Judah and Israel both walked away from the worship of the One True God of their fathers and follow of those that were in the land, Baal. From the time the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan, God told them to remove the idols and those that worshipped them from the land
Jericho was the first city that the Children of Israel came to once they crossed the Jordan River. Growing up I was told that God did this to show His power to a new generation. Then in my own research about Jericho what I found out was very eye-opening. God chose to fight this battle for them. Why did God decide to fight the battle for them? I will share my findings in order for you to understand why God has at the time of Jeremiah has turned his back on Judah and Israel.
Jericho was one of two major temples of the god Yerach which is the first form of Baal, the moon god. Another name for Jericho was Moon City. People came from all over to got to the temple to worship Yerach. Not only was there temple prostitution going on, there was also child sacrifice, where children were placed in the heated arms of the statue as a burnt offering.
When you look at the timing of the fall of Jericho it coincides with the New Year festival where they celebrate the finding of the god-king the son of Yerach that ruled the city. The story goes that Yerach was looking for his wife and son. They searchers silently hunted for him for six days and celebrated finding him on the seventh. This was reenacted every year. God proving He is more powerful than Yerach, had the Children of Israel walk around Jericho quietly and on the seventh day after they marched around the city seven times they shouted and the priest blew their horns. Then God caused the walls, inner and outer, to fall.
Yet, God’s grace and protection were shown to Rahab and her family at the north end of the outer wall. She had made the claim that she believed God was the God of the Universe. Her actions of providing protection for the spies showed that she feared God more than the king.
Now, seeing how evil Baal worship is, let alone Judah and Israel were worshipping a false god, no wonder God turned His back on them after they had turned their backs on Him.