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February 25, 2024 | Daily Devotionals | February 25

Preparation Before Promotion


So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?”  Joshua 18:3


While Caleb had the confidence, Joshua was called to courage. God called Joshua to be “strong and courageous” because it was about to get real. After wandering in the desert for four decades, war was now upon the Israelites. We usually jump to the part where God’s people marched around Jericho and then blew the horns for the walls to come down. That was just the payoff for some serious prep work between the people and their God.


First, two spies ford the Jordan River, enter Jericho and find an unlikely ally in a prostitute named Rahab. This foreign Gentile woman saves the spies and secures her place in God’s plan by helping the Israelites. (She gave birth to Boaz, who married Ruth [David’s great-grandparents], in the lineage of Jesus.) 


Next, the Israelites cross the Jordan and camp outside Jericho. Do they prepare for battle by sharpening their spears? Probably. But more importantly, all the men are circumcised. Then they had to heal. (That took some time, I’m sure!) All these guys had been born in the wilderness, and their circumcised fathers coming out of Egypt had died. God told the Egypt-liberated men they wouldn’t see the Promised Land because of their disobedience. It was time to prepare the new generation. God said, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you” (Joshua 5:9). Preparation before promotion in God’s specific timing.


So time to take Jericho? Not quite. Now it’s time to celebrate the Passover and give thanks to God. The next day they ate the food of the Land, and the manna they’d been eating for decades stopped. Talk about crossing over: no more soft food for the people. It’s time to eat meat and the fruits of the land. 


We know the rest of the story: For seven days they walk around the city. Horns blow, walls fall. Victory. God’s brand of preparation—over a long period of time—often doesn’t seem to make any sense. That’s the way God rolls. We follow. We prepare. Then comes promotion. Watch, wait, prepare, then move. 


Father, thank You that You prepare me exactly according to Your plans and timing. Let me not move ahead of You.

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