A Time to Tear Down
Updated: Feb 2
...the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed... Joshua 6:20
This morning I began Joshua 6, a chapter I have landed upon and studied many times (after all, it is a huge basis of my book). Today, however, I asked the Lord to show me something new. Well, here goes.
They [the Israelite army] marched around the giant wall enclosing Jericho; a bustling city with loads of wealth. God took the walls down, and the wealth was to go to the treasury of the Lord. Fast forward to verse 26: "Cursed is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho." (NASB). The Lord does not say rebuild but build. I pondered this and considered what this might mean. This was a bustling city with all the comforts (the good, bad, and ugly - but, granted, lots of comforts!). So, what might it mean to build it again?
It does not take a rocket scientist to recognize that the "American church" (much of it) centers around what will be comfortable and what will be relevant. We build bigger and better (and, by the way, with the treasury of the Lord). Yet, as we watch, it is clear that the majority of this is having no real impact on the culture. In fact, the culture now has more influence on the so-called American church; not God's true church, but the corporations that have the name church.
Many have speculated that churches in the near future will have a large decision: lose their 501(c) or accept government stipends if they agree to preach a relative softer word. Ah, there it is. Use the Lord's treasury to build a bustling church that serves the people and expenses the gospel, becoming relative, inclusive, politically correct, and comfortable. It seems God knew in Joshua 6 that the temptation would be there and He warned against it, knowing it would erode and block ISREAL from realizing His full promises. The temptation to build a new encased city that spoke of the Lord with all the worldly comforts - worse than the first, as it might have the appearance of God's work.
This word put a real trembling in my spirit this morning and also a call to speak this out. Individually we are all going to face the choice. Either encase ourselves, protect our goods, and build up new walls of compromise to survive or allow God's word to be our encasing and protection, and shout the gospel and shout truth knowing that our treasury is being used wisely for His purpose and not ours!
Hard words and a tough realization of the fact that God may just be getting ready to knock down the walls that are preventing His Kingdom from having impact on the Rahabs that are truly hopeless. Individually and corporately the test is steam-rolling right towards us. I feel it!