April 8, 2023
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time.”
Watch a video teaching of this devotional
Never miss an episode when you
subscribe & turn on notifications for YouTube!
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you. March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets (shofars) in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.’” Joshua 6:2-5 (HCSB)
Let’s face it. Some things the Lord asks us to do simply don’t make sense to us at the time. Sometimes, life seems to fall apart. Whenever that happens, we feel the urge to put God on the back burner and take control of ourselves. All the while, the Lord is telling us, “Be still, and watch me deliver you….”
If we were honest with each other, we’d have to admit we want God to supply everything we need, with no effort on our part. But that’s not God’s plan. If you listen closely, you can hear God saying, “Work hard, and I will deliver you.”
So, do we wait on him, or do we work hard? In a word, YES! The key to following the Lord is in our closeness to Him and our listening for His direction. Sometimes He shouts, but mostly He speaks at a normal volume or even whispers. He is not silent; we’re just not listening.
Just outside of Jericho, the Israelites must have been thinking Joshua was out of his mind. “You want us to WHAT?” Not only were they commanded to march around Jericho once a day for six days and blow trumpets, but they couldn’t even utter a word. In the words of my friend, Rabbi Larry Feldman, “Do you know how hard it is to keep Jewish people from talking? There’s your miracle!”
Israel had to learn a lesson in obedience, and we could all learn from it. If the victory is the Lord’s, the battle method is arbitrary. Not unimportant, just arbitrary to conventional thought. How does tithing expand your business? How does prayer heal a person’s cancer? How does reading Scripture restore a marriage? None of those things, in and of themselves, accomplishes those goals. God performs the miracle, but He commands us to faithfully obey His Word.
God may give us limited participation in the processes, but He doesn’t need us to accomplish His purposes. He simply calls us to obey. Sometimes, I wonder if the (seemingly) arbitrary nature of our participation is exactly what He intended, so the source of the victory will be undeniably Him!
Listen to an audio recording of this daily devotional here:
©Steve Wiggins 2021