A popular spiritual says, “Joshua fit [fought] the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down.” One child got the words of the song confused and sang, “Joshua hit the bottle of Cherry Coke.” He’s not the only one who gets Bible stories mixed up.
I heard a fable about a pastor who asked a class of Sunday school children, “Who broke down the wall of Jericho?” A boy answered, “Not me!” The pastor was noticeably upset and turned to the Sunday school teacher and asked, “Is this typical?” She replied, “Pastor, the boy always tells the truth, and I really don’t think he did it.” Such a response sent the pastor straight to the Sunday school director. After hearing the pastor’s grievance, the director tried to calm him by saying, “I’ve known the boy and his Sunday school teacher for a number of years and just can’t picture either one of them doing such a terrible thing.” In disbelief, the pastor sought out the chairman of the deacons. The wise deacon tried to smooth the waters with some of his conventional wisdom: “Pastor, let’s not make a big issue of this. Let’s just pay for the damages and charge it to our maintenance account.”
If Joshua were here today, he might have to fight the battle of Bible ignorance. Surveys report that only 12 percent of Christians read the Bible every day. Few seem to know its contents. Is it any wonder that surveys also show that few Christians have a Biblical worldview?
Hebrew 4:12 (KJV) says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The apostle Paul told Christians to be strong and put on the full armor of God, which includes “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17) Joshua could not have had a sharper weapon than this! Oh, but wait! Joshua did use this weapon. The walls didn’t come tumbling down because of Joshua’s sword or even a battering ram — they came down because of the spoken word. Joshua 6:5 says, “When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.” And that is exactly what happened! God used words, a shout, to bring down the walls. God is still in the business of doing powerful things with the word today.
So, Christian, pick up your “sword.” With it, you can win the battle with the enemy, the devil. Without it, you are defenseless.
(Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)