Monday, August 17, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 8/17/09

The Fall of Jericho, Loggia di Raffaello

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.
2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 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. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in."
Joshua 6:1-5

It’s a remarkable thing, the power, the might and the majesty of the Lord. For Joshua, to even imagine that a great city, a powerful city, so guarded, so forted, that right in front of his eyes, it would be delivered right into his hands, he probably couldn’t have even imagined it. But then, by his own power and his own might, by his own strength, his own will, he didn’t have the power to do those things that were necessary. And if it were left to his own devices, the Promised Land, that land that was offered unto them by the Lord after the captivity of the children of Israel, it would have never come into their possession. For he was but one man, and his army, they were nothing more than a band of nomads, a band of former slaves who had wandered through the desert with no military training, with no real strength, no real might. They probably didn’t even have real weapons. Yet God delivered, God gave into their hands that mighty victory of that day. And He did so in the most remarkable of ways.

For who would have thought that just marching around a city wall, blowing on a trumpet, not even sending men in, not sending military devices or ramrods, just marching around a wall, step by step by step, blowing on the horn, blowing on the trumpet, would have seen the collapse of those mighty city walls. Who would have imagined that it was possible?

We see a lot of Jericho’s in front of us in our world today. A lot of powerful places that seem to stand in the way of finding peace, finding comfort, finding rest. Cities that are held by the enemy, places that are held by those who stand in the way of the will of the Lord. We see cities of Jericho held by pirates, by pirates who would take hostages, by sex-traders who would steal women and young girls from their homes, and there kill their innocence and naivite. We see Jericho’s in the cities of brutal regimes ruled by tyrants who would oppress their people, suppress them, persecute them , for no other reason than that they can. We see Jericho behind those walls, we see prisoners and hostages who have been taken and imprisoned, captives who have been ripped away from their homes, and we wonder, because it looks so powerful, it looks so mighty, it looks so strong. We wonder how we can tear down these walls, to get to these people, that once more we will find ourselves helping them on the road to the land of promise, to the land of hope, to the land of the Lord. That land where love, peace, comfort and kindness, where mercy dwells.

And it’s here that we come to realize that it’s not by our own strength, not by our own vigilance, not by our own devices that it shall come, that we shall gain victory, or that freedom shall be secured. But rather it is by the wisdom and the will, the love and the comfort of the Lord God Almighty, it is by His hand, it is by His power and His might that all good things come, and that liberty shall be secured for all people. He brings about this liberty, He brings about this freedom, this lasting sense of justice in the most peculiar of ways, in the strangest of ways that we can’t even begin to understand. And He does so for no other reason than that He loves His children, and that He cares for them, and He offers Himself unto them even when the world doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, even when things all around us seem to dissipate and to disappear and comfort seems so fleeting.

So like Joshua, like those children of the Lord of those days of yore, trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord God Almighty and in all of His might, and that through Him, by Him, according to His love and His power, according to His great and transcending power all things are possible. He is a God who has led His children from the hands of slavery and captivity, to the blessed air of freedom, throughout all ages and in all ages. He is the God who for the sake of us poor sinners, for the sake of our lives, sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, to set captivity captive, to rescue us, to ransom us from the power of sin, death and the Devil. And if He is the Lord God Almighty who is capable of all this, imagine what He is capable of in our lives, each and every step of the way, throughout all the days of our journey, throughout all the days of our lives.

Trust in His power, and that know that you shall never be failed or forsaken, you shall never be abandoned, you shall be given in love liberty and freedom according to the mercy and love of His promises.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

No comments: