Saturday in the Thirtieth Week of Ordinary Time

Hebrews 11:30-31

By Faith…

The Preacher continues his Hall of Faith with accounts from Israel’s conquering the land under Joshua, both of which illustrate faith.  In the first case is the fall of Jericho.  Jericho is considered among the oldest cities of the world, and at the time of Joshua (late second millennium B.C.), her walls were deemed impregnable.  But if man couldn’t breach those walls, God could.  And He had a faultless plan: March around the city once for six days straight and seven times on the seventh.  And then at the sound of trumpets and rams’ horns, the people are to give a loud shout and the walls will come down.  Got it?  Yep, that was God’s strategy for conquering the unassailable, invincible, impenetrable, indestructible city of Jericho.  If you haven’t guessed, at least to my knowledge, no general has ever copied the plan, and I doubt you will find it in the war manuals at West Point or any other of our fine military institutions. 

And the reason that it has never happened again is that God did it—not the trumpets, not the rams’ horns, not the shout of the people, not the marching, not the psychological warfare (or were the people of Jericho laughing the whole time?)—No!  The walls came down because God knocked them down; all the other pageantry was His way of testing the Israelites.  Would they be faithful to follow such unorthodox military tactics?  Would they want the glory all for themselves?  To their credit, they took God at His word and experienced victory (Joshua 6:1-27).

Then there is the account of bad girl, Rahab.  Israelite spies came to her house in Jericho—a great idea as no one would think anything odd about that.  When the “police” learned that this woman had taken foreigners into her den and visited her, she was able to get them off the scent and track another way while she hid the spies.  “I know that the Lord has given you the land,” she told the spies, and then secured their oath to “deal kindly” with her family as she had done so unto them.  Joshua made sure the oath was kept and Rahab and her family were spared and given a place in Israel.

Rahab turns up in another place, quite unexpectedly—in our Savior’s genealogy (Matthew 1:5).  We wish more would have been said about her after her rescue.  Did she become a decent woman?  Surely she was instructed in the Law of Moses, particularly the Seventh.  But the Preacher thought enough of her to include her in the Hall.  Let’s assume she turned from the impure Canaanite gods and embraced the purity of the true God.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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