Now we begin probably your favorite part of Joshua’s calling—conquering the walls of Jericho.
Joshua had begun to scout out the nearest Canaanite stronghold—Jericho. As he goes, he is confronted by a man with a drawn sword. He realizes this is a messenger from God.
Joshua fell down and asked,
“What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army said, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” Joshua 5:14b-15
Where have we heard that before? As close as Joshua was to Moses, I think we can imagine Moses telling his story to Joshua of the time when the Lord spoke through the burning bush. Moses had the Pharaoh to deal with, Joshua has a city!
He has already surveyed this tightly walled city—thick walls that is. The Israelites have no heavy equipment to forge their way in. So here’s the plan:
The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.” Joshua 6:2
“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of ram’s horns in front of the ark. Joshua 6:3-4a
“On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” Joshua 6:4b-5
You’ve got to be kidding!
Well, this may not be what Joshua said or even thought about these instructions, but in later verses, he seems to give instructions only one day at a time. I suppose Joshua thinks that’s all they can manage.
Sometimes the Lord gives us instructions that are challenging. I have fretted over the editing of my manuscript. Do I have it professionally edited?. What about publishing? And then there’s the marketing. God said, “Trust me. Think, ‘What is the next thing that needs to be done?’ Take that one step as I lead you.” Two weeks later, I received a free four-session video set called “Getting Unstuck!” from a publisher.
A friend has cancer. She went through treatments before and did well, but his time she has opted not to have treatments. She’s making her funeral arrangements. “This feels weird,” she says, but she’s found some surprising joys and peace in this process.
My daughter woke up in the middle of the night thinking of a friend from childhood who is a missionary in Turkey. The Holy Spirit gave her a strong conviction that she should send an email of encouragement. Though not knowing anything specific, she obediently obeyed. The friend sobbed saying it was very timely.
Sometimes God gives us unusual commands. His plans are always best, even if they sometimes feel weird. Are you listening? Are you seeking?
~ Joyce ~