A Different Look at Jericho

With so many responsibilities on my plate this season, I’m looking at capacity and wondering if keeping up this blog is going to be a casualty.  However, I’ve made the decision that it isn’t going to be one.  I’m committing to posting weekly beginning this week.  Making the commitment to post will enable some community-based accountability to write something meaningful.  Or at least write something.  I externally process more than internally, so I’m going to use this space to synthesize things I’m reading and invite conversation.  This week, I’m interested in a dialogue about Jericho.

Micki and I are reading through the book of Joshua together.  One way we can stay connected while I’m traveling.  Also a way to deepen towards Abba together.  This morning I’m reading through the story of the battle of Jericho.  I skimmed over it and started heading to chapter 7 when I paused.  It was probably Abba who paused me.  This is where I paused:  “Then the Lord said to Joshua” (v. 2).

Here’s my question:  How did God communicate with Joshua?  It simply says, “The Lord said to Joshua”.  Was it through the Holy Spirit?  An audible voice?  I paused there after I had come back to the beginning to re-read.  I was looking at this Bible story we all remember flannelgraphs of.  Let’s break this down and see how silly this is:

Joshua is leading an army to take the city.  Obviously they have generals, strategy, weapons, and are planning.  I’m sure the soldiers and leaders were pulling together a plan to take the city.  But God talks to Joshua and “tells” him instead to walk around the walls for a week and play music to win the battle.  And they did.  I’ve read this story many times and just accepted these things without the reality of it.  Did the people just go with this plan?  We all read it like they did.  The children of Israel had a pretty bad track record of dropping the ball on attitude appropriateness.  They made an art out of disobedience and bellyaching.  So when Joshua tells them this plan, I wonder how that meeting went over.  Any takers want to wager a guess?

Somehow four transactions happened in this account:

  1. Joshua heard God
  2. Joshua obeyed God
  3. Joshua cast vision to the people
  4. The people obeyed

In the end, the people marched, the walls “came tumbling down”, and the Israelites won the battle.  As a newer leader, I’m wondering about these key transactions and asking the questions, “How can I hear God?”  “Will I be obedient to Him?” “How can I receive and cast His vision?”  I know I’m in this new season of life and leadership to make a difference.  I know I’ll be leading through change.  But what would have happened if Joshua waffled on Abba speaking to him?  What if his thoughts went to “Man, marching?  Sounds like crazy talk.  We can beat them with our strength, our plan.”  Somehow Joshua got the people to buy in.  I’m sure it was a partnership between Abba and Joshua.

I want that kind of partnership.  My plans are going to fail.  I’m a leader by title today.  I want to become a leader by example.  It won’t come with implementing my schemes.  Joshua heard God and obeyed Him.  Let that be our prayer daily.  Now seriously, ideas, theology on how this whole deal went down?

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