I’m in the middle of this book of Joshua, trying to sort out his journey to possess the promised land and how they might relate to my journey to possess His promises to me. One thing I have noticed. When I have enemies, I want God to zap them. Now. But for some reason God doesn’t work that way. There’s a very important reason as to why we must wait on God.
I remember last year when my husband shared with us about how sometimes God wants people to reach the fullness of their wickedness before He judges them. I’m thinking He is holding out to see if they have any desire to repent and if not, to see just how wicked their hearts are.
But there is another reason why God may want us to wait.
In the first chapter of Joshua, two important things happened that we need to take note of. One: when Joshua went to get the tribes in order to take Jericho, God told them to wait 3 days before going in. What was that all about?
Two: Three of the tribes found fertile land in the wilderness and wanted to settle there rather then entering the promised land. They were comfortable where they were and didn’t want the struggle Joshua would soon be facing. Can you imagine?
If you’re like me, ‘waiting’ is not high on the list of things to do. I’m ready now. God, you promised and I’m ready for the blessing now. But often times we have to wait. That’s hard. It’s hard because we’re in the dark, as to why we have to wait. We can’t see the big picture that God sees. This is where our faith comes in. We just have to trust there is something bigger going on.
When God told the children of Israel to wait 3 days, there was a reason. God was going to destroy Jericho, but He had someone to save first. Rahab was a believer in the God of Israel and God made provisions for her to escape his judgement. This one story ought to be enough for us to know how very precious each of us are to the Lord. For one person’s life…God made the whole army of Israel wait three days! God is not willing that any should perish. It was the same in Sodom and Gomorrah. God made sure the righteous escaped before the judgement came.
We can’t see what God is doing in someone else’s life. Rahab was essential to their victory. Rahab’s faith in God saved her and her whole family.
So here we are today. Waiting. But that’s ok. If our faith is in God, we know that He is working and we are a part of his plan.
Now, what about the tribes who wanted to stay in the comforts of the wilderness? That’s never a good idea. Joshua had a plan, one he thought might change their minds. He had those three tribes lead the charge into Jericho and he thought possibly after they tasted victory they would be willing to stay. If not, he promised that afterward he would release them to settle where they wanted.
They agreed and led the armies of God to victory. When it was over, they chose to go back on the eastern side of the Jordan and stay in the comfort of the fertile land there, rather than join forces with Joshua to conquer Canaan.
There’s a lesson in here for us. God doesn’t use us when we’re too comfortable. I’ve noticed in my own personal life that problems have a way of arising, right when you think things have settled down a bit. This is not a bad thing. God doesn’t want us complacent. He wants us ‘battle ready’. He wants us dependent on Him for everything.
No matter what happens, we can be sure ~ God has everything under control…His control, His timing, his plan. We’re just along for the ride…oh and to fight the battles that come our way.
And when we have to wait? It just may be that God’s working something out. We don’t have to know everything… We only have to trust that everything is happening according to His plan.