When my daughter was young, her mother and I tried to instill in her a respect for her parents and for authority. I knew there would be times I would need her to carry out a request (or command) that I wouldn’t have time to explain all the reasons behind the request, so we frequently would have her say a quick little rhyme with us that went something like this – “first time, right away, no delay.” That simply meant when asked to do something, she needed to respond right away, and that we did not need to repeat the request.
I find it interesting that God had Joshua carry out such an elaborate set of instructions to defeat Jericho. I mean, God could have told Joshua to do anything – close your eyes, hold one foot up in the air, spin around seven times and shout, “Ohwah – Tagoo – Siam!”
As I’m beggining to understand about God, you just never know what to expect. Even in Jesus time, sometimes He would have them put things on their eyes and go to a certain river to wash before they would receive the gift of sight. Other times, He would spit on the ground and touch their eyes. Other times, He simply spoke the words and the person was healed, like the man at the pool of Bethesda who waited for years for his turn to jump into the waters when they stirred. In this case, God gave Joshua the following instructions regarding the victory at Jericho:
2 But the LORD said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its mighty warriors. 3 Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the horns, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the walls of the city will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the city.”
I didn’t read about Joshua questioning God at all. I didn’t read where he delayed the instructions or took a break to get rested up. We see in verse 8, the priests took up the Ark right away and began marching. Nobody questioned it, they just did it.
Which, makes me think about my response to God’s requests (commands) to me. First, do I take time to listen for His instructions? Then, once I’ve heard them, do I begin questioning His logic or formulating a better way to do it? I think sometimes I do, which only points to a lack of faith on my part.
Thank You, Lord, for Your word for me today. Help me to listen and then to act “first time, right away, no delay.”