Disobedience in Judgement


Lord, I come into Your presence in reverence and awe. I bow before the Lord of all creation.w


Read: JOSHUA 6:12-19

[12] Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. [13] The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. [14] So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. [15] On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. [16]The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! [17] The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. [18] But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. [19] All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.”



The silent vigil of the army, accompanied by the blowing of the shofars, continues for a further five days. Perhaps the sense of menace increased, but it’s also likely that Jericho’s inhabitants are becoming increasingly bewildered: when was something actually going to happen? Inevitably, their vigilance can’t stay at the highest pitch, and probably wanes with each circuit of the city.On the seventh day, they would spring to attention again as the Israelites went round for a second time, but by the time the shouted signal comes on the seventh circuit after hours of watching, they cannot have been anything like fully alert. Just before the moment comes (these words in verses 17–19 perhaps spoken before they left camp, and here referred to only briefly), Joshua reminds the army that Rahab and her dependents are to be spared from God’s judgement upon Jericho.This isn’t so much mercy as disobedience: yes, they’re honoring a bargain struck by the spies, but (as we have already seen in 2:1) the spies weren’t sent by Joshua at God’s bidding. Even as they come to bring God’s judgement, the Israelites have themselves started to disobey.



To live God’s grace today: love your neighbor, speak encouraging words and refuse to be offended.



Father, You have extended unending grace to me. Help me to turn and offer the same to my brothers and sisters.


Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider