The story of Jericho is my story. God gave exact directions and the Israelites followed those directions exactly. And things worked out just as God said they would. But in my case… I never get past the 3rd day!
In the early parts of the book of Joshua, God gave explicit directions: 7 days, 7 passes around the city. The first 6 days, one pass each day. On the 7th day there would be 7 passes around the city and then a shout. Every pass was to be silent, then a shout. Then the victory.
Looking at some of the other stories in the old testament, God could have had an instant victory. Look at Gideon in Judges 7, God made the enemy think there was a vast army with Gideon and they fled in terror. Or how about when the 4 leprous men decided to try to let the enemy save them from starvation and found the camp deserted in 2 Kings 7. The 4 were credited with saving the city.
So, could God have just knocked the walls down and let the Israelites win? Of course He could have. But He needed their cooperation to prove they were ready for what was coming next. God could have won Gideon’s battle with just Gideon, but He needed witnesses. And I said in a previous blog that I thought one of the lepers was Gehazi.
Now, put yourself in the Israelite shoes. Walk around the city daily in silence. Then, on the 7th day, walk around 7 times in silence. Then finally a shout. The Bible doesn’t say what the Israelites thought of God’s plan. It doesn’t mention any grumbling taking place around the campfires in the evenings. Nor does the Bible mention what the people of Jericho thought about all of this circling going on outside the city walls I’m sure after about the 3rd day, there was a lot of curiosity inside the walls.
But with the shout came the victory! With obedience came the victory!
Now, how does that relate to me? God has given me some pretty specific marching orders. The one specific area that most relates to Jericho is my eating habits. God has made it clear to me that I am to be a high-raw-plant-based-whole-food-eater. That means high raw vegan. Day one is usually ok. Day 2 starts to get a little hard and I start grumbling in the evening. By day 3, I am ready to cave. I crave meat, hot food, diet coke, chocolate, etc. I can’t stay silent on the 3rd day of circling. Then I blow it and a few weeks later, I try again only to have the same thing happen. I wonder what would have happened to the Israelites if they had only made it through 3 days? Would God have gone ahead and given them the victory? I doubt it.
So, what is my plan? I am going to start again. I am going to read and reread the story of Jericho every day. I am going to make it past day 3. Then past day 4. Then day 5 and 6. Finally when I get to day 7, there will be a victory! God won’t leave me by the wayside. He will be walking with me through each step. He will lead me to victory.