Saturday, 27 August 2016

“The Seventh Day—Jericho”

A Devotional Thought
By: Sylvan A. Lashley, University President, Interim

“I have given into thine hand Jericho”… Joshua 6:2. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30).

The day dawned bright and early as the assembled hosts awoke with keen anticipation. It was the seventh day, Sabbath! The fitness gurus had already seen to it that the people were prepared—it was the seventh day. An early, hearty breakfast, the promise of good weather, with all the attendant logistics, charted the day, as to the marching order—the ark, the priests, and then the remnant. It was the seventh day.

The reverberating echo still sounded—“I have given into thine hand Jerichoooooo?. The parsers were already at work—“I have” denoted the present tense, and “given” a past tense, culminating into the present perfect. The action had already been completed in the past, with an overlap into the present and the future in man-made time. The act of marching was a sign of obedience, followed a full faith in God’s apparent illogical yet clear instructions, and the foolishness of man’s rational logic. The hands of faith reached out across the chasm of the impossible to touch the hands of effort. And there it stood—the wall—11 feet high and 14 feet wide, with a 35 degree upward angular slope, leading up to vertical gigantic and taller stone walls, massive and impregnable, and forbidding.

To march once for six days, and then on the seventh for seven times, represented the threshold of the human and the Divine, the divide of faith and rationality, of obedience and trust. Instructions were clear and copious—“no noise on the first six days”; a sequenced order of priests then ark, and people in sequined robes, a steady plod around on the seventh-day, then the blast of trumpets, then a shout, glorious and cascading—600,000 men besides women and children, a logistical feat of no mean order. It was the shout of faith that led to the shout of victory.

Within each of us, there is that Jericho--cocky, snug and self-assured, and yet an Israel on the outside, trying to get through the walls. We live in a time of logic and rational thought, a time of proof and physical evidence, yet God is still in charge. He challenges us in the present perfect tense, and assures us of His protection and guidance. The chasm of disbelief must be crossed by the bridge of faith and obedience, for faith without works is dead. We cannot be guided by our limited vision, for man does not see as God sees. What seemed impossible by man was possible with God. What about your own life today? Is there some insurmountable mountain before you? May the Jerichos within fall before the steady march of Scripture and “Thus Saith the Lord”.

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