The Fourth Trip Around the Wall

The Old Testament book of Joshua tells of the capture of the city of Jericho in chapter six. The children of Israel have come up against a fortified city that it appears there is no way to defeat it. Then God gives them his unusual battle plan. The armed men and priests are to march around the city one time for six days. Finally, on the seventh day, they are to march around seven times and then give a shout with a trumpet blast and the walls will fall.

The Biblical account is too brief for my liking. It gives some details of the first day, and then it offers just a line about the second day. The next few days are summarized in one sentence, “They did this for six days.”

Personally, I would love to know the details about those days, especially day four. I am sure day one was filled with excitement. The Israelites have been forty years in the wilderness, and now they have moved into the promised land. This is the first step in the conquest that will give them the land of their dreams flowing with milk and honey. On day one everyone cheers and marches with confidence and faith.

I imagine on day two the excitement is less than day one. Day three is routine. I believe on day four it was hard to get the troops out of bed. I am sure some were asking themselves, “What are we really accomplishing?” I am sure that day they walked a little slower, joking around about Joshua and his ability to lead them in circles. Day four takes every ounce of energy just to complete one small task that God has given them. It is a Wednesday and the midweek blues make it hard to get over the hump.

I wonder if that day they began to question God. I mean, “If God is so powerful, why not just deliver the city in one day?” It would be easy to ask, “Why does God have us doing the same thing over and over with no results?” Finally, “What a waste of time, there is no God and Joshua is just trying to buy time.”

Can you hear the grumbles and see the apathy that day four brings?

Most day I feel like in I live on day four. I find myself walking around unsure if I am doing the right thing. I don’t know what God is thinking. I can read his word telling me to love my wife, my family, my neighbor and my enemy. I know I am supposed to spend more time in my bible learning about his ways, “but for what?” Some days I am not even sure why I started walking in the first place.

The Israelites are challenged to trust God even when they are unsure what is going on. Their faith in him is being tested with every painful and possibly discouraging step. God giving them a seven-day walk is pushing them to build a stronger faith.

A life of faith is not lived out on day seven. Day seven the walk is different. That is the day we are going to march a few more times, but we will see results. The journey of faith is getting up like every day is day four. You trust that God knows what he is doing, and you keep walking even when it may produce nothing today.

Life is a seven-day journey with God and some days are more difficult than others. Get up, get dressed and get moving. Keep walking; day seven is not that far away.

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