Monday, September 18 – Joshua 6:1-5
Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. But the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have handed Jericho over to you, with its king and the valiant warriors. And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight ahead.”
There are many worldly strategies to gain power and success. Many books and seminars have become very popular around this idea. But the strategy God gave Israel for defeating Jericho was different than anything a human would come up with. It may even seem silly in contrast to what most people would do. Today, we also struggle to trust God and follow His plans, even when they aren’t as specific and unique as those in today’s passage.
Take for example Matthew 20:26-27, “It is not this way among you, but whoever wants to become prominent among you shall be your servant, and whoever desires to be first among you shall be your slave.” Jesus spoke about servanthood being the path to greatness. He taught about our treasures being in heaven instead of on earth (Matthew 6:19-24). He taught about loving your enemies and blessing those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). None of those instructions make natural sense to us. We are inclined to seek our way over God’s way, our preferences over looking out for others, and treasuring what we have on earth instead of keeping our sights on heaven.
The next time you feel inclined to fight back when someone offends you, look out for your own interests as primary, or strategize your way for earthly success, consider the Israelites. This strategy did not make sense according to human logic, but God guided them with His presence and led them to victory. Proverbs 14:12-14 says, “There is a way which seems right to a person, but its end is the way of death. Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief. One with a wayward heart will have his fill of his own ways, but a good person will be satisfied with his.” The truth is, following God into uncertainty according to His plans is always better than seeking security according to our own plans and wisdom.
- What are some of God’s instructions that don’t make sense to you?
- When have you wrestled with choosing God’s way over your own?
- Pray and ask God to help grow your discernment of where He is leading and obedience to follow Him always.