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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, ‘You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, “Shout!” Then you shall shout.’ So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.”—Joshua 6:10-11 (NKJV)
Remaining silent when you want to speak is a big challenge for many people. The Bible has a lot to say on the subject. Ecclesiastes 3:7 (NKJV) says there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” James 1:19 (NIV) says, "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” It is a discipline to listen well.
The priests and warriors were about to face a major test. Joshua gave them the Lord’s plan to conquer Jericho. It was bigger than they were. When Israel crossed the Jordan, the Ark of the Covenant, which was God’s presence, is mentioned several times (Joshua 3–5). A lesson for us is to accept and follow God’s plan. We invite His power and His presence, which guarantees victory. The Lord’s purpose, plan, and timetable are not what we necessarily like or agree with, but remember He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) to accomplish that which concerns us (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
For 40 years, God was helping the children of Israel learn patience by obedience. Those seven days circling Jericho was a serious test of their faith. There had to be temptation to be completely terrorized, overwhelmed, and anxious. Also, it may have seemed a waste of time to devote a whole week waiting to take Jericho. If the week’s schedule was a test of their patience, the divine command of silence was a test of self-control.
What battle is God calling you to circle around once a day in prayer and meditation? He may be challenging you to circle not only for a week what seems improbable and impossible, but perhaps it may be for a month or year or even longer, by faith. The more trying and difficult the task the more we should set ourselves to it. Silent mediation and prayer at times is the approach God calls us to take. By faith and patience, as God’s people, we inherit what He promised (Hebrews 6:12).
Phillips Brooks said, “Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be better men and women. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for power equal to your tasks.”
Every day we face enemies and high walls. We cannot turn away from them, yet the way we grow in faith is to accept new challenges and trust God for the victory. He gives you all the power for the victory you need every day.
DIG: What is a “Jericho” for you? An impossible family situation, your job, your health, or your finances?
DISCOVER: Meditate on Psalm 46:10 and Ephesians 3:20. He is Almighty God and wants us to stop and quietly ponder His greatness and power in our lives.
DO: Read 1 John 5:4. Who do the words “overcome” and “victory” apply to?