April 5

April 5.

Joshua & Jericho — The faith of Joshua/Israel/Rahab & our spiritual warfare.

Today’s Readings:

Reading 1: Joshua 6

Reading 2: Hebrews 11:30-31

Reading 3: 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

We already saw the power of faith and obedience: in the crossing of the Jordan, and in the purification and provision at Gilgal. Now we see how faith can bring victory and salvation. Faith is doing what God says, even when humanly it makes no sense! The instructions God gave Joshua should not be taken as a pattern for military victory – they were a one-off command for this specific situation. And (aside from God’s intervention) they are not a credible strategy for achieving the objective of having the walls of the city fall down!

But Joshua, and the people, demonstrate their faith by obeying God’s instructions to the letter. Notice that they have no indication that the strategy is working until they complete their obedience; that is where the faith is put into action!

And we know the result from Sunday School classes and kid’s Bible stories: the people march around Jericho and on the seventh day, the walls fall down and they conquer the city. God shows His power in response to our obedience to His instructions.

And in the midst of the destruction, we see another example of faith in action – Rahab and her family take the spies at their word, and so are rescued. Rahab goes on to marry an Israelite and becomes part of the family tree of Jesus! Faith is as active in salvation as in victory!

For us today, the defenses we face in our journey to fulfill our calling are not physical structures, like the walled city of Jericho. Rather they are strongholds of thought and habit that elevate human reasoning above obedience to God. The Apostle Paul tells the Corinthians that such reasoning is a false argument and is to be demolished, just as Jericho fell to the Israelites.

What does God want you to encircle and demolish in your life today?

Have a great day!

Mark.

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