3. Expect the Lord’s Deliverance (Joshua 6)
The falling of the walls of Jericho is one of the most well-loved and often-told Bible stories. The drama of these events is breathtaking, and one cannot help but rejoice when the walls fall as a result of nothing but the people of Israel marching around them.
Place yourself in Joshua’s shoes at this point in history. You have finally entered into the land of Canaan. The Lord has allowed the people of Israel to again cross over a major river on dry ground. You have finally come to the heavily fortified city of Jericho, described as “shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in” (Joshua 6:1). You encounter a strange figure among your camp. Not just a strange figure, but he who happens to be the commander of the Lord’s army!
What would you be thinking at this point? God must have glorious plans for how this city will be overtaken. Maybe God will send an army of angels to destroy the city. Or maybe God will rain down fire on the city like he did to Sodom and Gomorrah! If I were Joshua at this point, I would be eager to hear what God’s plan was for how we would take the city.
What were God’s commands for leading the army of Israel?
You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him. – Joshua 6:3-5
How would you react to this command? Maybe it’s just me, but I’d be disappointed! We have the commander of God’s army with us and we’re supposed to just walk around Jericho?
It’s a good thing Joshua was the leader of Israel rather than me. Joshua showed neither dismay nor hesitation when the Lord gave this command. Joshua responded by calling forth the priests and the people of Israel to do exactly as the Lord had commanded.
Joshua expected that God would be faithful to his promise that the walls would fall without any form of combat whatsoever. Joshua displayed complete trust that God would be true to His word, rather than letting any prior expectations or hopes get in the way of his obedience to the Lord.
A godly leader trusts that God will be faithful, even when the manner through which God is working may not seem ideal. A godly leader fully expects that the Lord will protect and provide, even when all seems lost.
A godly leader expects that God will come through, despite the means through which God may work.
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