Tag Archives: Jericho


William Andrew Dillard

Like it or not, you can’t box with God! In the first place, your arm is too short! Beyond that, the differences are infinite. His thoughts transcend ours as much as the heavens are high above the earth. His presence is everywhere. He is infinitely bigger that you or I.
The student of the Bible can but stand in awe of His might, and His works. Truly, He often uses men to accomplish astounding feats of faith, but it is always, and obviously, in His power. Few, very few, are privileged to be trail blazers as was Moses of old. Living vicariously in the Bible, it is somewhat easier to identify with Joshua as a successor to someone who has gone before. One can only imagine what burden was in the heart and mind of that great man as he contemplated the looming battle of Jericho. He had led the army of Israel in battles during the 40 years of wilderness wondering, but he always had Moses to look to, and lean on. Now, the ball (sword) was squarely in his court. Jericho lay before Israel as the first battle of conquest of the Promised Land. This was big, really big, and it would be no surprise to learn that he could have been feeling mighty small for task.
Admirably, he sought solitude for contemplation and prayer as the enormity of his responsibility pressed heavily upon him. It was in that environment that something quite unexpected happened. There appeared before him a person with a drawn sword. In what must have been a defensive stance, Joshua questioned the character before him as to whether he was for Israel or an enemy from Jericho. The answer he received did not cause him to ready a sword, rather it brought gladness and huge relief. The stranger said, “Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.” Joshua 5:14-15.
As it was marvelous to Joshua, so it is to the people of God today. We are not alone! God gives us great and mighty things to accomplish, and we often wonder how we are going to get them done. The survey of strength, resources, and wit are too often turned inward on self. Perhaps it even causes one to wrestle (box) with God. Inability stands out like a sore thumb. In those moments, let it be remembered that only God can do the work of God. People are instruments in His hand, blessed to be used of Him, but it is God who clears the way, and Who empowers His Word. It is God Who works on human hearts, and it is God who gives the increase. If the increase is elusive or seems more insignificant that it should, it just may be that we have not yielded ourselves to the Captain of the Host of the LORD! His way is not our way, but it always accomplishes just what He wants done. He should be explicitly trusted in every endeavor, in confronting any obstacle. He is infinitely bigger than the subjects of His creation.

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Achan’s Temptations

Joshua 7:20, 21
“When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it,” Joshua 7:21.
As the children of Israel began to take the Promised Land, their first major conquest was the city of Jericho. God ordered Joshua to destroy the entire city, except for Rahab and her home and to devote all the gold, silver and vessels of bronze and iron to Him. Once God brought the walls of Jericho down, everything seemed to go according to God’s plan. Victory was enjoyed by all, and Joshua led the people to the next conquest—Ai. The conquest of Ai was not successful, however, and it was soon discovered that someone had been disobedient to God’s orders and had stolen what was rightfully God’s. That someone was Achan.
In the chaos of Jericho’s destruction, Achan stumbled upon an opportunity to make himself wealthy which he simply could not resist. What he stole was equivalent to a year’s wages, and it seemed nobody else knew about it. God knew, though, and the entire nation suffered because of one man giving in to temptation.
Do you find it difficult to resist temptations brought on by greed? The story of Achan is a great reminder that, when we give in to temptations, our families and communities will suffer as a result. The next time you are tempted to take something that is not yours, consider the ramifications that fostering a culture of stealing would create. Remember: “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).

Will you be content today?
Mark Clements


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