As we conclude our time looking at the Biblical character Joshua, we focus on the obedience displayed by Joshua and the Israelities during three occasions: The crossing of the Jordan River, the circumcision at Gilgal, and the content of Joshua’s farewell address.
Rather than rush across the Jordan,Joshua and the Israelites must spiritually prepare and then send the Ark ahead first. Rather than rush into battle at Jericho, he must circumcise his army, temporarily incapacitating them. These actions appear illogical, yet require trust in the Lord.
It seems counterintuitive to love your enemies, to submit to an unloving spouse, or to serve a tough employer. However, as God’s people, we are called to trust in Him and lean not on our own understanding. In this struggle against the flesh, we’ll never know the reality of God’s power in our lives, in our service for Him, until we know what it is to die to ourselves, our own strength, and our own wisdom, and to rely on His strength, on His power, on His wisdom. The book of Joshua is a remarkable text. It’s a message of trust in God and a call for our obedience, regardless of human logic. Joshua’s farewell address is a charge to obey the Lord wholeheartedly, something we often fall short of.
God sometimes needs to humble us in order for us to see our inadequacy and helplessness apart from Him. He brings us to the place where we come to see that in and of ourselves, we are nothing apart from his power, apart from his grace, apart from his enablement. So that in the end, when he works mightily on our behalf, when he comes through for us, there is no room for human boasting. Let us boldly proclaim, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”