Read Joshua 2
Focus on verse 11
I don’t believe I have a superpower, but if I did – it would be falling asleep in nearly any position. On second thought, that sounds more like narcolepsy than a superpower, and since I’m no superhero, it may be just as well.
Superheroes typically have super powers — Superman is super strong and can fly, Spider-Man slings webs and is also super strong and indestructible. The Incredible Hulk turns into a giant, green, indestructible, bullet proof, angry fit of destruction. Iron-Man has those flying suit things that make him pretty much invincible. Humanity seems to have a fascination with superheroes, and I suspect this fascination is born out a our innate sense of needing to be saved from destruction.
In today’s reading the two spies that Joshua sends to Jericho discover that Israel has a superhero by the name of God, who has already gone ahead of them into the land of Canaan, striking fear into the hearts of those who will sone be defeated and destroyed by Israel. It is Rahab who says to the spies,
And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the Lord your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. (v. 11)
The people of the land of Canaan melted away before the sons of Israel not because Israel had a huge well trained army of fighting men, but because God went before them and struck fear into the hearts and minds of the armies they were to displace. Jericho was a walled city, well defended and a formidable foe, yet according to Rahab’s testimony “there was no spirit left in any man” because of the reputation that God had in the land.
So it is that when we go “with God before us” we can go into hostile territory, confident that He has already overcome, and that all we need to do is patiently walk in obedience to Him. I suspect that as the army of Israel marched around the city on the fourth or fifth day, some may have been wondering if this strategy would really work. By the seventh day they may have been ready to give up, but when the walls began to quake and tumble, their faith was restored and each one was able to go straight in over the rubble after God pushed the walls over.
For those who follow Jesus, God often calls us to march into situations that look overwhelming to us. It is at these times when we can find encouragement to keep marching around the city as God has instructed — even if it does not appear to be accomplishing anything. In God’s timing the walls will come down if we persevere in obedience to Him, trusting Him to be our superhero who shows up at exactly the right time.