Jul. 5, 2021

A BEHIND THE SCENES GOD

A BEHIND THE SCENES GOD

 

“God is our refuge and strength,

 a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1

 

Go back with me in your mind’s eye to a time described in Joshua 5:13-15. The year is 1541BC in the land of Canaan just north of the Dead Sea at a place called Jericho. Joshua and the Hebrew people have just miraculously crossed over the Jordan River into the land promised to them by God. They thought they would just walk in and settle the land with no effort on their own, but God had a different idea. In order to keep the land safe from hostile invaders, they had to learn to be warriors.

After crossing into the promised blessing they come before their first on-the job military training exercise the fortified garrison city of Jericho!  This was a seemingly impossible task for the Hebrew recruits. Joshua had come across Jericho 40 years earlier as one of the 10 spies Moses sent to scout out the land and was a formidable fortress. Being a fortress city, it garrisoned thousands of seasoned and highly skilled military troops. In case of an invasion by enemies on the east side of the Jordan River, their task was to crush them there or if not, to hold them there until help arrived.

Jericho was about 9 acres in diameter and was known to have the oldest known protective walls in the world. There were two walls protecting the city. The first was a 12 ft high stone wall with a narrow road on top. Behind that was a 30 ft wide steep upward land mass to be used as a killing zone. Then adjacent to that was another stone wall with watchtowers and a road that could fit two chariots on top. It stood 28ft higher than the lower ground level.

So, we find Joshua out alone facing this very intimidating obstacle. He praying to God and wondering how to fight this battle. It seems impossible and daunting as he pours his heart out to God for direction.

No sooner has he finished praying when he looks up and sees a warrior with a drawn sword standing before him. Now a warrior doesn’t unsheathe his sword unless he intends to use it. Joshua was preparing himself to battle this man alone in the desert. Joshua asks, “Friend or foe?” The warrior tells Joshua that he is not part of either army, but the Commander of the Lord’s angelic arm, and has come to lead the Hebrews to victory! Joshua recognizes this is a human appearance of Almighty God and worships Him. Joshua surrenders leadership of the Hebrew army and nation to this Divine. He asks the Lord what His orders are. Joshua has found his answer – when facing impossible situations, the battle is not his, but the Lord’s!

Joshua follows His Commanders seemingly silly orders and the city walls came tumbling down outward, and it was taken without a Hebrew loss. They were to march in procession once around the city, one time per day for six consecutive days with trumpets blowing continuously as they marched. The seventh day would be different. On that day, Joshua instructed the people to march in absolute silence seven times around the fort. Then they were to stand still and at Joshua’s command they were to shout a war cry. Upon doing so, behind the scenes, the Lord and His angelic army pushed the walls from the inside out. Once the obstacles fell the Hebrews could take the city.

The good news is that in whatever Jericho you face in life, Jesus is already behind the scenes working on your behalf. Follow Joshua’s example of faith, prayer, and obedience and you will discover that God is indeed with you. Take heart for there is nothing you and God cannot get through together!

As always, see you next time and have a great day!