Yesterday we began the book of Joshua. Joshua is the first book in what is called the History book of Israel. Beginning here we are about to see the Israelites march in and take possession of the Promised Land. Their forty years in the wilderness are now over. They have again sent spies into the land to scope out what they are up against. They cross over the Jordan during flood stage but like the Red Sea it is on dry land as God has dammed up the river. In the pages that will follow we will read and experience life in the Promised Land. Some of it will be amazingly spectacular while others will leave us truly sad for their lack of faith.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible happens in chapter five of Joshua. It is an odd story for me to pick as a favorite. We learn that during the time in the wilderness the covenant sign of circumcision has been stopped. When the men cross over the Jordan and camp at Gilgal God orders Joshua to have all the men circumcised. What a painful event for all these grown men to endure. Just think how much we act like babies when we get sick … I would imagine this was much worse.
When healing had taken place … how much time we are not sure, how much pain is left we are not sure … God sends them to attack Jericho. But this fight is not really an ordinary fight. For seven days they march around the city … once each day for the first six days and then seven times on the seventh day. At the end of the seventh time they blow their trumpets and the walls of the city fall. Here’s what I find amazing … God is teaching them to trust him. These fighting men are in some level how pain, how much we are not sure. God says without lifting a sword I am going to destroys the walls; I am going to give you victory. In your moment of weakness, you are going to have to rely on me.
Friends, sometimes I think that is why we have to endure hard days. It’s the hard days that drive us to lean on God. It’s the hard days that drive us to put our faith and trust in him.
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