Assured of God’s presence because of faith
It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down. Hebrews 11:30 NLT
The Israelites led by Joshua had crossed the Jordan River. What they saw stunned them for before them was a fortified city surrounded by massive walls. You will presume that inside that city are battle tested soldiers. Though this group of Israelites are different from their former generation, pessimism ran high among this group. To lead this group will not be an easy task for Joshua yet he knew that God is with them. The focus of his faith is in the presence of God symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant. “‘So Joshua told the Israelites, ‘Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!’” (Joshua 3:9-11). God’s presence was not an imagination to them. They knew, as Joshua assured the Israelites that God’s presence will be with them. At the middle of the night, Joshua strolled outside of the camp to go near Jericho and to seek God’s guidance. With Joshua’s eyes wide opened, he detected a movement from what looked like a warrior in full battle gear. Joshua did not run away from the situation instead he approached the man. “‘When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, ‘Are you friend or foe?’” (Joshua 5:13). Then the man responded, “‘Neither one, I am the commander of the Lord’s army’” (Joshua 5:14). It was the appearance of God through an angelic messenger. Joshua responded and “‘fell with his face to the ground in reverence. ‘I am at your command, what do you want your servant to do?’” This encounter strengthened Joshua’s resolve to conquer Jericho. It is now clear to Joshua that they will not be alone in the fight for God is with them. Joshua’s faith made a difference in the life of the Israelites. He led them to victory defeating and taking Jericho. The same thing also can happen when our faith is focused on God. No matter where God had placed us, He has a purpose and that we have to live with certainty that God will use us. If we live a life of faith and assured of God’s promises from His Word, we can have a positive influence to the people around us. Let us therefore consider what faith can do when it is lived out assured of God’s presence and working.