you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a
great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the
people shall ascend up every man straight before him” (Joshua
Tuesday is very much a WORK day for
me, which is fine, because I like it that way. My wife Genevieve works
on Tuesdays (like the other weekdays) but she also attends class on
Tuesday evenings, and this is my day to get in 8-hours of preparing
studies and writing sermons. I am also completing a Children’s
Commentary on the Book of John, and you can visit the Children’s Commentary
During weekdays from 7-1:30, I’m the
Human Resources guy in a factory. My job is to make work better for
people, and that’s what I do in the mornings.
In the afternoons, evenings and on
weekends, I’m a pastor. All I’ve wanted to do for the last thirty years
is TEACH God’s Word. As time went on, it looked like that was closed to
me. People were concerned, asking questions like, “Do
you have a retirement built up?” I did a lot of temporary jobs
in those years and would respond something like, “No,
I guess I’ll just drop dead working somewhere” (which is what I
really thought would happen).
They would shake their heads and I
would go back to working at the next job, and the next, and the next,
and so on. And I would prepare Bible studies. Whether or not I was
actually teaching seemed less important than responding to Him. So I
would prepare, deciding that it was His job to bring me to a place where
I would actually DO what He had been preparing me for. But the formal
ministry seemed to be surrounded by a “wall” that kept me out.
Do you have “walls” in your life?
Physical or emotional “walls” can be temporary (actually, all of them
here on earth are temporary). but they can also last the rest of our
lives. I just spoke with a man on the phone from New York who told
about his recollection of “Ground Zero”. It was very personal to him
because of what happened to his wife.
She works in a store which is about
two blocks north of Ground Zero, and the cloud of smoke and debris went
right up her street. She was trapped in the store for what seemed
“forever”, and then she managed to get out and go to the apartment of a
relative, further up Manhattan Island. The telephones were not working
right and it was many hours before her husband knew she was alive.
The destruction of the Twin Towers
occurred, of course, on September 11th. Because her place of
business was so close, they were not allowed to enter the store until
December. She did not lose her job because it was a family owned
business, and they managed to pay ALL the employees, even though it
closed for a long time. Even after being allowed by the authorities to
enter the store in December, they still could not open to customers,
because there was “a foot of ash on the floor
and the goods were damaged.” Other businesses in the area
somehow survived, as well. My wife and I were in the area during June of this year. We saw first hand that many businesses survived,
but others did not.
During the time the store was
closed, the local government would not let them enter. The rules, which
were for their safety and the safety of others, were like “walls” that
kept the owners from making a living. When the store was finally
cleaned and ready, they still could not operate it, because they needed
merchandise for the store, but were not allowed to bring a truck to the
You have “walls” in your life that
can be very frustrating. Even if you are not hampered by them right
now, they blocked you in the past and it certainly will happen in the
future. You may wonder about God’s intentions toward you, because
“walls” can seem unnecessary or even unfair. And then, after months or
years of waiting and (hopefully) praying, suddenly the “walls” are down,
and your life takes a whole new direction.
Hannah Whitall Smith spoke about
Joshua’s encounter with the walls of Jericho. You’ll recall that
instead of directly attacking the city, Joshua’s forces were to march
around the walls for several days, and then the walls would fall. It
was an unconventional strategy, and for once, Israel acted on God’s
direction. Hannah Whitall Smith pointed out that God told Joshua, ‘I
HAVE given into thine hand Jericho…’ He did not say, ‘I
WILL give,’ but ‘I HAVE given’”
(Joshua 6:2). Just like He has given –everything– to you.
Ms. Smith continued, “No
one can suppose for a moment that this shout caused the walls to fall.
And yet the secret of their victory lay in just this shout, for it was
the shout of a faith which dared, on the authority of God’s Word alone,
to claim a promised victory, while as yet there were no signs of this
victory being accomplished. And according to their faith, God did unto
them; so that, when they shouted, He made the walls to fall.”
Centuries later, the Holy Spirit
recorded this triumph of faith in the Book of Hebrews: “By
FAITH the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about
seven days” (Hebrews 11:30).
For those that trust in Him, Jesus
Christ has promised to knock down every wall that ever blocks us. It’s
the same for you as it was for Joshua, for “we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans
8:37). Our only problem is that we tend to look at outward things
instead of that which is infinitely more important.
Just like the man’s wife in
Manhattan still had her job after months of waiting, so you have an
eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus, if you have received Him as Savior
and Lord. You may seem to be surrounded by
impassable “walls” right now, but they will eventually be gone. And you
will see that NOTHING “shall be able to
separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”
(Romans 8:39. Nothing! Where it counts in life, you already have the
victory in Him.
Father, we bring You our sadness and
our fear. Many times we just barely believe that You will deliver us,
not really comprehending that the victory has already been won. Forgive
us, Lord, and heal our unbelief. Thank You. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
P.O. Box 92131
Long Beach, CA 90809-2131
we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)