An Imprecise God - Insights from Joshua 3
Many of us are looking for clear guidance in our lives. Some seeking clarity for what-to-do muse, "if the Lord will just put the handwriting on the wall, I will do it."
For such an ambitious undertaking, the ambiguity is striking in Joshua 3, where the Lord gives instructions to take Jericho. How the task should be done is unclear from the start and the directions are imprecise. For example, the camp is to follow the team carrying the ark. "Only then will you know where to go, since this is a place you have never been before." (v4). They just had to follow.
"Keep a distance of about 2000 yards" is just an approximate guideline. (v5)
"When the ark reaches the edge of the Jordan, go and stand in the river." The Lord did not say how far walk into the river. It was up to the ark bearers. (v8)
"Choose 12 men, one from each tribe, to carry the ark." There were no instructions on how to make the selection of each tribal representative. There could be no wrong answers. (v12)
Those carrying the ark had to stand in the middle of the dried up Jordan while the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground. There were no expectations given as to how long this might take. They simply had to get the job done. (v17)
This the Lord's way with us. There are general instructions to walk by faith, but the rest is a often imprecise. But we are to be walking. Then He provides a path for our steps (Ps 85:13)
Nelson Malwitz, Founder MissionNext/Finishers Project