“And he said to the people, ‘Proceed and march around the city……”You shall not shout or make any noise with your mouth……..until I say to you shout.”  Joshua 6, 9-10

Assuredly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”    Luke 18:17

So just imagine the scene.  You have just crossed over the Jordan River.  You have now come up against your first obstacle, a formidable walled city named Jericho.  Based on archeological digs, the defenses were made up of a retaining wall, about 12-15 high, then an earthen berm and then a much larger stone wall an additional 20 – 26 feet high and approximately 6 feet thick.  Joshua tells you, with God’s help you are going to take this city.  Okay, I start thinking, I’m going to need ladders and ropes, I don’t have archers and am not going to be able to throw a spear that far.  Tunnels, that’s the ticket!  We’ll tunnel under and come up in the midst of the city and take them by surprise.  Or maybe make a hollow wooden horse and they’ll pull us in….nah, nobody would fall for that.

What do you say Joshua, let’s tunnel!  Excuse me?  March around the city….once each day……saying nothing……..then on the seventh day, march around seven times, the priests will blow their horns and we’re to shout like crazy!?!?  Then we’ll just march in and take the city.  Hmmmm.  I tell you what Joshua, I think I’ll just watch this one.  You go ahead with your plan and on the eigth day I’ll start my tunneling.

I was in the US Air Force for a few years.  During that time I was part of an airborne command post and part of our job was to plan.  We’d think about resource allocation and force projection, cumulative effect and massing of forces.  I have been a part of planning for small day-long skirmishes as well as weeks to months long major battles.  Yet during all my experience, never would I have come up with a plan like this one.  And had I been there, one of Joshua’s fighting leaders, I really wonder what my reaction would have been to these orders.  I believe the more experience and expertise in military matters I had, the more likely I would be to try to change or veto the plan.

But you know who would not have questioned it?  You know who would have said:  “Give me my place in line and on that seventh day; hear me shout!”?  A child; and probably the younger the better as long as they were old enough to understand the words.  I know for me and with my children, there was a time, if I had told them to go push against the house and move it over a few feet, they would have gone and started pushing.  Why?  Because they trusted me (I know you’re saying those poor children).  They trusted their father, and if the father said do it, then two things were certain.  One, it could be done.  Secondly, they better be the ones to do it.

Here I think is another crucial lesson to this incident.  God had shown that he did not need humans to destroy a city.  God was very much capable of doing it on His own.  So why bring His people into it?  I think it shows to His people, what they are capable of when they listen to Him.  If the plan had called for a conventional  siege or God said: “you come up with the plan”, then when it succeeded, we could take the credit for it.  But because the plan was so unusual and called for the focal point of the process to be the sacred ark and the priests, it showed that the plan was not of an earthly origin.  And the victory, which did happen, just as God said it would, could only be attributed to the most High God.  His people learned that nothing was impossible, even to bringing down walls with sound, if you will truly, completely follow God.  So they may sure seem foolish to the world.  Build an ark when there is not a cloud in the sky?  Face a giant with just a sling and a stone?  Boldly walk into a lion’s den?  Send Your Only Son to a place where You know and in fact it is Your Plan for Him to be killed?  Strange plans indeed, but look at me Dear Father, here I go, I’m marching.

There is no stopping God.  There is no stopping God’s people when they completely trust, follow and love Him.  The enemy, earthly and spiritual, will try to convince us that God’s plan is just too far fetched.  The enemy will try to tell us to rely on our own plan, our own wisdom.  God says:  look down, go find a child.  Watch the child go forth with determination on whatever task  they are given.  God tells us to go and do likewise.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You and Your Plans are perfect and can not fail.  Yet we also confess that we too often doubt Your Plan.  We too often want to either modify your plan or disregard it altogether and substitute our own.  Forgive us Dear Father when we fail to follow you.  Grant us Dear Father the total faith like a child, trusting in Your Holy Guidance in our lives.  That in following You, no wall or obstacle will stand before us, no enemy will defeat us, no victory will elude us.  That in all things we will seek to live to the Glory of Your Holy Name.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

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