Monday, September 10, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 38:10-20, Joshua 6:1-21, and Hebrews 11:29-12:2
Why did Jericho’s walls fall down? Was it because the marching caused vibrations at a certain frequency, which in turn caused the walls to crack and crumble? Or was it simpler? Why did God tell the Israelites to march around the city for a week, and then seven times on the seventh day? What good would that do?
God wanted the Israelites to show their obedience to his commands. He could have simply squashed the walls on the first day. He could have commanded them to build a battering ram and breach the wall themselves. But God had a certain way he wanted to accomplish this, and part of it involved the Israelites’ obedience.
The writer of Hebrews credits the Israelites’ victory at Jericho to faith. So then, what is faith? Faith isn’t simply a synonym for strong belief. Faith is more than that. Faith is listening to God and then being obedient. The Israelites listened to God, and then did what God wanted. As a result, God destroyed the walls.
But the battle wasn’t over yet. The Israelites still had to be obedient to the next part of the plan, which was to go into the city and kill the inhabitants and their livestock and then destroy everything they found. We wrinkle our noses at all the killing, but God had a reason for telling them to do it that way.
God tells us to do things that seem senseless. But when we respond in obedience, he does something great. How has God blessed your faith? Pray about this. Ask God to help you be obedient to his will. Write your own prayer.