Circling Jericho – ‘Is This the Plan, God, or Did I Mishear?’

Scott-Riggan
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Scott Riggan of Emmett is Worship Arts Minister at Eagle Christian Church.  (Photography by Michael Sean H.) 

By Scott Riggan 

The Old Testament book of Joshua records the story of the Israelites arriving in the promised land. When they came to the fortified city of Jericho, God told Joshua that the way they would defeat this great enemy would be a bit unusual; they were to walk around the city walls for six days blowing trumpets while remaining otherwise silent – no shouting or taunting the enemy! 

On the seventh day, the people were to end their final walk around the city with a great shout and then, on cue, the walls would collapse. 

This was definitely not the usual military strategy for defeating a walled city in the ancient world. 

Normally an attacking army might weaken the wall with fire or tunneling. They might build a ramp out of earth and go over the wall – or just keep the city surrounded until the people inside ran out of food and water and they simply surrendered. 

But God told Joshua to just . . . march. Walk around the city for seven days. That was the plan. 

I’ve always wondered what it was like on day five. Did any of them start to feel a little foolish? Did they start to question Joshua’s leadership? Did anyone think about maybe slipping away from camp during the night? 

I have to admit, I’ve found myself in this very place before. I’m trying to be obedient but I’m also wondering “Is this the plan, God? Did I maybe mishear You? Are You really going to come through here, or is it possible that I’m just making a fool of myself?” 

It’s worth keeping in mind that the people of Israel had literally just crossed the Jordan River which had been miraculously parted by God – so that they came over on dry ground. They were now in the land that God had promised to Abraham more than 500 years before. 

The first thing God asked them to do when they arrived on the other side of the Jordan was to stack some stones as a memorial to this miracle. 

I’m learning (slowly) to build memorials to God’s faithfulness – at least in my mind. I need to be reminded of what God has done for me in the past because it gives me courage and confidence to trust Him today. 

 

Scott Riggan is best known for his recording of “I Love You Lord” (which hit #1 on Christian radio and stayed on the Billboard charts for 9 months – unheard of for an indie artist). He serves as Worship Arts Pastor for Eagle Christian Church and lives with his family on a small ranch in Emmett. After a long break from songwriting, he’s returning with new music (“Beautiful and Terrible”) this May. 

 

 

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