Whenever you have a goal to reach, you develop a strategy to get there. You gather data, analyze it and plan your actions.
If someone talk to you about their strategy, you might be able to understand and see how they got it, even though you might not agree with it.
However, when we look at God’s strategies, they usually don’t make much sense to us at first.
For example, let’s look at the conquest of Jericho (Joshua chapter 6).
Jericho was the first city the israelites needed to conquest upon entering the promised land. However, they knew that the people who lived there were very tall and strong, powerful warriors, and the city itself was a fortress, it was virtually impossible to just break in.
What was God strategy to conquest this mighty city?
“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” (Joshua 6:3-5)
If you heard that strategy from a general, you’d probably think that he wasn’t thinking straight. But, as expected, it worked! At the sound of the trumpets, God destroyed the city and it was easily conquered by Israel.
He was called to gather an army to face Israel’s enemies, whose armies were much superior in number, resources and war experience. Gideon chose a small number of men, and God lowered even more their number and finally chose only 300 men to face an army of thousands and thousands of experienced soldiers.
What was the outcome? God destroyed the enemies’ armies without the israelites’ intervention. They just had to blow their trumpets and shout (does this sound familiar?)
If you think about it, the same weird strategy can also be seen in Jesus’ life. God sends his only Son to the world… to die? The jewish people were expecting a mighty king that would deliver them from the rule of the Roman empire. But God sends his Son to tell them to love their enemies! (which was only possible because of God’s grace manifested through Jesus.)
When we look at God’s strategies, we have to remember that the reason we usually don’t understand them at first is because we usually don’t know what his ultimate goal is.
With those strategies, God’s ultimate goal was to establish a relationship with his people. It was to show them that they could trust him that he would do the impossible.
And he still wants that today. He still wants a relationship with every single one of us.
So if you’re going through a tough time and you don’t understand God’s strategy in your life, remember: he wants to save you, he wants to teach you to trust him, he wants you to know him better. He wants a relationship with you.