Be honest, how often have you considered the things you find in Scripture to be impractical for our modern world? Turning the other cheek, not resisting an evil person, going the extra mile, and so on, all seem like they would cause you to fail today. Who really thinks the meek will inherit the world? They certainly won’t conquer it, which is what we consider valuable.
But even those are possible to believe, they have the potential to be successful, and there is value in kindness even for atheists. But what about when God asks you to do the stupid? “I know how we can take down the huge walls of Jericho, lets walk around them for 7 days!” Really? How about that sort of faith, how likely are we to adopt that level of belief in our Savior?
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.Hebrews 11:30-31 NASB
Consider for a moment the absurdity of the siege of Jericho. It really wasn’t a siege at all. The sons of Israel only encircled the city during the day, as they walked around it once. After that, they simply watched it (Joshua 5:13). So, while the city was “tightly shut”, anyone could conceivably make an escape. I’m not sure that was the point, but it could have been.
Clearly, the sons of Israel had no concept of siege tactics currently in vogue at the time. No ramps, no ladders, no siege weapons, nothing expected. The Egyptians had used “siege towers”, and it’s very possible the people of Israel would have seen those depicted on the walls of the cities they built. But they still didn’t even try to make any.
Yet, by faith the walls of Jericho fell down. And when they did, one of the people who lived in the wall was saved. By faith, part of the wall fell down, except that portion where Rahab lived. And she lived in faith, believing that saving the spies was good for her and her family. And it was. She became an ancestor of David and Jesus, a testimony of faith, and made the role call by name. A prostitute in the genealogy of Jesus? Yes, because of her faith.
So, our Creator uses the faith of those we would never consider to achieve greatness. And He uses tactics we would never imagine. People and methods we would reject become His favorites. Think about that. In some sense that’s you and I. In another sense, it’s the people you and I discount every day, those living in parks, under bridges, in mansions, or even next door.
Will you and I have the faith to be obedient to the foolish commands of our Savior? Will we be willing to risk being unpopular to do His will? Rahab risked more than unpopularity, she risked her life, twice, if you think about it. Noah built an ark impossible to hide. Moses wandered in from the desert to confront the king of Egypt, and Joshua walked around a city quietly for seven days.
What is our Savior asking you to do? What does our Creator want from you? Who have you possibly marginalized, someone our Savior desires to use in your life? Are you open to that? Are you willing to be obedient when it seems silly? Will you listen to the voice of your Master as He speaks through the unexpected person around you?
What’s your view through the knothole this morning?