I was reading my Bible the other day and got to the story of Jericho. I have heard it multiple times from Sunday School to sermons, and it is always fun to imagine the giant city’s walls crumbling down as the Israelites blast their trumpets and yell. As I was reading, one particular verse stood out to me.
But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” – Joshua 6:10.
There are a couple of practical life lessons I gather from this verse:
God has His timing; we are to wait on Him. Not that I have ever been in a life-or-death battle, but from my experience with paintballs and Nerf darts, when you know the battle is coming, you just want to get on with it. I am sure all the fighting men were walking around just chomping at the bit to start the battle, especially when they already knew they would win the day. For 6 days, they marched and waited and paraded around 6 more times around on the 7th day just for good measure. I don’t know for sure, but I doubt they knew the reason for all of the marching. However, God has His timing, and when His time had come, the victory was theirs; without any walls to scale.
Obey God’s commands, and He will do great things. The Israelites were told to march around in silence; this would seem counterintuitive. No trash-talking or words of intimidation – just marching. In some ways, that would be a little unnerving; I mean, wouldn’t you want to hear their intentions? Just marching around seems odd; so, I would probably have gotten a little uneasy if I was inside those walls. God had a plan, and he was going to do something great; the Israelites just had to obey.
When God says “jump”, we ask “how high”. Obeying God and waiting can be hard; we often get caught trying to do things our own way or forcing the issue. Obeying God and acting on it isn’t always easy either. I can just see some skeptical Israelite and a half-hearted shout thinking “We have marched around how many times? What is the point of all this yelling?” Okay, so the Bible doesn’t record that, but how many of us have done the equivalent? “Okay God, I am going to step out of my comfort zone, and do what you have called me to… tomorrow.” Sometimes, we just have to jump in with both feed and trust that God has opened the door. When we do, we often find that God has allowed us to be part of something big for His glory.
You probably won’t find yourself battling an entire city or marching into a real life battle, but chances are God will, at some point, give you a part to play in His plan. The part may be complex, or it could be simple. Either way, your part is straightforward – wait on God, obey and jump, and let God shake the foundations.