An Unlikely Victory
Ever notice how sometimes the logistics behind a simple idea are far easier than the idea itself?
Take, for instance, washing laundry. Just two words, washing and laundry. They spill out of your mouth with ease and they're over within under a second. Washing laundry. It's a simple task but when you dive into the logistics, it proves to be much more difficult.
Washing laundry translates to separating clothes, washing the load and waiting for the load to finish, switching the wet clothes to the dryer and waiting for that to finish, and then you've got to fold the laundry and put it away. Depending on how many loads you have, this can take all day long. Sometimes you can't even finish it in one day. All that time and energy is summed up with two little words, washing laundry.
Have you ever looked at God's calling on your life? Sometimes that looks like only a few words in comparison to the monumental task that lies in front of you. It's definitely easier said and done because I've never experienced or heard of a calling that didn't stretch and challenge the one who was called!
Read Joshua 6:1-6
God's call to His people is definitely an easier said than done. His directions seem easy enough, but when you zoom in on the logistics, God's call seemed to become much more difficult.
When I read these verses in Joshua, I'm struck by how this city, Jericho, was fortified. No one could go out and no one could come in "because of the people of Israel." Jericho was afraid. Jericho was prepared. Jericho was ready for their enemy. And this is the exact place where God was calling His people. In fact, God says, "See, I've given Jericho into your hand..." (Joshua 6:2a).
See? The victory is close! But did a fortified city look like an easy victory to Israel? Would it look like an easy victory to you?
Read Joshua 6:7-10
Can you imagine being Jericho in this situation? They're already afraid. They're prepared for attack and then Israel starts marching. I don't think it would take long for them to notice the oddness of this strategy. Israel not only marches around the city and blows trumpets, but outside of trumpets and footsteps, there's no sound. How unnerving it must have felt to have noticed the silence of this army!
On the leader side of things, can you imagine instructing an entire army to be silent? They weren't silent for a moment, but for the better part of seven days! I have a hard enough time getting my children to be quiet for a full sixty seconds!
Related Read: Waiting in Silence with Trust
Now imagine being in this army, marching along silently. What would be going through your head? And if you chose to pray in this situation, what would you be praying about and for? Would you pray that Joshua had heard God correctly and that this action was the best strategy for warfare? Would you be laughing to yourself at the absurdity of this situation? Would you be confused, wondering if you heard the instructions correctly? Would you be marching in complete faith to God's promised victory?
Israel rose early on that seventh day. You'd think that considering the plan ahead (marching around the city seven times) that they'd have to wake up early, but do you think they also woke up early out of excitement and expectation? The promised victory would be attained before the day was over with! Would you be excited?
Don't compromise your victory
Joshua instructed Israel to "keep themselves from the things devoted to destruction." This is so important! Hear this! Victory was more than a single moment. Victory wasn't just when the walls came tumbling down. Victory wasn't just when the battle was over. Victory continued to when they went home that night. At any point, they could have been distracted by some shiny "thing" and compromised their victory. Being disobedient to God's instructions in any way (big or small) would have compromised the complete victory.
Hear that, friend. Victory lasts longer than the battle. Your victory can be compromised by even the smallest act of disobedience. Whatever God has instructed, obey it to the best of your ability!
Soon, the time came for this silent army to shout in complete faith that God would bring the promised victory to fruition. I just imagine this moment with a giddy army. They had to march around this city seven times and I imagine each time they went around the city, that the marching got faster out of simple excitement. The time was near, the victory was within their reach. I imagine by the sixth time around, they might have even been running. Then the moment they had waited for was here. It was time to shout! I don't think they shouted half-heartedly, I think they shouted with everything they had. I think they shouted the loudest they had ever shouted. I imagine this shout to be a combination of expectation and praise. They just had to be obedient and shout, they depended on God to do the rest. And He did!
Against the Odds- An Unlikely Victory
When I think about this victory, I think about how unlikely it all seemed from the very start. Israel gained the victory without ever have touched the walls or the gates. They never had to force their way into this fortified city! God dropped those walls and gave the victory.
This unlikely victory started with simple obedience to God's call and direction.
The victory was left to God and they trusted Him to bring it to fruition. Notice: No one tried to take matters into their own hands. No one tried "helping" God do His job. They trusted Him.
When we're facing the circumstances of an unlikely victory, trust God. He proves faithful every single time! Don't feel like you have to "help" God do His job, just be obedient and trust that He will bring the victory as He has promised.