Friday, April 16, 2010

A Strange Battle Plan

God knows how to put you to the test. 

Joshua 5:13-15  When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a Man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to Him and demanded, "Are You friend or foe?"

14 "Neither one," He replied. "I am the Commander of the LORD's army." At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. "I am at Your command," Joshua said. "What do You want Your servant to do?"

15 The Commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did as he was told.

Joshua 6:1-5 Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. 2 But the LORD said to Joshua, "I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. 3 You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram's horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams' horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town."

Joshua 6:20 When the people heard the sound of the rams' horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.

Here is the strangest battle that there ever was, what we have here is a contest between God and the men of Jericho, God is bringing judgment to town and the people of Jericho are ignoring God and their impending doom. Maybe the people Jericho were confident in their own strength, after all they had built a mighty strong wall, a wall that has stood up to other more power armies.

Actually they were paralyzed with fear, the news about what the God of Israel had done for them was well known by everybody in town, there were two miraculous river crossings, the Egyptians were destroyed by all of the plagues and Pharaoh and his army were killed. There were military victories that the people of Jericho had heard about. You would think that somebody would become traitors or offer a peace treaty, instead they hunker down in defiance, choosing to die.

Job 15:25 For they shake their fists at God, defying the Almighty.

Not only is the battle strange but the preparation for battle was also very different, there wasn't any deployment of military equipment, there wasn't any trenches being dug, there is just a bunch of noise outside the wall everyday and then they go back to their tents. Ordinarily the priests were excused from war but in this battle plan they are the main players.

God's plan to bring down Jericho was designed to try the faith, obedience, and patience, of the people, to see whether they would observe a command which to human logic seemed foolish to obey and believe a promise which in human probability seemed impossible to be performed.

They were also proved whether they could patiently bear the criticism of their enemies and patiently wait for the salvation of the Lord. Can you imagine the hecklers looking down the wall at them, making fun of their strange warplan.

This time the Israelites pass the test. So by faith, not by force, the walls of Jericho fell down, thats a concept that I need to remember when I am tempted to do things under my own power instead of forcing my abilities to fix the problem, I need to have faith that God has things under control.

Heb 11:30  It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho
for seven days, and the walls came crashing down.

Give me the faith Lord that can believe that your ways are right, even if they defy human logic.