Through the Bible in a Year – April 21

The Scheme for March – April can be found here

Jos 7-9; 2 Tim 3-4; Psalm 133-135

In our reading from Joshua – the word of the angel is revealed to full effect.

Firstly in the destruction of Jericho – as will be seen over and over, it is not the people who are to prosecute the Lord’s work. So often we forget this – we try to ‘bring in His Kingdom’ – we are certainly co-operate with the Holy Spirit, but the work is not ours. We do not decide what to do and ask God to honour our plans, rather at all times we must realise we are followers – we do not know, we cannot see ahead what God has in store, we only ever get in on a work in progress.

For those of us in the Western church, this is perhaps one of the most important and also difficult lessons to learn. In all dimensions of our work, we plan and strategise, we decide what is going to happen, if we are at least modestly wealthy and if you are reading this, then you are probably in that category. Yes things happen to us, Reality breaks in from time to time to tell us that we are not in charge, but we are well trained in pretending that is not so, even Rationalising our action from Scripture if we are of a religious bent.

So our churches ‘know the score’ ‘we know what has to be done’ – there is little or no sense of following this strange God. Rather it is Obvious to us what we should do.

So faced with our Jerichos, would we walk round and round them blowing trumpets but otherwise in silence??? No, we have much better plans than that . . .

Then once more, having been obedient, we still think, ultimately this is about us. We ‘take the city’, but then take also the spoil. Achan’s sin in the end was about securing himself – why else do we seek riches? Having had powerfully demonstrated over and over again that this is God’s business, that God will provide, still the incurvatus life seeks to wrestle control from God.

Of course, the two are related – why do we have the sort of wealthy churches where we can deceive ourselves that what we call ‘The Lord’s work’ is actually our own? We are warned over and over against hoarding for it inevitably leads to a life we run on our own terms

This story is Not about us, but we are called to live in the generosity of God, to give all we have. To Follow