When You’re Marching Around in Circles

Joshua 6:1-5, 7, 15-17, 20-  Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.  And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.  You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days.  Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.  And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat… And he (Joshua) said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord…” On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times.  And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city.  And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the Lord…” So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.”

 

If you ever need more proof that God’s thoughts far exceed any we’re capable of having, read the account of Joshua, the Israelites, and the city of Jericho. How a nation of people conquered a city by simply marching around in circles and yelling a little bit beats me. But, that’s because I’m not the One in control…

I know when we read Scripture it’s hard for us to imagine Moses, David, and Joshua as anything but spiritual giants. And while their faith is for sure something to admire, we also have to remember they were humans just like us. They doubted. They failed. They questioned God’s commands, were clueless about His motives, and probably struggled sometimes to obey Him.

I’m sure this was one time in particular where Joshua just didn’t get it. He marched around the city again and again, trying to figure out how this simple action would do any good. I’m sure he was waiting for an earthquake or some strong winds to assist them in weakening the city’s foundation, but neither happened. Still, Joshua knew his God and the might with which He reigned, so he continued to round those corners. He was going to walk… and then he was going to shout… and somehow those walls would fall and that city would be theirs.

Honestly, when following after God, it’s not our actions, per se, that get the job done, whether we consider them great or foolish. No matter how much we learn or how big our muscles get, if God has a plan for something, our knowledge and strength couldn’t stop it. That being said, even if His instruction sounds a little “off” to us, that doesn’t matter either. Because, the success of anything hinges on His approval and presence… which accompany our obedience.

There’ve been plenty of moments in my life where I’ve felt like I was walking in circles with the Lord. I didn’t see any progress being made, no walls coming down, and no victory in the near future. I knew God had made me promises and no one could make me doubt what He had said. Yet, even when trying hard to obey, I questioned His motives and His plan.

God, if You said “this,” why isn’t it coming to pass? When You promised “that,” I would’ve thought it would have happened sooner. You gave us “this” vision, but why are You still telling us to wait? I’m doing the same things, at the same places, with the same surroundings, and nothing seems to be changing.

Then it hit me… or maybe He gently showed me, that my realm of vision is very limited. I can only see so high, so far, and so clearly. He sits high enough that His vision is never obstructed. Because He’s omnipresent, He can see all things at all times in all places. And because He is the very source and definition of wisdom, He knows exactly what to do and at what time it should be done.

We’ve seen Him work things out enough in our lives that we shouldn’t have a problem trusting Him with anything… but we do. Just catch yourself quickly and remind yourself that you’ve always been taken care of and there’s no reason why this time will be any different. What He does doesn’t always make sense in our finite minds. I get that, fully. Still, His way ALWAYS accomplishes the most and brings perfect peace. So, let’s just trust Him and obey.

You might be walking today. But you could be shouting tomorrow… while staking claims on your next victory.

 
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your wisdom that You give to all of us liberally when we ask for it. Thank You for Your patience with us when we constantly question Your ways. Build our faith daily. Strengthen our trust. Fix our hearts and minds on Your will. Help us push aside all noises that drown out Your voice so we can follow You unhindered. In Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen.

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