Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. Joshua 6 v 2
Everything was now in place. Memories of God’s covenant with Abraham, His past faithfulness at the Exodus; the appearance of a heavenly messenger, and finally this direct statement from God – ‘The city and its inhabitants are yours.’
But now action is required; it won’t just happen. An obedient response is required from the whole people. This is not just a battle for the army to fight, nor is it a prayer-battle for the priests, and Joshua will certainly not go-it alone! It’s a task for everyone, not a special few.
It was not an easy task either! People don’t mind being up-rooted and have to march around a city once, but to do it six days on the trot, now that’s different! And then to have to do it seven times on the seventh day – I wonder if that made sense to everybody? Was there incipient mutiny in the ranks – ‘Why can’t we get on with the battle, hasn’t God promised us victory?’
Obeying God can be like that at times. A bit of a slog, doesn’t always make sense, and ‘Do we ALL have to do it?’ ‘Yes, Joshua, that’s My way of doing things. I want you ALL to realise that the victory is mine. Besides which, there’s some mopping up to do afterwards.’
‘Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house. (v 24)
You know the story well of course, but look at it this way. It’s a wonderful case of everybody being involved in the action. God doesn’t look for action and faithfulness on the part of some of the people, but all of them. That principle is still with us. Church is not like a football match – a few players slogging it out, and thousands of spectators! God calls us all into the action together; we may have different roles according to the gifts we have been given, trumpeters, Ark-carriers, banner wavers, child-minders – they must all have been there. Where are you in the battle?
For reflection: Where will obeying God cause you to walk today?