The word “obey” automatically causes many people to cringe, to become defensive, or to even want to do the exact opposite. Would you agree that independent thinking, self-reliance, and individuality are qualities that are much more highly regarded in our society than compliance, submission, or even respect? Our rights and privileges often give us a simple excuse for disregarding others who have authority. Our own opinions and experience are sometimes considered more reliable than other sources of information and so it becomes easy to express disrespect and inappropriately question those who have positions of leadership over us. It would only seem logical then that these “virtues” might cause us some major difficulties when it comes to our relationship with a Sovereign God.
Apparently Joshua had developed a very clear understanding of the importance of total obedience to God. Of course, having an encounter with the “Commander of the army of the LORD” would have totally reinforced his desire to listen carefully and follow the explicit directions that were given to him. No questions asked. No hesitation. Simply a response of surrender and submission to The One who was worthy of his worship and adoration. He certainly knew that there was wisdom in “fearing the Lord” – standing in total awe of such an awesome God. Did the instructions make sense? Was the plan sound from a military point of view? Were the inhabitants of Jericho to be totally annihilated? There is a time and place for questions, but standing before a Holy and Just God was not that time.
What’s your view of God? How seriously do you and I need to take His commands? How far can we put our trust in Him to give us courage, strength, and a plan to face down our own enemies and to get rid of the evidence of the idols which might entice us to loyalty in the future? As for Joshua, when he “fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho . . .”, the walls really did “come tumblin’ down”.