B) Our Discovery of God’s Solution
– A Life Commentary –
Success has everything to do with accomplishing God’s will.
For only by seeking and doing His will can we discover and fulfill our life’s purpose. And only by doing His will can we bring glory to His Name and blessing to our lives.
"And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. “And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. “And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”” (Joshua 6:2-5)
God’s solutions are usually different than the ones we think of. I should say always different. Jericho truly illustrates this point. No man would come up with such a solution. But just because it is not the answer that we would come up with, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be. Starting in verse 2 we find God giving to Joshua the solution to their prime problem.
We will look at three aspects of God’s solution. God's leadership, promises and plans.
1) God’s Leadership (6:2a) “The Lord said to Joshua.”
(a) God wants to take leadership.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that God wants to take over! God did not tell them to go and figure it out themselves. God loves to take part in our lives. This is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. But from the Garden of Eden onward into our present secular societies, man has isolated God from his decisions. We are content to think that religion is the polite way to keep God contained out of our lives.
Think about our ecological messes. Who knows best about cleaning them up? We should go back to the Designer to ask Him. But instead most environmental groups violently reject God’s input. It is rather silly. God wants to help us right our messes. He is not too busy. He specializes in taking time with us and helping us through our problems. But in our convenient secular approaches, we waste billions of dollars and much manpower.
God wants to lead us through these personal and more broad mission development projects because this is where He shows His might and power. His solutions are totally God-oriented so that we can put our faith and praise in Him rather than ourselves. “Be Thou exalted, O LORD, in Thy strength; We will sing and praise Thy power” (Psalms 21:13).
b) God works through your authorities (6:6)
Our generation often misses God’s solutions simply because it ignores a fundamental principle of the way God works. God often uses those in authority to direct us. People now-a-days think that they know what is best. We should note that God spoke through a leader, Joshua. He didn’t have to but He did. The people would have missed out on what God wanted if they ignored what Joshua said to them. We will miss out what God is saying if we neglect what those in authority over our lives say to us. This is true with our parents even if they are not Christians. It is true with church leaders and government leaders as well as how wives need to submit to their husbands. We might not like the laws and rules, but where they do not directly conflict with what God has told us to do we should submit to our authorities.
Many of us think far too much of our own thoughts. We hear the world saying that we as individuals know best. But this goes against what God says. That is the modern world’s religion of humanism. It has made believers largely through the educational system. To reject the authorities in your life is to reject God’s leadership and to keep you from solutions.
Let me give you a simple illustration. I remember in Junior and Senior high school how my mother regularly told me to enunciate. I did not speak clearly. My voice was low and my words slurred at times. I did not like it when she did this and wrongly resisted correction. But if I respected my mother, I would have learned much earlier on how God wanted to train me. He spoke to me through her. Who would have thought that in the future I would speak in public?
Application: Is there one thing that you are looking for help on or direction in but do not listen to those to whom God has appointed your parents or others in authority? Repent from your pride and seek God’s wisdom and timing through the ones He has chosen to speak.
(By the way, God spoke to Joshua not the Israelites here. A leader always needs to be more brave. God would give him a solution, but it would sound ludicrous to tell the Israelites to follow. Leaders always have it more difficult. Pray for them to be faithful. Temptations to doubt God’s ways regularly surround them.)
2) God’s Promises–seeds of success (6:2)
God’s promises are fabulous. Once you open your Bible to look for God’s promises, you will find them all over the place. Some of us refuse to meditate on God’s Word. By refusing to seek God and His will through His Word, we are basically depending on our own ability to understand and cope with things. If you do not prize God’s Word, you will depend upon man’s word. But only God’s Word has promises that He keeps. This is the reason God told Joshua that success depended upon how much he would meditate upon God’s Word. Let me ask you, “Have you thought more on God’s Word since you first heard that truth in chapter 1?” You might have done it for a day or even a week, but unless you allow God’s Word to really change your life, you will default back to the world.
