The Gospel of the Wall of Jericho

The Gospel of the Wall of Jericho

Your wall, O wicked Jericho, your ancient, mighty wall,
         Your shame, where you have made your infants’ blood renowned,
                  Your boast, your monument, your Babel, tall
                           And endless on its side, bent ’round
                                    Into a ring, a thrust,
                                             Betrothing you
                                                      To dust;

         Your wall, your peace, your life you thought would ever thrive,
                  Now hollowed with four centuries of pride
                           Into a labyrinthine hive
                                    Of honeyed lust inside,
                                             With brothels all
                                                      Will fall;

                  But for one slender segment, with its rooms
                           And beds and washing bowls and creams
                                    And ointments and perfumes,
                                             Enflaming dreams,
                                                      Now screams;

                           Where Rahab and her kindred hide,
                                    All hanging by a thread
                                             The spies supplied
                                                      And said

                                    Would save, if they obeyed.
                                             They ’wait the blade
                                                      In dread;

                                             But there, instead
                                                      Of sword,

                                                      The cord.


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John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.