With all that has been going on in our country this last week, I have had no words…and y'all, I typically always have some words. I’ve just been observing how divided people are, and how angry they have become with each other. So much hate and anger that it leaves me confounded. Don’t get me wrong I know the reasons people are taking various sides and stand points, but I don’t understand the anger behind it. More is accomplished in love and in union than hate, anger, or separation could ever bring about.
But then a friend of mine in a brief conversation pointed me back to God’s word. So I started thinking through scripture and asked God to give me words. What can I talk about? Where can I draw similarities and differences in what I am seeing today with what happened in Biblical times?
…and guess what came to mind? The Battle of Jericho. Our media has been so saturated with the election and with the women’s march that occurred several days ago. I suppose that when I think of a march, I think of Jericho. I am in no way saying that the two are alike, but I just want to dive in and take a deeper look at the march in Jericho. It was a successful march. Why? Because God told them to do it, and he told them exactly what to do.
Joshua and the Israelite people didn’t come up with this plan. They didn't come up with an attack. They didn't organize this march. But they were OBEDIENT to what God told them to do. Did it make sense? No. Did it look like it would work? No. Do you even remember exactly what God told Joshua to tell his men? Probably not, at least not all of the details. Why? Because it wasn't this strategic plan of attack! It wasn’t exciting. Let’s take a closer look…
Below I have listed the things that God told Joshua to do in Joshua 6:2-5.
This was a plan completely devised by God. This plan may have seemed a bit silly, perhaps even unsophisticated, because it’s not how we, humans, would have devised it. Sometimes I think God does things in such ways that seem futile to us, to prove our trust in Him. He always comes through for us. He does what He says He will do, and sometimes, such as in Jericho, He includes us in the process. He gives us an opportunity to be a part of something spectacular and greater than ourselves. Something we could not even devise let alone accomplish without His power. It isn’t just faith alone that God required of Joshua and the Israelites; He also required works. This is what SHAPES us. We yield to the teaching and provision of God, it proves true, impactful, life-changing, and we then learn from it and are shaped by it.
So another question that I had as I was studying the scripture is why? Why did they march? Yes, God told them to, but why? If you’ve studied the Old Testament at all then you know that Joshua took over leadership after Moses and led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Jericho was the first city to be conquered by the Israelites in their attempt to enter in and take for themselves the Promised Land which God had promised them. Again…why? Because God had promised them something, and as I said before, and as we know, God comes through on His word. He was leading them to the land but their obedience was still required. Do you think the Israelites were worried or fearful? Without a doubt, I am sure that they were. It’s our human nature to worry about things. But guess who was also fearful? The people of Jericho. They knew of the God who led the Israelites out of Egypt and parted the Red Sea. What was the difference between the two different groups of fear? The promise of victory before the battle was even waged!
Even before God shared His plan with Joshua, what did He do? He declared them victorious. “And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.’” Joshua 6:2 …Huh? They hadn’t even gone to battle with them!…But isn’t that just like our redemption story? God sent Christ to save us a long time ago. The victory is already ours! He overcame sin and death on the cross!
So what does that mean for us? Do we just sit back and relish in that victory? No. We do what Joshua did and we follow the plan laid out before us by our Father. How do we know what that plan is? We know His plan by immersing ourselves daily in His word.
…and just to be clear, there isn't a tab titled “Plans” that you can thumb to in your Bible, where you’ll find a bulleted list of what you need to do in your life and in all of your decision making. Ha! Wouldn’t that be nice? Instead, as we read the Lord’s word, learn His heart for people, for kingdom, for how we should make the best use of our time and resources, we learn what it is to be diligent and walk in obedience. This brings clarity to the decisions we make which helps navigate our paths.
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11
When things in your life, in this nation, and in this world aren’t going the way you think they should, be sure that your thoughts are Holy, set apart. Be sure that they come from your God of victory and not a god of defeat. He will inspire His people, and He will devise a plan in the promise of victory, when we march in obedience according to His word.
With love & laughter,
Mom 2 Mom
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