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20 April 2020 – Joshua 6:6-14

So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD.” When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. – Joshua 6:6-14

Adolph Harstad writes:

A detail not mentioned in the orders of the LORD to Joshua in 6:2-5 comes out in Joshua’s command in 6:10. Everyone is to be silent during the seven days until Joshua gives the command for the loud shout. There shall be complete silence except for the sound of the trumpets as the city is circled thirteen times! Think of the tension that verbal silence must have created within Jericho, and the sense of awe among the Israelites. This atmosphere is in keeping with the judgment of the LORD marching ever closer to the unrepentant city.

The repetition that comes in 6:12-14 from relating the identical procession on the second day creates drama. Through this repetition the reader reviews the procedure and also gains a better feeling for what is happening. We sense the sobering judgment of God again encircling those who have lived in sin for so many years. At the same time, in our mind and spirit we may march around the city again with Israel. We identify with the people in the OT church and are comforted by the security and future victory that God alone can and will give to us too – the victory that is ours through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 31

Q. 31. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby, convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.