Learning to Keep Quiet

This week I was at our denomination’s district conference and heard an amazing message on Joshua and the story where they defeated Jericho. The speaker pointed out the fact that the Israelites were told not to fight but to simply march around the city’s walls.

And on top of that, they were told not to talk. Listen to what it says in Joshua 6:10 “But Joshua had commanded the army, ‘Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!’” 

The truth is that until hearing this message, I hadn’t really given much thought to why God would ask them not to talk. But the fact is the Israelites were known for their grumbling and complaining. It was their grumbling and complaining that lead to them wandering in the desert for 40 years.

I can almost imagine the conversations that might have taken place while they walked around Jericho had they not been told to keep quiet, especially by the fifth or sixth day. Who knows what kind of grumbling or complaining they might have done.

When God doesn’t do things the way we think He should or in ways that don’t make sense to us, how do we respond? Do we grumble and complain? Like I said, the Israelites were known for their grumbling and complaining. To be honest, I believe we as Americans can do a pretty good job of complaining and grumbling ourselves.

But what if we didn’t? What if we chose to keep quiet and trust that God has a plan? What if we chose to look for ways that God is at work instead of focusing on the negative things in our world? Grumbling and complaining have never benefitted anyone. It just stirs up confusion and anger. Joshua said to not say a word until he told them to. What if we learned to keep quiet until God tells us to speak?

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