Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Hebrews 11:30 -- Jericho

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.  Hebrews 11:30

Joshua had inherited the leadership of the Children of Israel after the death of Moses. One of his first challenges was to conquer the city of Jericho which had a large protective wall around it. Joshua was told how to break the wall down: The Israelite army, along with its priests, were to walk around the wall for seven days.  On the seventh day they were to walk around the walk seven times. Only the trumpets of the priests would be sounded during the seven days and only on the seventh day were the Israelies allowed to give a war cry or to make any human sound.

The inhabitants of Jericho were already full of terror. What must it have been like for them to stand within their barred city gates awaiting certain doom? But what would it have been like for the warriors in Joshua's army? Perhaps they wished to speed up the taking of Jericho? How difficult was it for them to remain silent during the seven days?

Six days of dutiful treading around the city turned into a seventh day in which the momentum increased. Faith often requires momentum, more action as the days of prayerful waiting advances. Faith added to faith, fasting added to faith, silence added to faith. Then at last, the release comes with a war cry.  

This is another undertaking which requires communal faith.The science behind the fall of Jericho's walls is unclear -- the steady tramping of human feet and the sound of trumpets might have had some effect on the ground and the walls. But it was the faith of Israel's army and the perfect adherence to God's commands that caused the walls to fall.  Later in the book of Joshua, the story is related of Achan's sin: Achan is the only one in the whole Israelite camp who sinned, yet the entire nation suffered. It is also written in the Bible that a little yeast permeates the entire lump of dough. The Church of God is affected by the sins and blessings of every individual believer. How glorious and triumphant would the church be if unity reigned in the church. However, at this time in history, one part of the American Church values the rainbow flag and another part of the American Church values the Confederate flag.

12Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ." 13Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I Corinthians 1:13

(We) have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-- 11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. 12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:11

 is divided between  

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