Thursday, July 10, 2014

Build your Walls with Water - not Rock

I prayed for someone the other day.

For my story, it doesn’t matter who it was or what the issue was. But I prayed that their walls would come down – that God would continue to chip away at them until He brought them crumbling down around my loved one.

Guess what Bible story came into my mind as the words came out of my mouth…

Yep, Jericho and her infamous crumbling walls.

And then I remembered a study I did once upon a time based on a question a friend asked me…

Why did the walls fall in Jericho? Why did God use that method to conquer Jericho?

When I studied out the answer, I loved what I found. But then I forgot about it until God brought it back to mind the other day. I think He must have saved it for now.

The first use of the word wall (Hebrew: chowmah) is when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. God built walls of water on either side of the people as they crossed through on dry ground (Exodus 14:22). Many people today – even non-religious types – have heard the story of this famous miracle.

It was the same way in Joshua’s day. Forty years had passed by the time Joshua and the Israelites were ready to conquer the city but the people of Jericho knew the story of what had happened with the walls of water. Rahab – a prostitute enlisted by two Israelite spies to help them – told the two spies that fear fell (Hebrew: naphal) on the people of Jericho when they heard of the walls of water (Joshua 2:9-11). They encountered the power of God through this miracle yet they let terror rule rather than humble themselves before God. They trusted in their rock walls (Hebrew: chowmah).

Fast forward to after the scouting mission but before the conquest.

Joshua also encountered the power of God when pre-incarnate Jesus appeared before him. Jesus came as “commander of the Lord’s army” with exact instructions on how to conquer the city of Jericho. Joshua's response was to fall (Hebrew: naphal) prostrate before the Lord. He humbled himself and asked God what He would have him to do (Joshua 5:13-6:5).

You probably know how the story of Jericho ends. It’s almost as popular as the parting of the Red Sea. In case you don’t though, the Israelites march around the city of Jericho for seven days. At the end of their march, they blew their shofars (trumpets) and the people shouted. God brought the walls crumbling down.

What God can do

God’s power isn’t confined to what we think is normal. He can do what He wants to do. He can build a wall out of water; He can make a wall of rock crumble into pieces. The real question is what we are going to do about it.

What we do

When the people of Jericho encountered the power of God, debilitating fear and terror fell on them. They panicked.

When Joshua encountered the power of God, he fell humbly before Him. He offered himself in service to do whatever God asked him to do. He conquered.

When you encounter God, are you going to put your trust in the works you have done – in the walls you have built? Or, are you going to humble yourself before Almighty God and trust Him? Are you going to panic or conquer? 

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