Study from God’s Word… Josh 6: 1 – 27; Josh 7: 1 – 26; Josh 8: 1 – 35; … Passage for Reflection: Joshua 6: 4 … NIV 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets.
My Journal for Today: Study of these passages today, concerning Joshua’s victory at Jericho reveals a couple of interesting biblical conundrums. You know, until my devotional teacher, Dr. Smith, pointed it out today, in the marching of God’s army around Jericho, God actually orders the people to break one of the Ten Commandments. At least one of those days, when the Israelites were marching around Jericho had to be The Sabbath; and it was forbidden for God’s people to march or work on the sacred “seventh day,” God’s day, … His day, the Sabbath. And then there was the conundrum of Rehab, the prostitute, being rewarded for telling a lie as she helped the two Hebrew spies there in Jericho.
So, what’s up with these seeming inconsistencies of truth? Obviously both of these are breeches in the strict observance of God’s law; but these actions/decisions were blessed by God. And they are not the only ones in Scripture. You may have questioned in your past Bible studies why God blessed David and his men eating consecrated bread as common bread, … bread which had been consecrated as Holy bread in 1st Samuel 21. And this incident is also mentioned in Matthew 12 as Jesus seems to breech God’s law on the Sabbath by gathering food and then, by healing (i.e., which was seen as work) on this “seventh day.” So, are these instances which show that man can violate God’s commands with impunity? Hardly!
No, what this shows us is that God is in control of God’s Law; and God can – and will – be God, doing what He desires and demonstrating HIS priorities whenever and wherever He decides to do so. God’s Laws are God’s, not man’s … to be breeched whenever such an action seems to fit into man’s feelings or priorities. We must always remember that God is God; and we are not! God can – and may – exercise His merciful override of even His own Laws if He so desires. That is why we must know and believe in the truth of Isaiah 55: 8-9 in the OT and Romans 8: 28 in the NT [I hope you know these passages].
There are going to be times when our understanding and observance of God’s commands/laws becomes challenged in our minds and lives. That’s why, at times, there seems to be conflict in strict observance, and legalistic interpretation, of God’s word when certain circumstances present themselves. Have you ever told a “white lie,” maybe to protect the secret of a surprise birthday party where you’re trying to give your spouse a lovely and memorable time; but you have to fib to make it happen. What about how we protect the image of Santa Claus for our kids? Are those unGodly decisions? … No, I think there are going to be times, as with Rehab, when we make decisions which seem to go against God’s stated law, but the actions represent a higher, and more Godly, decision/action.
Hence, at times there may seem to be a conflict between grace and truth; and, of course, we are always challenged to pursue truth; but then again, we are also, as disciples of Christ, to be exercising God’s grace whenever and wherever we can. And it can be tough, can’t it? But we move forward in these pursuits, knowing that God is still in control; and His will is our pursuit in all such circumstances.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, when making decisions is perplexing, shine Your light on my path that I might take actions, … always for Your glory. Amen