For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound,
who shall prepare himself to the battle?
1 Corinthians 15:8

Now the children of Israel have crossed Jordan into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua. The silver trumpets are kept by the sons of Aaron only to be used as and when occasion requires. The first war to be fought on the western side of Jordan is surprisingly connected with the use of the trumpets. It is too amazing to be coincidental where the use of trumpets on earth does play a significant role in military warfare under the direction from heaven. No wonder trumpets are still widely used in so many military parades and funerals even in our day and age. Trumpets do symbolize certain things! The first war on the west of Jordan concerns Jericho, a no small city. This city has high walls and gates and is not easily penetrable without employing a large military force as well as incurring substantial casualty. However, under the direction of heaven, the strategy adopted is beyond comprehension of the fallen mind of men. No one in his right mind would agree to such a strategy. It is amazingly ridiculous in the eyes of established military planners and strategists that such a crazy idea could be conceived. Anyone proposing such an unthinkable plan to tackle Jericho would certainly be laughed to scorn and be demoted and discharged with dishonour from the military with immediate effect. But we are dealing with Almighty God whose ways are past finding out! Moreover, with God, all things are possible. Our limitation in accomplishing great things is due to our lack of faith to believe the words of the living God. God has a penchant to confound the wise and the mighty according to Paul who wrote to the Corinthians: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:27-29) It is precisely that no flesh should glory in the presence of Jehovah God that this unusual strategy is given with regards to the taking of this great city.

Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. (Joshua 6:1-5)

So anyone without faith in God will be dumbfounded when military instructions of such nature are given. Perhaps, Joshua should negotiate with Jehovah God and offer an alternative strategy instead! But of course, Joshua is a man of faith in God who did not fail to stand with God some forty years back while his peers rebelled and perished in the wilderness. He is not about to allow this seemingly untenable plan of action to cause him to doubt God. For God has promised to use him to conquer the land promised to their fathers of yesteryear, which is about to become a reality soon. Most importantly, God has promised to give him this city, the king and the might men of valour and he believed God. He also takes it that the wall of Jericho will fall according to the words of the Lord if the people follow these specific instructions accordingly. However, it is important to note that the trumpets mentioned here are not the same the pair of silver trumpets mentioned previously. These trumpets here are made from rams’ horn and these trumpets are seven altogether for the seven days of marching around the city. Now, the problem is how to “sell” this idea to his people! What will they think of him if he were to tell them to carry out such a ridiculous course of action to capture Jericho! But Joshua is not any ordinary General raised up during a coup to assume the leadership position of the nation. He is specifically appointed by Moses to lead the people into the Promised Land. Moreover, Joshua has already placed the stamp of his leadership authority at the miraculous crossing of river Jordan reminiscence of the crossing of the Red Sea under Moses during another time. So Joshua got to go to the people with these divine instructions of taking the city Jericho, albeit strange orders from above. This goes to show that the children of Israel will share no glory in this battle ordained from heaven.

And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD. And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. (Joshua 6:6-10)

So Joshua succeeded in communicating this plan to the children of Israel. Not one sound of murmuring was heard. Surprisingly, no one complains about this unusual strategy. No one mocks this amazing military order. Not one armed-chair critics is found! For the Lord has prepared the people, as this is a new generation that survived the wilderness journey and saw what Jehovah God did to their fathers. This is wonderful indeed just like the Psalmist said: Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalm 110:3) Joshua must be a happy man now and the children of Israel are ready to carry out this plan with him and trust in Jehovah God’s words and blessings. Unlike the previous encounter some forty years back when the children of Israel turned their back on Jehovah God and Moses, the children of Israel now will stick with Joshua through thick and thin till their objectives are accomplished with the help of the Lord. One thing here must be observed though which is not easy to achieve is that they must keep quiet for the seven days until they are commanded to shout. Fallen men have this great propensity to open their mouths at the wrong time and for the wrong reason and here is also a test for them to keep their body under subjection so that victory will be theirs if they keep their mouths shut! So there is no such thing as easy victory without a fight but the fight against the old man which is the old unregenerate nature in man in the child of God often proves too formidable for him! Unless this child of God has his ear tuned to be constantly trying to hear the trumpet call from heaven, he can easily lose sight of the victory, which is within reach with the help of the Lord. So the priests are to be the chosen vessels to carry and blow these seven trumpets during this conflict and so likewise, the child of God being a member of the royal priesthood of Christ is supposed to trumpet the gospel message far and wide till the wall of the forces of darkness crumble and fall at the last trump. So the child of God should do well to keep his mouth shut not to blow his own trumpet but to blow the trumpet of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. (Joshua 6:11-21)

The victory is unmistakable. This is active faith in action in obedience to the words of the Lord by the people of God! It is wrought of God and not by men though the children of Israel follow the instructions from above. So no flesh should glory in the presence of the Lord. Indeed how could the wall of this city fall without men trying to destroy it by brute force via physical means! How could the city be taken without firing a single shot! How much could be accomplished by marching around the city every day simply by the blowing of the seven trumpets of rams’ horn! This might turn out to be musical entertainment for the people of Jericho instead! Some might have lost faith and given up after two or three days of marching when no results are forth coming. Their antics might have attracted many in Jericho who probably could even be laughing at them and mocking them! This would make it hard for them to keep their mouth shut when the people of Jericho continue to taunt and make fun of them. So when the walls of Jericho have finally fallen, the fallen mind suggests that resonance of the noise, which results from the trumpets and the shout of the people, has caused the wall of Jericho to collapse. This is natural man’s approach in vain trying to explain away this miracle wrought from heaven. But no one seems to be willing to repeat such a feat in any military warfare during any conflict simply by the use of trumpets and voices of men to take a city. This no doubt, is a miraculous act from heaven to tear down the walls of Jericho and fallen men have contributed absolutely nothing physically in bringing down these walls. The children of Israel were able to obey every word of the living God and managed to keep their mouth shut until they were told to shout that led to this great victory.

Here we see shouting and the trumpeting of the trumpets go together. So that day, the children of Israel shouted unto God with the voice of triumph like the Psalmist has urged: O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. (Psalm 47:1) Indeed, they have endured seven days of marching and shutting of the mouth and it is now time to shout. So when they shouted, God answered their shout by going up among the people and destroyed the walls of Jericho: God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. (Psalm 47:5) For God has been angry with the inhabitants of Canaan for a long time since He told Abraham about it some four hundred years ago (Genesis 15:13-16) and their iniquities are now full: Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? (Psalm 76:7) The walls of Jericho certainly cannot stand and they give way while the inhabitants are completely destroyed. Here the children of Israel shouted together with the last trump of the trumpets and the wall fell down as expected. The last trump in this case is a long blast with the ram’s horn that brought down the wall and caused destruction to the wicked in Jericho. It is indeed strange to the fallen mind that God often uses strange ways to accomplish objectives that are seemingly unachievable in the eyes of men. There will come a day in which the strange act of God will bring in the Kingdom in the day of the Lord where the slaughter of the wicked on earth will make the slaughter in Jericho to look like a rehearsal of such minute scale that is not even worthy to be reported in the local newspaper: For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. (Isaiah 28:21) If you are not a child of God, do you not fear each time when you hear the trumpet sound? For it is written: God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:11)

This article is taken from a chapter in the book “When The Trumpet Sounds” which may be downloaded via:

When The Trumpet Sounds