Think a moment on how important Joshua 6:2 is. “And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.” God does not only tell Joshua that he should be brave and courageous by facing up to the foe, but when he seriously takes a step forward and crosses the Jordan, God reveals whatever more information that he might need to know. The Lord comforts and motivates him by these powerful words. What is so powerful about them? Let’s look.
a) Personal. Yahweh God spoke to Joshua. This was not some feeling but personal words that brought confidence and faith. These words commanded to the people would then stimulate confidence and faith in them.
b) Relevant. God addresses Joshua on the very issue he was struggling with. In this case he was considering how he could take Jericho. Any general would carefully calculate what was the best way to overcome the city with losing the least men possible. God was there where Joshua needed Him. He always is, but we often don’t anticipate or welcome His input.
c) Confident. “See, I have given … into your hand.” There was no doubt in God’s Words. The battle is settled even before the battle began. There is a great difference in fighting in confidence or fighting with doubt. The strength of battle comes with the surety of victory. The Lord will deal with over-confidence or rightly stated ‘false confidence’ in the Battle of Ai. They were confident. Confidence breeds endurance. Doubt causes people to give up.
d) Specific. The Lord tells how both Jericho as a city along with its king and valiant warriors will be conquered. These are the three main threats. Jericho had its great walls. Its king was the commander that would persist in protecting the city and send out assaults on the unprotected Israelites. The army was what could cause many fatalities among the Israelite army. The Lord knew the threats and each of them would be handled in God’s way.
3) God’s Plan (6:3-5)
Negatively: We do not have all the solutions.
Positively: God has the solutions.
Be aware! God’s solutions are different than ours.
Remember it is typical that we do not have all the solutions. The world is more complex than we think it is. Many of us have not even taken the evil one into consideration of our plans. We need God’s plan to accomplish God’s will for our lives. In Joshua 6:3-5 we find that directions are given in two parts. There is the directions for the first six days and then the specialized directions for the seventh day, the day of triumph. They were to quietly march around Jericho once each day in a certain order with the Ark of God which stood for God’s presence. Upon the seventh day the trumpets would be blown, the walls would fall in its place and the Israelite army would rush in and storm the city.
We might not like God’s plans. We might think that they are crazy. But we should not say that He is quiet, unconcerned or unable. This is exactly opposite of what He wants. We might be disobedient and foolishly try other things, but we should not blame God for our failures. The world shouts that the wife ought to have equal decision-making power as the husband. The world shouts that children should be able to do what they want. Both of these are in direct conflict to God’s solution. We just have not given God’s Word a chance.
Let’s look at another example. God says that love is more powerful than revenge. So instead of keeping a grudge, we inwardly forgive one another of any offenses. We love them. We choose to use God’s solution to control our lives.
God is not silent in this world. In fact, there is no problem that is too tough for Him. He specializes in the impossible. God is looking for those who have faith to seek and obey Him. This is what sets Abraham apart from others. In Romans 18:18, it says that Abraham “in hope against hope believed.” He obeyed because he believed. As a result a most difficult trial was solved for him.
God has solutions. In many cases He has already spoken out and is now waiting for us to take one step forward. Most the time He will just point us to what He has already said. At other times He will reveal what we need to know or miraculously work out the solution. Sometimes He will do both like in Jericho’s case. When our confidence is in God, there are no such things as ‘impossible.’ Jesus said it like this, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it shall happen” (Matthew 21:21).
God’s Word brings faith. The evil one will want to snatch God’s Word from you. Don’t let Him. Plan on quick obedience and temptations will flee.
Application: Are you facing some problems on your own? If so, repent. By insisting on your own way, you reject God. You refuse to give Him the glory that He alone deserves. Instead, get excited about God’s way. Let Him lead you to victory. Don’t hold back! Let God’s plan direct your path, and you will see God arise and lead you to victory. You might say that God has not spoken, but first check what God has already told you, verify with an older and more mature Christian. Ask those in authority over you. This will get you listening. “And I say to you, ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. (Luke 11:9).
=> Next C) Our Participation in God’s Victory (Joshua 6:6-21)