Joshua could see that the city of Jericho was heavily locked down (v.1), but God asked him to look at the fear that caused them to lock it down and “see” it as already conquered (v.2). When Joshua and Caleb had seen that fear earlier, they told Moses, “Their defence is departed from them” (Num.14:9). God wanted Joshua to see Jericho as completely defenseless!
God’s plan to bring down Jericho’s wall with a “trump” (Josh.6:3-5) would have reminded Joshua of God’s promise in Numbers 10:9. Telling Joshua to walk around the city 7 times on the 7th day (Josh.6:4) wouldn’t have broken the sab-bath. Most Jews thought walking was work, so they said you could only walk 1-2 miles on the sabbath (cf.Acts 1:12). We know it wasn’t, for the Lord told the man He healed to walk and carry his bed (John 5:8,9). The Jews here were actually resting from the work of conquering Jericho, letting God do it instead!
God hadn’t said anything about “armed” men (Josh.6:6,7) but these men were the tribes who volunteered to lead the charge against Canaan (Josh.1:12-14;4:12,13).
Joshua only told the Jews what they needed to know for that day only, but they obeyed and left the rest to God—and so should you!
Joshua didn’t want them to let anything proceed out of their mouths (Josh.6:8-10) because they’d probably talk about how they would conquer the city if they were in charge, and then they’d have to back it up by doing it (Num.30:2). Joshua wanted them to think about the words that just proceeded out of God’s mouth instead (Deut.8:3), and so should you!
God told the Jews to “shout” because God had given them the city before it happened. That’s because the Jews knew God calls things which be not as though they were (Rom.4: 17), like when He called Abraham a father before he was one (v.18-21). That explains why God says you are already glorified” (Rom.8:29,30), and you already “have” an eternal house in heaven (IICor.5:1), even though God plans to change your present body and make it eternal (Phil.3:20,21).
Rahab was blessed because she tried to help the Jews obtain their land (Gen.12:3; Num.24:5,9), but the people of Jericho were “cursed” (6:17) because they built a fortress to keep Israel out. Their belongings were also cursed (Josh.6:18).
It wasn’t wrong for God to tell the Jews to pillage the city and take their possessions (6:19) because He owns all the world’s gold and possessions (Pr.24:1,2; Hag.2:7,8).
Rahab and her family were spared, but Gentiles were treated like lepers (Josh.6:20-23cf.Lev.13:45,46), even if they believed on God (Acts10:26,28). That didn’t change until God revealed the mystery to Paul, “that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs” with the Jews, i.e., equal heirs (cf.Zech.13:6,7).
Jericho had to be burned because it was a type of Antichrist’s Babylon (Josh.6:24cf.Rev.17:16). Babylon is the city the beast will set up to try to keep God from establishing His kingdom in Israel, just as Jericho was built to try to keep Israel from establishing this type of God’s kingdom in Israel.
“Jericho” means city of palm trees (Deut.34:3;IIChron.28: 15), and palms were associated with the kingdom (Mark 11:7-10). God taught those Jews to make that association with the feast of tabernacles. That last feast on Israel’s calendar year was joyful (Lev.23:33,34,40), a type of the last thing God will ever do, establish a joyful kingdom.
Remember how God predicted Babylon would fall and never rise (Jer.51:64)? God said Jericho should never be rebuilt (Josh.6:25,26). A man tried, but it cost him dearly, just as Joshua said it would (I Kings 16:29-34).
A video of this sermon is available on YouTube: “Joshua Brings Down The Wall” Joshua 6:1-27