Week of Pentecost 4 – Wednesday Devotion

Readings:  Joshua 6:6-27 and Acts 10:18-33

Joshua 6:2-6; 22-23 And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 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. 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, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”

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.”… But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel.

 

“Nonsense To Us, Perfect Sense to God”

What nonsense! There are two things in this account from Joshua that just do not make sense to us as humans. 

Walk around a city to defeat it? Impossible, we might think. But as Jesus would later tell us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) And so it would happen. 

But there is another thing that does not make sense. God would spare only a prostitute and her family from the downfall of Jericho. Instead of finding these words a negative, we should look at them as a positive!

Has someone ever told you that they were too bad to be forgiven?  “You don’t know the things I have done”, they might say. And, truth be told, you don’t need to know. But God knows what they have done. God knows the secrets of our hearts. He knows the words we will speak before they are on our tongue. We cannot hide anything from God. 

Since God forgave this prostitute, who sheltered the Israelite spies, will He not also forgive anyone who is willing to repent? God was even willing, as His Son hung on the cross, to forgive a thief who asked for forgiveness! Paul, the great New Testament missionary said he was least deserving of God’s forgiveness. He had sought the arrest and death of those following this new faith. God not only forgave Him but He became a major player in spreading the Good News of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.

It might seem foolish to us. With God, what He calls us to do makes perfect sense. So, let’s get ready to march. We follow those who lead according to the Word and guidance of God. Here may be the hard part – we need to be quiet until He tells us to speak. Then. let out the shout. Let our community and our nation hear the Word of God and the name of God.  Let people see the power of God. It caused a wall to fall. It saved a prostitute, a thief, a murderer, you and me. Thank God for that!

 

PRAYER:  Gracious Father, too often what You send us to do makes no sense to us. May we not rely on our own human wisdom or the guiding of our sinful nature but instead, turn our eyes to You. Let our eyes be fixed upon the cross and the empty tomb which remind us that not one of our sins is too great to receive the forgiveness that Jesus’ death won for us. Let us remember to speak, when given the opportunity, of the life that awaits us forever in Your heavenly Kingdom. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.