But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!”
The Israelite’s have just been instructed by Joshua that they are going into Jericho. The city of Jericho has a wall around it that they can not pass. They are not going in such a way as we might expect. There is no obvious force or might , there are no type of explosives provided. They are just simply told to march around the city for six days then on the seventh day to march seven times then blow the trumpets . This is their instruction . They are merely told to march and blow trumpets.
Prior to going in they are also instructed to not say a word. For seven days they are told to not give a war cry, to not raise their voices , to not say a word.
Can you imagine how the Israelites maybe felt given these odd instructions? How some of them may have felt it might even be crazy, perhaps even thinking did Joshua lose his mind? Seriously we are supposed to march for seven days and not say a word? And then blow a trumpet? I can just imagine how it may have defied all common sense to them.
Perhaps Joshua knew in advance that any doubts they might have could give birth to fear and prevent them from doing the task at hand. That God was performing a miracle here and they needed to be focused which meant they were not to speak until it was God’s word they were speaking on that 7th day.
There is a saying that a doubt is not birthed until it is spoken. We all have our walls of Jericho … they come in different forms at different times in our lives. The wall could be an illness, the loss of a job, financial uncertainty, divorce. The doubts around these walls usually come in questions like will I be healed?, will I find a job? , will our financial needs be met? , will I ever find someone to love that loves me back? , will I ever have a family , will I get accepted into college?, will I figure out my purpose in life? , does God really have a plan for me? , does God really even love me? , is God really concerned about the details of my life? And we can go on and on and on.
Often in looking for answers for these doubts we end giving them so much life … we speak about them, talk about them , meditate on them, and sometimes to be honest practically worship them with all the attention and time we give to them. Then it almost seems as if they take on a life of their own because what we have done is carried them , nurtured them and ultimately birthed them into an existence of fear .
What would happen if instead we chose to do what the Israelites did that day when Joshua instructed them not to say a word? Not to say what God doesn’t say and say what He does say. (say that 3 times fast!) This doesn’t mean that at times we don’t need to get with our best friend and have a good cry over a cup of coffee to express our fears and concerns. It doesn’t mean that we don’t come to God on our hands and knees and bring to him our concerns, our doubts , our fears. But we then have a choice what will we focus on? Will we march and put our doubts to silence and when we speak it will be what God says not what our doubts say?
God’s word teaches us that He loves us, He cares for us, His compassions never fail, His mercies are new every morning, He has a plan for us, He has a purpose for us, He takes care of the birds in the air how much more will he take care of us? We are His creation , as you love your very own child , how much more He loves us who purposefully and uniquely created us to be. There are thousands of promises in the bible about what God says about you and your life. Press on and press into these truths not the lies of fear born out of doubts.
The bible teaches us as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Our words and what we speak into our lives has great power and becomes ingrained into our thoughts and ultimately into our hearts. Harness your thoughts , harness what you say, what you speak . This doesn’t mean you will have answers for your doubts but what it does mean is that you don’t need answers because you can take rest in God’s promises. Faith after all doesn’t mean we walk with sight … on the contrary it is being sure and certain without seeing. This isn’t a positive thinking hocus pocus trick either , God can’t be tricked or manipulated … it is nitty, gritty being in the trenches purposeful faith no matter the outcome. Trusting that God’s plan is the best plan.
It takes work, honest effort to chose to zip our lips ,cleanse our minds and break these old habits and yes, old habits die hard. Clinging to God’s promises , to God’s truth , to God’s word and not speaking in fear or doubt but remaining obediently faithful … well that is when just as the songs goes ” The walls of Jericho came tumbling down.”