In a recent sermon, I heard Steven Furtick give an interesting twist on the familiar story of the battle of Jericho. If you are unfamiliar with the story, you can read about it in Joshua, the sixth book in the Bible, in chapter six. The quick summary of the story is that Joshua marched the troops of Israel around the fortified city of Jericho in silence once a day for six straight days. On the seventh day, they marched seven times around the city and then blew their trumpets and gave a great shout. At that, the walls of the city came crumbling down. Pastor Furtick noticed that the Scriptures say that God told Joshua the plan, but they do not say if Joshua then laid out the whole plan for his army. It only says he told them to start marching.
To understand the significance of whether or not he told his men the plan, put yourself in the place of one of those in the army. What must they have been thinking as they marched dutifully along in silence? These were warriors prepared for violent battle. The adrenaline had to be pumping, but at the end of the day, they simply went back to camp. The first night this may have seemed quite odd, the second would have been frustrating, and I can’t even imagine what was running through their minds after doing this for six days.
If the men didn’t know the plan, there must have been a great temptation to just call the whole thing off. Perhaps there was talk of a mutiny. Surely some were questioning whether or not Joshua had lost it. Maybe they questioned his fortitude or willingness to get the job done. However, the men feared God and they trusted that Joshua was His servant. Therefore they continued to obey the commands of their leader. After the seventh lap, on the seventh day, their persistence was rewarded. God gave them an easy victory over their enemies.
The ultimate point of Furtick’s message was what if they had quit after six days? What if on the seventh day they would have thrown up their arms in frustration after the sixth lap around the city? They would have been so close to the promised blessing of God, but they would have missed everything.
What are you facing in your life today? Have you been struggling with something to the point where you are ready to give up? Do you feel like no matter what you do, things never seem to get better? Are you wrestling with a decision and your prayers are not resulting in any clarity? Stay focused on God. Perhaps there is a plan that you just don’t know. Don’t be the one who gives up just before the end becomes clear. Maybe you are on the seventh lap on the seventh day. Stay strong and persevere. Don’t quit now. Your blessing may be right around the corner.