Sunday Scriptures — Perseverance Until the Thirteenth Time Around

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Lately I’ve thought about perseverance and the will to keep going when we’d rather give up. When we’ve hit one too many walls in your attempts to achieve something we have our heart set on accomplishing.

The story found in Joshua chapter six of the conquest of Jericho by the Israelites is a story of perseverance we can gain encouragement from.

Word of the Israelite’s might went before them. As a result, Jericho was tightly shut up. No one entered or left because they feared the Israelites.

God told Joshua to walk around the walls of the city once a day for six days, and then walk around it seven times on the seventh day.

In the middle of the procession were seven priests with trumpets of ram’s horns walking in front of the ark of the covenant of the LORD. Armed guards walked in front of the priests, and armed guards walked behind the ark. All the people marched with the armed guards ahead of the ark.

On the seventh day the people showed true perseverance, waiting until the thirteenth time around when Joshua gave the command to “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.”

They shouted. The walls of Jericho fell. And the men charged in, taking the city, devoting it to the LORD.

Just as we may wonder at God’s command to Joshua to conquer a city by walking around it thirteen times, we may wonder why our quest, our goal, is often put on hold until the thirteenth time around, but who are we to question the Almighty’s ways?

Perhaps, like me, you feel like you’ve circled the walls of your own personal Jericho for a very long time, waiting for the LORD to tear down those walls keeping us from our goals.

When we look at the story of the conquest of Jericho, we see perseverance and obedience to the LORD’s commands. We see a willingness to keep circling the walls until such time the command went out. “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city.”

Looking at this story we see a people who did not give up on the twelfth time around. And neither should we. They remained bold and courageous until the LORD gave the victory. And so should we, don’t you think?

Do you ever wonder if the Israelites felt like giving up on the twelfth time around? What would have happened if they did?

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When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. Joshua 6:20 (NLT)

I wish you well.


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