As a child, did you ever play the blindfold game of trust? The game requires one blindfolded person who places their life, or at least their taste buds and dignity, into the hands of the rest of the group. They are led blind to navigate through obstacles, or to taste or touch things given to them. The level of your trust would be clearly be dependent upon the company you were keeping! Christians are sometimes accused of having “blind faith”; accused of believing in God with no evidence, or even in spite of evidence. Christian apologist and Oxford mathematician John Lennox says on the contrary: “The Christian faith is not blind faith, but faith built upon evidence.”
Joshua and the Israelites have crossed the Jordan and now face fortified Jericho. Their past record is not good: when faced with both opportunity and obstacle, Israel has chosen fear not faith. Any reading of the story of Jericho ought to start at Joshua 5:13 where we find Joshua before none other than “the commander of the army of the Lord.” Reminiscent of Moses meeting the Lord in the burning bush (Exodus 3), Joshua hears that he is standing on holy ground. Joshua fell on his face and worshipped: this is no mere angel, but the Lord himself. As Joshua is set to undertake his first campaign as leader he must do so in faith. But this is hardly blind faith for he has received direct encouragement and direction from the Lord, the empowerment of his presence, and the promise of his victory – “I have given Jericho into your hand (6:2).
Something to Apply:
As we consider Joshua 6 and conquest this week, I want us to first consider the requirement of faith. It is unlikely any of us will be tasked with the conquest of peoples and lands! However, each of us is tasked with spiritual conquest. Jesus has made us his own, and we are therefore called to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)” Faith is not merely a one-time fruit of God’s Spirit, and evidence of his call upon our life; God’s righteousness, says Paul, is shown in our lives by persistent faith for the righteous live by faith (Romans 1:17). You may not have an in person encounter like that of Moses and Joshua, but we also cannot say we have no evidence. When I struggle with in my soul, I have found the best medicine to be the bountiful indicatives of scripture: those things God has already done for me! Meditation on who God is, what he has done, and what he promises, is the foundational evidence upon which Christian faith is based.