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Marching in Silence (39)
Christopher B. Harbin
We are often taught to understand faith as believing the right things without doubts. We are led to understand that faith means that we do not question what we are told. We are instructed to take the word of a trusted leader, read the Bible uncritically, and bow to a creed as the definition of faith. Real faith, however, is so much more than the absence of doubts. It is learning to trust amid those doubts.
Crossing the Jordan, the Hebrews' first major task was to march against Jericho, a walled city. There was plenty of room for a healthy dose of intimidation. This was no trained military. They did not have many implements of war, other than those taken in battle from the towns of Heshbon and Bashan. They were not trained in their use, in military strategy, nor in the basic skills of fighting a war, much less in the taking of a walled city. The task before them certainly loomed large in their eyes. If there were ever a time to feel they were grasshoppers in the face of an enemy, this was it.
One did not walk up to the walls of a city which considered you an enemy. That simply made you a target for abuse and injury, if not death. Jericho was on lockdown. No one was being allowed to enter, and no one was coming out. This was the first city they were supposed to conquer in taking control of the land Yahweh had promised to Abraham. It seemed impossible from any angle.
They did not have battering rams, especially as those had probably not yet been invented. They did not have siege machines or a way to protect themselves on approaching the city walls. There was no military playbook they could turn to for answers on how to take a walled city. Then again, they were not supposed to be depending upon their wisdom, experience, or skills in battle. They were supposed to be following the directions Yahweh passed down through Joshua.
What Yahweh told them to do was to walk aro ...
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