Responsible to God

Harry Buis

READ : Joshua 6:1–18

You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. (v. 3)

We often have difficulty understanding how God’s sovereignty and our human responsibility fit together, but the Bible never seems to have that trouble. God is in sovereign control. As far as he is concerned, Jericho is already conquered. “See, I have given Jericho into your hand” (v. 2). But in the next sentence he says to Joshua, “you shall march” and continues with a long list of instructions that the Israelites are to obey. Our part is to obey God’s commands completely, trusting in his power to accomplish his good purposes.

What tragedy results when we disobey. God’s command was, “Keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction” (v. 18). There are things that we ought to keep ourselves from today also, for indulgence in sin still produces heart-aches. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ, but it must result in obedience to God, or we will rob ourselves of many of the blessed fruits of salvation. We are responsible to obey.

We are responsible not only to keep ourselves from evil but also to share in the work of doing good. The church’s opportunity for mission is unlimited but becomes limited by lack of resources while so many of God’s people are prospering and living in luxury. We are responsible to God to use our resources to do the work of Christ in the world. (originally published May 15, 1972)


Father, bless the broadcasts of Words of Hope both in our own land and in other lands. Amen.