On staff here at church, we read through various books of the Bible for staff devotion – one chapter a day. Right now we are reading Joshua. I love Joshua! I work in children’s ministry, and Joshua is a key player in my universe. He’s got all the key ingredients for kid fame – a story kids can imitate, a Veggietales episode, and a song. Who could ask for more?
But personally, what I love about Joshua is that his is a story of obedience – sheer obedience to God even when he could have easily walked away and done differently. I put myself in that position of God telling me to do what could be seen as crazy things, and I really struggle. If you know me well, you know that I’m a strong personality. If you know me better, you know that I am confident in my choices and decisions. And if you’re related to me, you know that I’m just downright stubborn. I often argue with God – probably more often than I even argue with my husband and my kids put together. Submitting to someone else’s will doesn’t come easily.
So then I put myself in Joshua’s shoes. He was witness to God’s miracles and God’s care first hand. But even then, when God instructed him on how to get past Jericho, he listened and obeyed. I’m really not sure I could have done that. I’m pretty sure my response would have been, “Wait a minute – you want us to walk around this huge walled city with trumpets and the ark of the covenant? Oh what was that? You want us to walk around it not just once, but once a day for six days straight? And then what? On the seventh day, we walk around seven times, then shout loudly, and the walls will fall down? Are you crazy?!?!” Please tell me I’m not the only one who would think that.
But Joshua and all the Israelites obeyed. They followed the directions, and God delivered His promise. As He always does. It’s when we don’t listen or don’t follow the path He has laid out for us that we struggle. It’s our stupid broken humanity that leads us astray. Joshua 6:27 says “So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.” I love those words – so the Lord was with Joshua. Not that the Lord was watching him or leading him or even in him. The Lord was with him. It wasn’t the power of the trumpets or the yelling that knocked down the walls of Jericho. It was the power of the Lord who was with the people of Israel.
So what’s my Jericho? What is the wall that I need help from the Lord to knock down? And what are the instructions He has laid out for me to follow? And am I willing to obey Him? I love the story of Joshua so much because it was one man listening to the word of God that led thousands to the promised land. He obeyed and God cleared the path. Now what is it you are facing today that you need knocked out of the way?
Knocking down walls,