‘And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.’ Joshua 6:2–3
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 11:29–38
‘Go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks.’ These men were practical surveyors of Jericho; they could well understand the strength of the battlements, how many feet long the huge stones were at the corners, and how near the stars the loftiest towers were raised. They had the difficulty, I say, always before them, yet they kept on in simple faith, going round the city. Sometimes we get into the habit of shutting our eyes to difficulty; that will not do: faith is not a fool, faith does not shut her eyes to difficulty, and then run head-foremost against a brick wall—never. Faith sees the difficulty, surveys it all, and then she says, ‘By my God will I leap over a wall;’ and over the wall she goes. She never brings out the flaming accounts of ‘Signs of the Times,’ in her favour; she does not sit down, and say that evidently public sentiment is changing; she does not reckon upon any undercurrents that may be at work, which she is told by Mistress Gossip really are doing great things, but she just looks at it, and does not mind how bad the thing is reported to be; if anyone can exaggerate the difficulty, faith is of the same noble mind as that famous warrior, who when told there were so many thousand soldiers against him, replied, ‘There are so many more to be killed.’ So faith reckons: ‘So many more difficulties, so many more things to be overcome;’ and even impossibilities she puts down as only so much burden to be cast upon him, with whom nothing is impossible. She keeps Jericho’s walls before her.
For meditation: Walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) does not mean having blind faith. The Christian is not to close his eyes to the difficulties (Romans 8:35,38–39), but to open them to see the hand of the invisible God at work (Hebrews 11:27). Hezekiah had the right approach (2 Kings 19:14–19).
Sermon no. 629
25 June (Undated Sermon)