DEVOTION – DAY 65

Joshua 6:2-5 “God’s ways are not our ways”

 

Joshua 6:2-5 “2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

 

God had used Joshua to miraculously lead the Israelites across the River Jordan. The Israelites were now going to occupy the land promised by God. But the land was already occupied by Canaanites. The first city they came to was the city of Jericho. The city was protected by high walls. God gave instructions to Joshua on how He was going to give the Israelites victory in their attempt to take over the city of Jericho.

But God’s instructions were strange. Joshua had to arrange 7 priests to blow 7 trumpets and lead all his fighting men around the walls of the city with the ark of the covenant in front of them. They were to do this for 7 days. On the 7th day, after their march around the city walls as instructed, the whole Israelite army had to give a loud shout. Imagine, for 7 consecutive days, the Israelite army had to march around the walls attracting the attention of the Canaanites guarding the top of the city walls. They would look silly and would probably be laughed at by the people of Jericho. But that was how God granted the Israelites their first successful victory over the Canaanites. They conquered the city without a single loss of life on their part. Their victory required the Israelites to faithfully follow God’s instructions.

In the same way, God requires us to sometimes act in ways that are different from how the world would normally act. When someone hurts us, if we follow the world, we will want to hurt them back. But Jesus taught in Matthew 18:22 that we are to forgive those who have hurt us 77 times meaning that we are to forgive infinitely and not keep score. The world tells us that if our marriage is not working, we should get a divorce so that we can get on with our lives. But God in Malachi 2:16 tells us He hates divorce. God expects a couple to remain married for life. The world tells us to be selfish and look after our own interests first but God in Phil.2:3-4 tells us that we are to be selfless and put the interests of others before our own. During the recent Covid-19 lockdowns, the selfish thing to do is stay at home and let the poor and needy take care of themselves but our Church followed God’s call in Phil.2:3-4 to work with some organizations to provide much needed help to the poor and needy. Our Church trusted God to protect its people from infection and at the same time take the necessary precautions.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding us that your ways are not our ways. Please help us to trust in your Word and obey it even if it goes against what the world thinks and does. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

 

Questions

  1. Have there been times in your life that you were glad you followed God’s Word even though it went against your natural instinct? Share.
  2. What is God telling you to do that you find difficult today? Why?
  3. Following from question 2 above, what must you do to obey God even if it is difficult for you?