Michael opened his window to let the morning autumn breeze freshen his stale room. He inhaled. The smell of fallen leaves calmed him and he relaxed his shoulders. It had been a whirlwind of a week. He looked forward to a weekend of doing nothing. Movement from his neighbor’s yard interrupted his thoughts. Jonathan knelt on his deck, head bowed. A timer sat beside him.
It was the seventh day in a row Michael had seen Jonathan do the same thing. Always exactly seven minutes. The timer dinged and Jonathan went back in his house.
Michael shrugged and sat in front of his computer. Time to catch up with his friends on Facebook. He hadn’t been able to connect all week and was anxious to find out what’s been happening in cyber land.
An hour later a door slammed outside. Michael peered out his window. Jonathan was in the same position, timer at his side.
He’s one strange duck.
Michael went back to relaxing but was interrupted five more times by Jonathan’s timer.
That’s seven times. Why today?
A baritone voice drifted into Michael’s room like tumbleweed down the streets of a deserted town. His gentle but firm words rolled off his tongue.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound—
Unable to curb his curiosity, Michael marched down his steps and out the back door. He popped his head up over the fence.
“Hey neighbor, what’s going on? Why have you been out on your knees seven days in a row and seven times today? Inquiring minds want to know.”
Jonathan smiled and stood. “I’m praying for my estranged brother. That he would lower the walls around his heart so we could have a relationship again. He hasn’t had anything to do with me in years.”
“But why 7 days, 7 times?”
“God told me to.”
Michael leaned on the fence. “Do you really think—”
Jonathan’s wife stepped out on the deck and handed her husband the phone. Tears streamed down her face. “It’s your brother calling.”
Michael’s jaw dropped. Maybe God did work in mysterious ways.
Do you remember Joshua and the walls of Jericho? I loved this story as a little girl and still do. Can you imagine not only having to march around a fortress but without talking? I don’t know about you, but my tongue wouldn’t be able to keep silent! Why are we doing this? Why can’t talk? Why seven times? Why? Why? Why? It’s hard to remain silent when you have so many questions. What can we learn from Joshua and his marching army? Lots.
Joshua listened. Once again one of God’s children listened to what He had to say. Do you see a pattern here? The Bible is full of accounts where God asked someone to do an impossible task. Did they question it? No. Are we listening to His still small voice?
Joshua acted. God gave Joshua a plan of action. March around the city in silence for six days. Then on the seventh day march around seven times, blow your trumpets, and shout. Joshua could have asked a ton of questions but he didn’t. Would you have? Why, Lord? Why march in silence? We may not understand why God is telling us to do a certain thing or why He’s allowing something in our lives, but we need to obey and remember He knows best. I know what you’re thinking…that’s hard to do. I agree but how will we grow in our faith if we don’t trust?
Joshua’s army showed devotion. Can you imagine being given this type of marching order (pun intended!)? I wonder if Joshua’s army thought he was crazy. Did they mumble under their breaths and to each other? I don’t think so. They trusted their leader knowing he wouldn’t lead them astray. They didn’t care what others would say. They obeyed anyway. I can picture the army standing on the top of the wall peering down at these soldiers. They might have yelled obscenities and cruel remarks. However, Joshua’s men ignored them and marched in silence. Wow…that’s what I call devotion. Are you having difficulties obeying a leader in your life? Think about this story and show your devotion.
They watched the walls tumble. Even if Joshua’s army questioned why, they must have marveled when the walls began to crumble and fall. I can hear them cheer. Can you? We may not have a literal wall around us that needs to be torn down, but what about walls we’ve built in relationships? Or a fortress around our hearts? Is there someone you need to let in today?
Can you imagine what God can do in our lives if we let Him tear the walls down? Relationships healed. Growth in our faith. We’d smile from ear-to-ear.
It may not happen like the Battle of Jericho. It may be just one brick at a time. That’s better than nothing.
Will we obey and tear our walls down? There’s unspeakable joy waiting for us!
Do you have a story to share where you tore your fortress down? If so, how did you do it? Post in the comments section so we can be encouraged. You never know when God will use you.
Joshua 6:2-5 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”
This picture is the Weeping Wall in Jerusalem. I imagine the walls of Jericho looked similar to this.
Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho
I’ve always loved this catchy tune. There were quite a few different versions, but I just had to use the one by Elvis. 🙂