Archive for December 31st, 2014

Joshua 6

Joshua 6 has the battle of Jericho at hand.  Joshua is in the Promised Land camped outside the city, which has a great wall and looks pretty secure. God says “See, I have given Jericho into your hand”.  I’m not sure what Joshua was supposed to see here.  The city was closed and no one was going in or out for days.  It looked pretty much impenetrable.  But God tells Joshua “You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days….On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times….when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat”.

Does that seem like a war plan to you?  Walk around the city for a week and on the last day do it seven times, yell and the walls will fall down?  The lesson here is that God’s ways are not our ways.  Our role is to listen and obey.  God makes the plan and makes it happen.  We simply need to do what He tells us.  Joshua got that, having watched Moses do it for decades.  So that is exactly how Joshua led, telling the people “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout”.   He wanted them to obey God to the letter of His instruction.

So they marched around the city once each day for six days.  “On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times”.  Joshua was clear that “Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent”.  They were going to be careful to keep their word and protect the family of the woman who had saved the spies they had sent earlier.  Beyond that though, the course was destruction.  “All silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord”.  Otherwise everything was to be destroyed.

As they finished the seventh trip around the city on the seventh day, doing exactly what God commanded, “the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat”.  It happened exactly as God had said.  And it happened because the people obeyed and did exactly what they had been instructed.  Obedience brings God’s power to bear.  Joshua makes sure they keep their word to Rahab and tells “the two men who had spied….go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her”.  They had the familiarity and relationship, so they got the nod to protect her and keep their word.  God did an amazing thing for His people as they began their conquest of the Promised Land.  But most of all, God set the stage for Joshua’s leadership as “the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land”.  If there was any doubt at all on whether Joshua was the one to lead, that was gone this day.

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