May 27, 2012 - March 3, 2013


Joshua at Jericho


These walls, they tower above me

erupting from this soil, impenetrable

tipped with crests and angry spears

Curses falling from those ramparts

land ineffective around my dusty feet

passing once again that scarlet cord

Ive walked by twelve times before.

Looking up at the window it connects

to this dust I see hopeful faces peer

as disbelieving deliverance had come.


Before me dust is stirred beneath holy feet

the air loud with the sound of trumpets,

bright with glory beaming from gold.

Guiding us, this sound, this glory,

leads us around these walls, silent,

but for our thoughts, our pounding blood.

What those behind me were thinking

I do not know, but I, I had seen Pharaoh

felled from his place as a tree for fuel.

I, I and one other, had seen part the sea,

The Sea! walking dry within it,

followed by the army of our enemy.

We danced on the shores of freedom

as it crashed upon that panicked horde.

Free! We were free! Four Hundred years

and finally we are FREE!


And the sadness long years ago

when giants scared them off

even the three of us could not

turn this tide of fear and bore the years

for their faithless foolishness.

How many men lay beneath desert sand

whose children now here march

silently, expectantly, knowingly;

trusting God to open these walls.

Merest babes when their parents quailed

they now claim their own this land

having not seen Pharaoh humbled as a child

for whom Sinai was but a story of the aged.

These, THESE! now marched in faith

to claim the land their fathers feared.


Dust dances excited in the afternoon

reminiscent of the smoke on Sinai

as I crowded upon its flanks, Moses

facing the thundering voice of God.

He had seen God as friend sees friend

and I, I saw on his face the reflection

of the glory that gave him power.

I shared his anger at Sinais foot

where false gold gleamed bright

amid the tumult of celebration,

palely imitating that gleam and sound

before me marching sure.

“How could they?” I recall my mind

bare days from their slavery

feet yet wet from the sea

thrilling tambourines played in joy

scarce silent, they could do this?

And, amazed, saw the mercy spare

what should have died.


Forty years among that faith

more often weak than strong

and now, today, its test

did that crucible of time

make them strong or brittle

these people that encourage me

“Be strong, and courageous.”

It matters not, I and mine will go with God,

This circling of forbidding walls

mere ceremony, merely a claim

to what has been ours forever.

I alone, had God told me,

would have marched in silence

these six days past

these twelve marches past

this past march almost done.

I and I alone, had God told me,

would have knocked down these walls

with but a glare at the sin it shields

at those angry crests above me;

not fearing these insults hurled

through the air as spears in war.

They would not have touched me

for I am Gods!


Would that Moses could have seen

what I am seeing now,

this last circuit almost complete

first feet almost touch first print,

finding myself gathering breath

anticipating the sole action we have

practicing the reach for my sword

ensuring it slides easy from its sheath

as we marchers have slid easy from

the sheath where God has held us.
I am ready, it matters not these others

what they will do. I and I alone

could take this place, had God told me.

And foot touches print and I smile

as the din of victory resounds

encircling these walls from before me

to behind. Faces on the ramparts gaze

confused that our cries of joyous praise

precedes the breaking of their walls

the deaths of these defenders.

Confusion turning to amazement

and to terror, as these most solid walls

in all this land of ours begin to shake

(our yells now encircling this city,

a mighty shout to God most high

our act of worship as He told us).

Our yells scarcely falter as we see

CRACKS! appear beneath those whose fear

had fueled their hate all week

staggering like men late drunk

spear cast aside, useless, for handhold

themselves useless

as these mighty walls crumbled

before a far more mighty God.


Come what may in years to come

today is a good day to live

as I and those with me turn,

running, toward the ruin of rebellion

our yells of praise continue

none can stand our rush

as we reclaim what is Gods

making holy once again,

what man has debased.

Would they would remember,

as I and mine most truly will,

down the years ahead of them

that today, TODAY! God fought for us

as He had within Egypt

as He had within the sea

as He had within the desert

for forty years defending

a people no more worthy than these now dead.

Would they would remember,

as I and mine most truly will,

that he who is not for God opposes

He who brooks no foe.


Joshua at Jericho
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

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