Give me a revelation

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, May 25, 2024

By R.A. Mathews

“Listen up, boys,” a famous general once said. “We’re going to carry us a box, do us some marching, play us some trumpets, start us a bit of hollering, and win us a war!”

True story. 

Email newsletter signup

Or close enough.

It was Joshua’s (OPLAN)—Operation Plan, a complete and detailed battle blueprint. Except Scripture doesn’t give us the impression that Joshua TOLD anyone. 

A good thing, because, believe me, that was it. Joshua’s whole strategy. 

Instead of laying out his OPLAN for the Israelite Army, it looks like a wise Joshua delivered it piece by piece, day by day. Here’s how he took Jericho.

“Joshua …  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.’ 

“(So) …  the seven priests …  went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them.  The armed guard marched ahead of the priests …  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 …   until the day I tell you to 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 6:6-11).

That was day one.

“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 6:12-14).

It’s now day seven.

“On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city …  except on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!’ …  (Then) the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city” (Joshua 6:15-20). 

Did I lie? “Let’s take us a box, do us some marching, play us some trumpets, start us a bit of hollering, and win us a war!” The whole OPLAN.

But where did Joshua get such an idea? In fact, who was this man?

Joshua had been Moses’ right arm for 40 years. When Moses died, God handed the reins to Joshua, tasking him with seizing the Promised Land. 

God said, “Just as I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will not fail you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

Jericho, a tightly walled city, was first in the Israelites’ line of march. Scripture tells us that Joshua stood alone by Jericho before the battle. 

Now what? 

Have you ever heard Mac Powell’s stunning voice on Third Day’s Revelation album? He sings, “Give me a revelation. Show me what to do …  I’ve got nothing without You.” 

“Give me a revelation” was what Joshua needed as he stood by Jericho. Scripture says, just then, a man stepped before him, sword drawn. Here’s what happened.

“Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, ‘Are you for us or for our enemies?’

“‘Neither,’ he replied, ‘but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.’ Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, ‘What message does my Lord have for his servant?’” (Joshua 5:13-14)

That’s when Joshua got his OPLAN.

The Man said, “March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in’” (Joshua 6:2-5).

Where God leads you, He will never leave you if you stay with Him. Read Joshua 1:7-9.

As the Lord guided Joshua, He will also give you a revelation. 

God is with you.


The Rev. Mathews (BA, MDiv, JD) is a newspaper faith columnist and the author of Emerald Coast: The Vendetta. Write to her at (Just one t in Mathews)

Copyright © 2024 R.A. Mathews. All rights reserved.