Have you heard about the story of the walls falling down at the ancient city of Jericho in the sixth chapter of the biblical book of Joshua?
God gave Joshua specific instructions about how to overtake the city of Jericho. He was given unusual directions, especially for an army to perform.
Verses 1-5 say,
Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 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. 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.’
Verse six begins with Joshua’s obedience to follow those orders.
I wonder how much Joshua questioned those instructions? Did he have a volley of words with God over the unusual nature of his plan? Did he wonder if it was wise to follow through? If he did, it is not recorded for us to read.
We can learn a lot, however, from Joshua’s past behavior and relationship with God. Joshua had been Moses’ right-hand man for decades, and he had seen God’s mighty power in action. He had watched “unusual instructions” as they were followed (deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt) and as they were disobeyed (Aaron with the golden calf). His past experience showed him that God could ask some seemingly crazy things of his people, but that he was trustworthy and always followed through.
More recently in that story, just prior to the admonition about how to capture the city of Jericho, Joshua had seen more up-close and personal examples of God’s might and power displayed.
As they were facing the crossing of the Jordan River, they were reminded of God’s faithfulness and the miracle at the Red Sea. The Jordan was at flood stage, and there was no way to cross to the other side, so God stopped up the Jordan and allowed the Israelites to cross on dry ground (Joshua chapters three and four).
He had fresh remembrance of God’s trustworthiness when he was told to watch God deliver Jericho into their hands.
Look back at God’s faithfulness in the past of your life. Be open to fresh revelation and encouragement. Listen for God to show you what to do – even if it seems unusual. Obey. See what happens.