Saturday, September 13, 2014

the foolishness of the cross

The Word for today:
Joshua 18, 19
Yesterday, Pastor Joe wrote this about the fall of Jericho:
In the account of Israel and Jericho, we see Joshua wisely advising the people to keep their mouths shut until the appointed time. In perhaps the most puzzling battle strategy ever, God has commanded His people to fight by circling the enemy's city. You know the story already: days 1-6, lap Jericho once; day 7, lap Jericho 7 times. Not a peep until the final lap on day seven, and then shouts, trumpets and victory! Highly unorthodox.  Much more can be said about God using the least likely means to achieve victory (see Calvary, Mount).
"Much more can be said," he said.  No time like the present to say it…
We're amused at the account of the battle of Jericho. How ridiculous! All that marching around, then the shouting and the trumpet blasts. Why, we might as well bang on the bongos and shake the tambourine as well. And don't forget the kazoos.
If you think it all sounds crazy, then you're getting the point--because what God wants the story of Jericho to teach us is that Joshua didn't fight the battle of Jericho--that the battle belongs, exclusively, to the LORD. (1 Samuel 17:47)
Marching around those massive walls only made it more and more apparent to all of Israel that there was no way they could defeat Jericho.
Why, you might as well try to take down a giant with a slingshot…
The apparent foolishness of Jericho--when Israel marched and shouted and tooted the horn; and the apparent foolishness of David--when he disdained the ways of man (the sword and armor of King Saul) and chose a slingshot instead--are but pictures of the apparent foolishness of the cross to come, when a lone soldier, bearing to the battle but a beam of wood, would face all the armies--the principalities and powers--of evil. The scene makes no sense to natural eyes:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
 (1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-24; see also 1 Corinthians 2:14)
Even our believing eyes sometimes want to carry more to the battle than just a trumpet. Even David (spiritual giant that he was) thought it wise to go into battle with more than just one rock:
David took off the armor and picked up his shepherd's stick. He went out to a stream and picked up five smooth rocks and put them in his leather bag. Then with his sling in his hand, he went straight toward Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:39-40)
But God had only one rock to choose from:
…and that Rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:4)

No comments:

Post a Comment