.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, in all sincerity, call, text, email, Tweet, change your Facebook status and tell somebody, leave me a comment here or send me an email with this Link. Then find a bible believing church and start to fellowship with other believers. Welcome to the family of God.