Years ago, I started writing material for a one-week summer ministry I’m involved in in Wikwemikong, on Manitoulin Island. I began writing, starting with . . . Genesis
Each year following, I continued to journey through the Old Testament, building a foundation for the Gospel. One day of the week, I would jump to a New Testament story. That story would point to the fact that the Old Testament looked forward to Jesus and our need for forgiveness for our sin that could only come through Jesus.
At the time there were several other ministry teams that used the material I was writing. I learned of several teams that wanted material from the New Testament . . . The New Testament stories dealt more directly with Jesus . . . And that’s what everyone really needs to hear about today.
As I thought through what was being said, I stumbled onto something I had never considered. When Adam and Eve chose to sin, their immediate need was for a Savior . . . Yet they never saw that Savior. All of the Old Testament people desperately needed a Savior, but “The Law” was what God provided them with. Worse than that, there were 400 years of apparent silence, a time when God chose not to speak directly with His creation. And then . . . at just the right time . . . Jesus!
Why did God wait so long to send Jesus? Jesus is what the people needed . . . And those people weren’t just listen to pre-Jesus stories as Bible Stories . . . They were living them.
Throughout the Bible’s pages, God shouts, “Trust Me”. The act of faith is demonstrated over time in things that sometimes don’t make sense to me. But if they don’t make sense to me, that’s ok. What better way is there to demonstrate my faith than to wait and trust that God will work? There is a reason that God didn’t begin the New Testament the minute after Adam chose to rebel. I must trust Him.
I think the event of Joshua 6 is a great illustration of faith. It reveals a pretty odd battle plan . . . a plan that had “the men of war, marching around the walls of the city of their enemy without raising a weapon . . . not for one night, but for seven. I’m sure that God’s plan had the ‘men of war” engaged in some pretty lively discussions in their tents at night. Marching around the walls of Jericho . . . Wow . . . Each night, I imagine more and more of the people must have joined a chorus of, “Again? Another night? Why is this taking so long?” God’s plan for them was . . . Wait . . . Just wait. The obedience to the plan revealed their faith in Him. The battle plan didn’t make sense, instead the plan revealed God’s power and the need to trust His plan.
God put the Old Testament into my hands to reveal His heart . . . my need . . . and His power to meet my need. It’s interesting that when Jesus finally came, as written in the beginning of the New Testament, the people of that time were to lay down their old ways . . . to trust in Jesus alone to fight and win their battle over sin . . . and that’s what He asks of me.
Help me Lord to be patient and trust You, even when Your plan doesn’t make sense . . . Your people were left in awe when they listened to Your plan, and the walls of Jericho fell. You, Lord, fought and won the battle as the “men of war” marched in obedience. Like that, all of creation was left in awe, when the Savior was finally revealed to fight and win the battle over sin . . . Time was not an issue for You . . . My obedience to Your plan ensures victory over sin. Help me to keep marching in faith.
Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 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.
5 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,[a] and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” 6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” (biblegateway.com, ESV)
More than just a believer in God, I need to be a follower of Jesus!