I was reading a bedtime story to my daughter a few nights ago, the story of the Israelite’s encounter with Jericho to be exact. I love the way the Jesus Storybook Bible relates the information in a simplistic way, and I often find myself considering aspects of the recounted tales that I had never considered before in my “scholarly” examination of the text.
I guess there’s something to be said for approaching life from a child’s perspective.
As the Israelites traveled closer to the promised land, they came face-to-face with the formidable city of Jericho. This no doubt left them frightened and confused.
“I thought we were finally done with all the hard stuff?”
“How are we supposed to get past them?”
Now most of us know the story. God told the people to march around the city and the walls fell down. It’s not that part that interests me as much though, it’s what they were probably expecting to happen that does.
When God told them to start marching and make a terrible noise I would venture to guess that most of them saw it as a precursor to the inevitable battle that was about to take place. I imagine them rallying around that notion and preparing for bloodshed.
How great was the wonderment when the walls simply toppled upon themselves?
As soon as I finished reading the story to my daughter it struck me–I treat the “Jerichos” in my life the exact same way.
I hear and believe God’s promise. I even trust in him to carry me through the impossible obstacles that appear to block the way. I still always have it in my mind though that I’m preparing for war. I know that God will make good on his promise, but for some reason I assume that the enemy must be met head-on and defeated in conventional warfare. I stop one step short. If we trust the promise, then we must also trust that it may not come to fruition how we envision it. In fact I’ve come to find in my life that God will often work in ways I was absolutely not expecting, almost as if to prove a point about who’s really in control.
Have you ever been surprised by the way a Jericho in your life was torn down?