The destruction of Jericho is a well-known Bible story, but a lesser-known account is of the curse of Jericho. Joshua warned Israel of what would happen to the man who rebuilt this stronghold—his firstborn and youngest sons would die. For 530 years, the fortifications (walls and gates) of this city were not rebuilt.
In the days of the wicked King Ahab, Hiel of Bethel (one of the most wicked cities in the kingdom) rebuilt Jericho. Perhaps he was emboldened by the wicked time he was living in, but time had not changed God's words. When the foundation of the city was laid, his oldest son (Abiram) died, and when the gates were set, Segub (his youngest son) died. Some historians say this was a Hebrew saying, meaning that ALL Hiel's children died. What a high cost for going against God's warning and rebuilding a stronghold!
Consider strongholds in your life that have been pulled down. God wants these ruins to be a reminder (a memorial) of His great power. Yet, the enemy is always looking for ways to rebuild these strongholds. Paul wrote, "If I build again . . ." If a previously destroyed stronghold begins to be rebuilt and fortified, it will be because WE have allowed (or caused) it.
Just as evil days, no doubt, affected Hiel, causing a disregard of God's warning, the lack of God in our culture can affect us as well. "A little sleep" (Proverbs 6:10), spiritually speaking, can dull our memory of the seriousness of past strongholds. Temptations to rebuild come, and we think, "I can handle it this time."
Paul warned of the danger in rebuilding things that have been destroyed. The story of Hiel the Bethelite should be a serious warning that there is a HIGH COST to building again what God wants left in ruins.
Joshua pronounced a curse against those who should build up Jericho, that the REMEMBRANCE of the miracle which God had wrought by destroying it might NEVER BE ERASED. — Maimonides (Jewish Rabbi)
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