Interesting epiphany I had the other night: Okay, you know how we usually hear the story of Joshua and the Jericho walls, and someone always tells us that the Jericho people were sitting around taunting the Israelites like the French dude in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (and see Veggie Tales), and that Israel probably thought it was a stupid and crazy idea. “God, are You sure about this?” “Yes. Now just do it.”
Now, the problem with this is that there is no such indication of any of this in the text. For one thing, Joshua 6:1 tells us that “Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.” In other words, they’ve heard about Israel’s might–and more important, Israel’s God’s might–and they are freaking out. Besides that, the text repeats several times that “The Lord has given the city into your hands.” And, you know, the Bible usually records stuff like people grumbling (see the whole book of Exodus), and guess what? Nothing here. The people of Israel had, at this point, realized that God keeps His promises to His people, and so they just did what He told them to in full confidence that it would happen. And it did.
Their obedience was fueled by faith and trust in the God who’d brought their parents and grandparents out of slavery, who’d fed them, who’d brought them to the promised land. And He then delivered them. No fear. No trepidation–or if there was, it apparently wasn’t important enough for the writer of Joshua to report it.
Now, here’s the question: Why do we interject that skepticism and trepidation, when the text does not? And what does that say about us?