Fortified Behaviors & Mindsets

Message:  Joshua 6 is one of the most famous bible stories known to all. Because we have all heard it and understand the basic details it’s easy to gloss through the story and remember the details and things taught by other people. I try to read stories like this with fresh eyes because we are so influenced by what we have already heard. As I read this I tried to imagine the hundreds of thousands of warriors that were told to circle around the city without saying a word. In my mind the silence would seem pretty eerie. I thought about the people in the city. Verse one says that Jericho was “fortified” and locked up tight. Nobody was allowed to enter or exit the city and they had a giant wall going around it so there were likely watchmen on the walls. Rahab had told the Israelite spies that the city was in terror of them because of the way they had seen God move and work on their behalf. They knew about the parting of the Red Sea and the destruction of other cities. I imagined what kind of fear came over them when the Israelite army began circling their city in complete silence, and what kind of fearful speculation they experienced when they left and went back to their camp for the night. The circling reminded me of a shark circling it’s prey and I imagined how they felt when it stopped. They were probably relieved a bit but fearful of what was to come next. This continued for six days and by day 4 or 5 I wonder if they started to get used to this pattern of circling. We usually see ourselves on God’s side of the battle waiting to take over, but what if the fortified city also represents the condition of my heart when God begins to circle an area of my life that needs to change. We all know that dread when we know it’s coming, but we hang onto our defenses a little while longer. We hear God’s voice and it seems to confirm itself over and over to the point we almost numb to it until one day it falls and God destroys it. The last thing that really stood out to me was verse 26 when Joshua spoke a curse that any man who attempts to rebuild this city would be cursed by God. He will lay the foundation at the cost of his firstborn and we will hang the gates at the cost of his youngest. This is a sobering thought! My challenge to myself is to two things. The first is to identify something that I am hanging onto. It might not be a bad thing but it might be an idea or mindset that God needs to destroy so he can fulfill a promise. The second thing is that I would think of this curse if there is anything God has chosen to destroy in my life and I attempt to rebuild it.

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