Discover His heart: He provides the strategies we need for victory in our lives
Whether in football, business or war, there is a strategy that has been around since the beginning of time when facing the opposition: Find the weakest point in the line of defense, the most vulnerable point, and make your attack. In past wars, armies sent out reconnaissance teams, soldiers who were trained to find the weakest point in the enemy’s defense, but with today’s high tech armies, many other forms of surveillance such as predator drones are used first before the soldier is put into harm’s way. In our reading today, however, surveillance had been done, the strategy was given and Joshua was ready to take Jericho.
@ Joshua 6
“Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. But the Lord said to Joshua, ‘I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.’” (1-5) Unique as it was, the strategy was given by God, and it couldn’t fail.
Jericho was one of the oldest and most fortified cities on the planet at that time. Its walls at some points were 25 feet high, that’s two and a half stories tall, they were 20 feet thick, and were considered invincible. Were those walls really the most vulnerable point in Jericho’s line of defense? No, probably not. Jericho’s weakest point in its defense was its pagan heart, and God was not on the side of its inhabitants. So its walls, no matter how thick and high were vulnerable to God’s strategy in taking the city. Joshua was righteous enough to trust it, and those walls came down!
God knows our enemy’s weakest point. When Jesus was confronted by Satan, He soundly defeated him by quoting the scripture. (Matthew 4) Even though he has been known to quote it himself, our enemy can’t stand against God’s Word when it comes from a blood-bought Christian. And when we declare to others our testimony of what Jesus has done in our lives, we run right over him. (Revelation 12:11) What a great strategy!
@ Joshua 7
On the other hand, in their next battle at Ai, the Israelites’ true enemy, Satan, discovered where they were the most vulnerable, the weakest point in their line of defense. God had forbidden the Israelites to take certain items from the spoils of Jericho, but one man had his own agenda, “But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord. A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the Lord was very angry with the Israelites.” (1) Not good. Israel was soundly defeated at Ai.
When God revealed Achan’s sin, Joshua confronted him and Achan came clean, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them.”(20-21) Just as the enemy had captured Eve’s heart, he defeated Israel with what Achan saw with his eye and desired with his heart.
We can be sure that the enemy has been doing surveillance and knows our weakest points of entry; but we, too, have been given a strategy by God to defeat his attacks, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (James 4:7) Had Achan run to God in this attack and resisted the enemy’s temptation, the battle at Ai would have had a different outcome. The James 4 strategy will work every time in our lives, and we can trust it!
Moving Forward: I’m so thankful today for the strategies God has given to protect me from the enemy’s attack and beat him at his own game through the power of God’s Word.
Tomorrow @ Psalm 3-5