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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Old Thoughts for the New Day, continued
Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days." (Joshua 6:2,3—NIV)
Moses is dead. Joshua has been anointed. Some of the ways of the churches we have been accustomed to are not anointed. We have noticed that when the sanctuary choirs sing in large churches (and I love music!) there is something lacking. It seems vestigial. More active worship is the order of the day. You can feel the anointing of the Lord when the banners and tambourines are active. Perhaps we are welcoming the coming of King Jesus!
Have you seen young people marching, carrying the great banners depicting the conquering Christ? It really gets to you in a way not true of choir anthems no matter how skillfully performed!
I imagine after the sixth time around the city the natives of Jericho were about ready to have nervous breakdowns. Rahab had told the spies the people were already frightened because stories of how God was helping Israel had been recounted by the caravans as they passed through. The citizens of Jericho knew about the Red Sea, and the destruction of Sihon and Og east of the Jordan. I don't think the sight of the hundreds of thousands of warriors, with the seven priests in the middle of the line of march blowing trumpets of rams' horns in front of the ark, did much to relieve their fears.
The Ten Commandments were in the Ark. The Law of God was entering a land filled with demons. A picture of the future was being drawn. God knows exactly what He is doing even though we may not understand everything at the time!
All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron to be found in Jericho were devoted to the Lord and were to be placed in His treasury. Joshua warned the soldiers carefully to keep away from these items, that to touch them would bring destruction on the individual and on the rest of the camp as well.
Achan disobeyed the clear injunction. He and his family were buried under a pile of stones as a result. Also, as Joshua had predicted, Israel lost the next battle.
For two thousand years the Christian churches have tried to fight the battles of the Lord. Their successes have been limited because there has been sin in the camp.
We can talk all we want to about grace, imputed righteousness, and the rest of the excuses for ungodly, self-centered behavior. But when there is sin in the camp our hands are weakened. If even one person in the assembly is disobeying the Lord the ability of the entire assembly to wage spiritual warfare is affected.
The Lord simply will not help us when we are unrighteous, unclean, or disobedient. We are entering a new era in the history of the Christian Church. Programs that may have worked in time past are no longer adequate. The spiritual darkness is increasing daily.
There is a new challenge to righteousness, to holiness, to obedience to God. Those who would march with Jesus today must put away all sin and disobedience and seek the Lord with a perfect heart. Nothing less is acceptable.
To be continued.