Almighty God, Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory. I affirm and rejoice in this great truth.
Read Joshua 6:20–27
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
This passage, (and others following), contain great victories for God and his people, but also raise great questions which we cannot address here. A helpful resource in looking at these issues is Peter Craigie’s book The Problem of War in the Old Testament.
Unimaginable terror. Trumpet blasts, shouting, collapsing walls, sword-wielding soldiers, death, destruction (20,21). Finally, a terrible fire (24). And far from being a surprise attack, this was the culmination of a period of growing fear in Jericho. For six days, increasingly terrified inhabitants had watched priests carry the Ark of the Covenant around their city, following other priests blowing trumpets, with warriors in front and behind, all the time knowing that there was no escape. The earlier description of the kings’ hearts melting in fear (5:1) seems far too tame for the Jericho experience. This reality is much more dark and sinister than the story many of us heard in Sunday school. In the midst of this cataclysm comes an amazing act of faithfulness. Victors—whether politicians or military leaders—don’t always keep their promises. We are probably familiar with politicians brazenly breaking election promises, sometimes the day after being elected! It can often be a promise better not made in the first place. But Joshua wasn’t like that. He remembered the promise made by the spies (2). Rahab’s generous treatment of the spies was rewarded. The two young spies were sent back into the city to find the scarlet cord (2:18) and rescue Rahab and her family. Do we, as inheritors of God’s promises, show the same faithfulness to our promises? For many people today, there is a major problem with the unfolding conquest of Canaan. It’s clear that God is no passive onlooker. Israel’s faithfulness to him is supremely important and anything that might get in the way of that, such as the Canaanites, is to be destroyed (Deut. 7:1–5). Difficult though that may be for us, perhaps recognizing the supreme importance of right
worship is a starting point for our understanding.
Is anything distracting you from commitment to Jesus and his way? (See Galatians 4:8–10). Perhaps today is the day to change something.
Gracious Lord, I am reminded that You are a God who takes sin seriously. And I am also reminded that You are a promise-keeping God. I bless Your name.