I was reading Joshua today in the Bible, the part where Joshua is giving the Israelites instructions on how to take Jericho. He was very clear. They were to march around Jericho in a certain formation following those who were blowing trumpets and behind the Ark of the Covenant. They were told not to make a sound just to march. This reminded me a lot of the book Bruchko which tells the story of young Bruce Olson who went to the Bari tribes in Venezuela and Columbia to tell them about Jesus. After spending seven years with the tribal people, he had not yet been able to tell them about Jesus. When he asked God about it, he was told to simply live the Gospel among them and he would know when it was the time to tell them. So Bruce trusted God and, just like the Israelites, remained silent.
Being quiet does not mean doing nothing. Being quiet leaves more space for listening and it can demonstrate obedience. Bruce Olson knew God for he had seen God move many times. This was just one more…so. he. waited…
Then, one day, while walking through the jungle with the Bari people he slashed through an area of growth and the banana leaves fell open in such a way that all the people stopped. At that moment the people asked Bruce to tell them about his God. Incredulous, he asked God, “Now?” Bruce shared the story of Jesus and the people arranged for him to tell the others that were not there. Upon hearing the Word, the whole tribe accepted Jesus at once. The years of silence were very important. The tribe believes that if something is very valuable the person who has the valuable thing will not speak of it. The fact that no one knew that Bruce had the story of God in him and they had all known him for years was evidence of the value of what he carried!
Joshua marched the silent people around Jericho 6 days and on the seventh he told them to
God saves people. We are merely His instruments. Sometimes instruments sound notes. Sometimes instruments count through rests. The whole piece can be messed up if an instrument plays when it is supposed to rest. God is the conductor. He will give us our cues, but we must be alert and ready. He may ask us to play after a hard day’s trek in the jungle or after 6 days of marching…one never knows!
“Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9