Onward to the Fray!

“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.” (Joshua 6:20)

The third verse of the hymn “Faith Is the Victory” portrays the attack-phase of the battle. The foe stands in dread array, also poised for the fight. The prepared troops attack without hesitation, with a well-formulated battle plan.

On every hand the foe we find, Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind, And onward to the fray!
Salvation’s helmet on each head, With truth all girt about:
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread, And echo with our shout.

This last line recalls the episode in our text. The entire nation of Israel had marched for six days around the city of Jericho. On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times, and then the priests blew their trumpets and the people shouted. What kind of battle plan was that? But God had specifically instructed them to do it this way. They had seen Him work many stupendous miracles on their behalf, and their faith was great. Their unwavering obedience resulted in a glorious victory.

Today’s warriors of faith have the same Commander-in-Chief and access to His mighty power. Furthermore, He provides the “whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth” (Ephesians 6:13-14). Faith must be faith in the truth. Faith in a lie will not stand. “And take [literally ‘receive’] the helmet of salvation” (v. 17). Each warrior, saved “by grace . . . through faith” (2:8), immersed in truth and obedient to the Commander, is assured of complete and overwhelming victory. JDM

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