Daily Devotion for April 3, 2017
'Smart Like Joshua'
Joshua 5:13-6:5 NAS
Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”
The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. 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. 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.”
J. Vernon McGee's commentary made me laugh the other day. He said that if you had “met Joshua about the fifth day (the Israelites) were marching around the city of Jericho, you might have said to him, 'It doesn't look like you are getting very far. Why are you doing such a foolish thing? You are a general with a whole lot of intelligence, but you are not using your intelligence!'" (Through the Bible Commentary Series: Hebrews Chapters 8-13)
But Joshua WAS using his intelligence! Matter of fact, he was the smartest man around! He was smart because right from the beginning he rightly responded by falling “on His face” when he encountered the “captain of the host of the Lord!” Moreover, he was smart because he sought to know the Captain's will and words (“What has my Lord to say?”). Furthermore, when he was given instructions by the Captain (“Remove your sandals”), Joshua proved he was a smart because he willingly and eagerly “did so!” Joshua's intelligent, right responses to the Captain are such great examples for us Believers, folks: we need to encounter the Captain and fall on our face! We need to be seeking what our “Lord” has “to say!” Moreover, when our Captain gives instructions, we need to willingly “DO SO!”
Lord Jesus, make us smart, like Joshua! That is, help us set aside time each day to bow down (like he did!) before the One in control! Moreover, cause us to crave hearing what You have “to say,” so we daily spend time listening to and meditating on Your Word. Finally, we ask that You make us increasingly smart so we obey and joyfully “DO” Your instructions, Captain! We ask these things because 1) We are not “headquarters”—headquarters are in heaven! 2) We are not in control—You ARE! 3) We do NOT have all the answers—but we know the One with the winning strategy! May our humble temper of mind show us fit for the posts you have put us in, Lord: “for those know best how to command...know how to obey” (Matthew Henry). We come before You like Joshua, knowingYou LOVE to do great things “by small and contemptible means, that Your own arm may be made bare!” (Matthew Henry)
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