Trumpeting Our Faith
Lord, help me remember that every thought I think and every word I speak is open to Your scrutiny.
Read Joshua 6:1-11
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD” (Isa. 55:8). Sometimes we can only cling to this promise.
With Jericho’s gates firmly closed, so is access to the Promised Land. In addition, the three central, south and northern campaigns in following chapters cannot begin. God’s plan combines strategy with worship, emphasizing not the military but the miraculous aspects of the victory. Seven priests carrying seven trumpets march round the city for six days, and seven times on the seventh day. The numbers express perfection; God’s timing and plan is perfect, but as a military strategy, it is not the most likely attack formation or method! How often does God work in mysterious ways in your life?
In Jewish tradition, the blowing of the shofar, (the ram’s horn) is a call to Israel to assemble–not just for battle, but for repentance. It is blown throughout the month before the Day of Atonement, and then blown throughout that most solemn day. It warns its hearers to repent, and of judgment on those who fail to be reconciled to God and neighbor. The shofar also recalls the trumpet sounds accompanying the giving of the covenant on Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:13,19). In later tradition, the trumpet call announces the resurrection of the dead (1 Thess. 4:16,17).
You only have to listen to the loud, abrasive sound of the ram’s horn to realize it is not there to make a musical or joyful sound! The Israelites are to know that it is only by God’s power that the victory will be theirs. God is with them, and only by following his instructions will they succeed. They are to stay humble and obedient, even as their behavior strikes terror in the hearts of their enemies. Joshua’s role, like ours, is to follow God’s instructions. He is to be faithful in what God has given him to do, and trust God for the outcome.
Imagine or obtain the sound of a shofar. How does God call you to repentance, faith and obedience today? What are the walled cities you need to enter?
Father, I don’t always understand Your ways but I trust Your wisdom and goodness. Keep me mindful of them as I see You at work in the world.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.