It’s never hopeless and you’re never helpless if Immanuel has invaded your life with his glory and grace.
It is a remarkable story, recorded for our insight, remembrance, and encouragement. It’s a window on what every believer needs and has been given by God’s grace:
Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” (Josh. 6:1–7)
The children of Israel had entered the Promised Land, but lest they forget who they were and what they had been given, God put a trial in front of them that would powerfully demonstrate his glory and grace, which he was willing to exercise for their salvation. There was no way that this ragtag group of pilgrims would ever be able to defeat the fortified city of Jericho, but that was precisely the point. So God asked them to march around the city one time a day for six days, and then, on the seventh day, to parade around it seven times. Now, from a human perspective, what God was proposing was military suicide. God was teaching Israel that they must no longer look at life from the vantage point of human wisdom and strength because they were now the children of the Lord almighty. Their world of weakness and limits had been invaded by One of awesome grace and glory. As they walked around Jericho, God was confronting Israel with their inability, vulnerability, and dependency, and comforting them with the reality that he would be with them wherever they went and whatever they faced. They would face no enemies on their own. They would carry no needs by themselves. They would not have to bear the burden or carry their destiny in their own hands. Grace and glory had come to them in the presence of the Lord, and in the power of the Lord the walls would come down.
If you’re God’s child, you too must remember who you are and what you’ve been given. It is never you against the world, because your life has been invaded by the grace and glory of Immanuel. Say no to fear and live with the hope and courage that come only when you remember that the Lord is near.
For further study and encouragement: Hebrews 13:1–6
Taken from New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul Tripp, © 2014, pp. 132-162. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.