Joshua was one of Israel’s Old Testament heroes. He grew up as a slave in Egypt, witnessed the ten plagues and walked through the Red Sea. He wandered in the wilderness with his people for 40 years, then took over as their leader after Moses died.
He had an impossible job – to lead his people while they claimed the Promised Land from their enemies. Enemies with fortressed cities, weapons and technology they didn’t have. They had no army. They had nothing, except their faith. And they fought battles that any logical person would call ridiculous (seriously, walking around a city for seven days is hardly intimidating).
But things that are impossible for us are easy for God. Whenever they obeyed Him, they were victorious. One battle in particular describes the opposing army as having horses and chariots – weapons the Israelites didn’t have. God commanded Joshua to disable the horses and burn the chariots after they won. He wanted them to trust Him for their victories – not themselves or their strengths. And Joshua obeyed. He trusted God completely. Because of that, the Israelites finally had a home.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,Psalm 20:7
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
In many ways, we’re living in the wilderness right now. Our lives are uncertain, and our illusion of control has been ripped away. Many are facing seemingly impossible challenges. And we’re seeing just how many “chariots” we have in our own lives. Sports, politics, concerts, the stock market, social media. Many people are using this time to argue that their chariot is more important than someone else’s. But we’re missing the point – they’re ALL temporary. None of them will make it into eternity. None of it will even matter then.
It’s easy to say that we trust God, especially when times are easy. But our actions show the reality of our faith. When the ground itself seems shaky, what’s your chariot? What do you fall back on? Is it politics? Your job? Money? Your past accomplishments? Or is it simply Him and Him alone?
All of those other things are just empty promises. They’re uncertain in the best of times. How amazing that God has promised us a reward that can never be shaken. Hebrews 12:27 talks about God removing “what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.” Our ultimate promise is the Kingdom of God, which can never be shaken or destroyed. No matter our earthly struggles, that is a reason for hope and celebration. And a reason to spend our time here sharing that hope with others.
“The ultimate test of faith is not how loudly you praise God in happy times but how deeply you trust him in dark times.”Rick Warren
God never promised that our lives would be free from trouble or grief, but He promised to never leave us through those trials. It can be hard to live without a safety net. But He is enough. He is faithful to keep His promises. You can trust that. And Him. Is it scary? Of course. Is it worth it? Absolutely!
When everything else is stripped away, what do you put your hope in?