Sep21TueSeptember 21, 2021
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JOSHUA 6:20 (ESV)
“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 [Jericho], every man straight before him, and they captured the city.”
A VOCAL FAITH
The current generation of Israelites had already witnessed several events in which God had revealed His sovereign power. They had entered the Promised Land on dry ground as the Lord supernaturally parted the waters of the flooded Jordan River. They had been recipients of daily ‘manna’ up until they celebrated the Passover in Canaan. They had also heard word that a Canaanite prostitute had turned from idolatry, was now trusting in the Lord and would be joining their nation soon. Each of these events would have been a wonder to behold!
But the miracle at the battle of Jericho was altogether different.
This time, God was asking for verbal participation, not just from key leaders, but from thousands of ordinary people. As part of God’s strategy, the men of war were to march around the city wall once each day in complete silence. Even though trumpets sounded, it would have been a surreal experience to march in a silent parade with so many! Additionally, the men of war were commanded to shout at a precise moment. When they did, the walls around the city fell outward and provided a staircase of rubble for Israel to walk up and invade.
This was one of the first moments in recorded history where God demonstrated His supernatural power while asking to be accompanied by the voices of His own people.
In Hebrews 11, the Lord commended the people’s faith while marching around Jericho. Indeed courageous faith was shown as God’s people eagerly and fully obeyed the peculiar commands of God. But perhaps there is another lesson for us as well.
There are times when God’s supernatural power becomes clearly evident when we obey God’s word with our own verbal declarations. For example, in Romans 10, we are told that salvation is given to those who “call upon the name of the Lord.” To be clear, people are not saved by the words they speak. People are saved by grace through faith. Yet somehow, God’s saving power coincides with our verbal declarations of faith. The Apostle Paul describes it this way, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Another example is found in the book of James. “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed” (James 5:16a). Of course, God ultimately is the one who offers forgiveness. However, a public confession to another Christian is often the way that we experience the miraculous gift of freedom from the bondage to sin.
This week, consider how vocal you are about your faith. When is the last time that you shared your love for Jesus with another? When did you last publically confess an ongoing struggle with sin? God mysteriously works to lead people to freedom as we make our allegiance to Jesus known through public declarations of faith.
Lord, help us to trust that You will work powerfully as we verbally confess our allegiance to You. Through Jesus, Amen!