Remember, the residents of Jericho were filled with terror (2:9-11) and this odd spectacle the people in Jericho witnessed and heard no doubt both puzzled them and brought a sense of dread into their souls. Who would have thought a whole city would collapse by this procedure? It was a supernatural destruction and not a natural event because God made it happen.
Notice the importance and value of an unquestioning faith and obedience. Rather than using traditional battering rams, Israel was told to follow this procedure of marching around the city – it was hardly a strategic military move. Marching around the city perhaps meant that Israel was marking out the city as the Lord’s (NBC)? It has been calculated to have taken 30 minutes to march around the walls. No one spoke during the march (v. 10) around the city; they only heard the trumpets. This went on for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around the city seven times and then the trumpets along with a battle cry came. We are told that “the wall fell down flat” (v. 20). Let’s be careful about how we interpret this. Was it the vibrations from the volcanic sound from the people and trumpets that caused the wall to fall? No! God said he had given the city to Israel (vv. 2, 16) and upon obeying His Word without questioning it, the walls fell down. God caused the wall to collapse. Joshua and the people obeyed God without questioning and look what the Lord did!
We also learn from this that victory always belong to the Lord. This surprising victory was not something devised by man or the accidental events of nature. God promised them the city and He delivered that city to them. Yes, Israel had to fight the enemies within but their victory came beforehand because God gave it to them. Here is a truth all of should always remember — all spiritual victories come from the Lord so that no man can boast. Let us properly and humbly acknowledge Him and give Him all the glory.
Lastly, notice the terrible judgment awaiting all of mankind! This judgment against Jericho serves as an adumbration of what awaits all of humanity. Some people still think this was cruel. Why would God actually legislate such a slaughter? Again, I’ve mentioned this numerous times before, each and every death around us come as a reminder of our fallen condition and as further evidence of God’s judgment against sin (for the wages of sin is death, Rom. 6:23). Here, in this city of Jericho and the rest of the cities and nations in Canaan, God rendered his judgment quickly and differently. All those in Jericho could have died of old age and gone to hell before this judgment. But God chose to require an accounting earlier than that and that is God’s prerogative (cf. Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:24-27; Deut. 9:4-5). [A faulty assumption in some minds have misled many people. Many believe these were innocent people undeserving of God’s judgment — that simply is not true; all of us deserve God’s wrath and curse both in this life and that which is to come because of our disobedience to Him as our Creator. In their guilt, God chose to render His judgment before our expected time but not before His own timeline. Their iniquity had reached its limit, cf. Gen. 15:16.]
These enemies were devoted to destruction so that they would not influence Israel into idolatry (Deut. 20:16-18). Only Rahab and her family were permitted to live. This ban meant every living thing was to die and all precious things were to be devoted to the Lord (vv. 17-19, 21). All of humanity have been devoted to destruction because of our sinfulness but God now spares those under destruction by a message of pardon and peace through the gospel. His wrath will come in due time but in the meantime he pleads with sinners to repent and turn to Him for pardon and life. We can all be like Rahab the harlot and be spared if we believe and place our faith in Jesus Christ! We too can live if we would repent and seek the Lord while He may be found and cling to Christ to deliver us from the coming wrath. This is the only way to be spared and to live.