Strategy of Silence
“Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!”
Joshua 6:10 NLT
Part of the directions that God gave Joshua to conquer the city of Jericho included telling the people not to say a word during their first twelve trips around the wall. They were to march around the city once a day for six days and then seven times on the seventh day. As they marched, they were to be silent.
Only when they heard the trumpet blow on the seventh trip on the seventh day were they to open their mouths and shout. There was strength in their silence.
I believe there was a strategy in their silence. God knew it would be easy for the people to begin to talk about the size of the walls as they marched around them. Confronted by such impressive walls, they might have begun to complain about this ridiculous plan.
Perhaps, the people on the walls might have attempted to taunt them. It would have been easy to get into shouting matches.
But they displayed their faith in God by being silent. They trusted God regardless of what others said or how big the obstacle in front of them.
Sometimes, we don’t have an answer for the problems we see—at least not an answer that makes logical sense. We know God has promised to deliver us and provide for us and heal us, but at the moment, we don’t see the miracle happening. Those are the moments when we have to be careful with our words.
Our words can so easily create fear or doubt. It is important to guard our words. If we do speak, we need to be careful to speak God’s Word. It is okay to admit, “I don’t know.”
Sometimes, we don’t know what God wants to do or how He will do it. Sometimes, the unknown can keep us awake at night and rob our peace. Those are the moments when we develop a new level of trust and choose to obey God even in the unknown.
Holy Spirit, help me to guard my tongue. Don’t let me speak out of fear or anger. Help me to speak words of faith. Help me learn it’s okay to be silent.
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