Introduction

Introduction

Devotional

Always

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1–2)

What must Joshua have been thinking as the sun rose on that seventh day of the siege at Jericho?

He had witnessed his share of divine deliverances. He had been among the people of Israel when God freed them from slavery through ten horrible plagues against the Egyptians and then the spectacular parting of the Red Sea.

Soon after that, Joshua had led the army of Israel as they fought against Amalek. “Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed” (Exodus 17:11). The point was unmistakable: Israel’s help comes from the Lord. God will come through.

Where to Look for Help

Then as Joshua succeeded Moses as Israel’s leader, he received this charge from God: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

So as dawn came that seventh day at Jericho, Joshua knew where to look for help. After six days making a lap about the walled city, this time he led the army around not once, but seven times, at God’s direction. And once again God showed up as he promised.

As the trumpets sounded, and the people shouted, “the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city” (Joshua 6:20). God had come through again.

Another Great Hero

It would be some four hundred years until Israel would have another leader like Joshua. This time it was a shepherd boy and musician-become-king, named David. Like Joshua, he would prove himself a great war hero and fearless in battle, not because of his own accomplished record, but because of his deep trust in God. Often his foes were many, but he knew where to look for help. He wrote in Psalm 121:1–2,

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

What made Joshua and David such great champions, still remembered to this day as two of the most celebrated leaders in all the Scriptures, was their ability to stay calm in the storm, and remain men of faith not just in peaceful times, but when the foe was near and everything was on the line.

An Even Greater Hero

But as courageous as Joshua and David proved under fire, there would come an even greater hero, and an even deeper man of faith, even more convinced of God’s power to save. David’s long-awaited heir, the promised anointed one, was the true Joshua — Yeshua. We call him Jesus.

When foes rose against him, he held his peace (Matthew 26:63). The storm he faced at Calvary, and contemplated in Gethsemane, was more ferocious than anything Joshua or David ever encountered. In the garden, he “offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7). Even in his most dire moment, when his faith felt the thinnest, he called in faith, “my God, my God.” And because of his triumph, God has exalted him above all others and given him the name above every name. Jesus is our Lord.

And so, now in our moments of trouble and chaos, he is the one to whom we look. We lift our eyes of faith up to the heavens, where he sits enthroned at the right hand of his Father, wielding all authority in heaven and on earth. So now, in Jesus, we can know with even more certainty than Joshua and David what it means that God will come through always.