Yep, I see this verse as a metaphor. Do you?
Let’s move forward with our story in Joshua.
In chapter six God gives specific instructions to Joshua. Walk around the city, in silence. But I wonder if Joshua explained to the entire population of the Isrelites the entire plan? Sometimes we don’t receive the entire plan for our lives either. So let’s ponder this a bit more.
In verses 6-8 we read:
So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.”
When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. ~Joshua 6:6-8
I fear that because this story has become so familiar to us we miss the vast implications of each passage. Ponder with me now, THIS STORY IS BAZAAR. The people aren’t called to arms. They are called to walk around the city. Every…. single…. person….. Warriors, Priests, Mothers, Fathers, Grannies, babies. The youngest to the oldest.
And they must walk around the city one time and listen to the insults of those on the walls who think they are crazy for “believing a God” will deliver the city into their hands. Oh man oh man, this sounds so familiar to me. And honestly, they do look crazy. I wonder how many times my husband has thought I’m nuts because I tell him I hear God speak to me. I often feel like I’m asked to do crazy things by God. Remember my story about God telling me to cross the street and pray for an old woman with a cane? Yep, I thought to myself, “Oh Lord, I could look like a complete idiot.” (read the lady and cane story here)
But what I’ve also discovered is that when God prompts me, AND I OBEY, I’m never made to feel stupid and at this point in my relationship with Him, I really don’t care if I appear to others as a loon. I’ve seen too much. I’ve experienced too much to ever turn back or doubt when He speaks to me to attempt the “crazy.”
So let’s think about this. What do we do with our feelings and struggles?
The Spiritually Mismatched usually walks around the walls of a spouse and we feel lonely. We feel lost in the crowd at church. Misunderstood and forgotten. We ask ourselves, “Do I really belong here? Am I strong enough to do this?”. We think to ourselves, I won’t do it if I don’t understand exactly what God is asking and what will result. I don’t believe God will do anything and I will look like a fool.
Each step is very difficult. Each day, step by weary step, we struggle in the silence of the crowd. It’s hard. It’s so very hard. And even in the middle of our difficulty we must pick up those who have fallen. We must carry the babies. We must carry the ninety-year-old grannie around the wall with us. We place their arms upon our shoulders and walk for them. Pull them, encourage them even when we need the encouragement….
I’m overwhelmed how this story is so like my own.
Step by determined step… Without knowing what was going to happen… AND IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE.. Why were they doing this preposterous thing? Why are we doing this preposterous thing???