The weird strategies of God

Whenever you have a goal to reach, you develop a strategy to get there. You gather data, analyze it and plan your actions.

Man drawing a game strategy

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/IvelinRadkov

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.

We can find much more examples in the Bible. Like the battle for which God called Gideon (Judges chapter 6 through 8).

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.

This post is part of the “One Word at a Time Blog Carnival” hosted by Peter Pollock. Check out his blog for links to other posts that were written based on the word “strategy”.


  1. God is so much wiser than we are, no wonder we can’t always understand his strategies. But thankfully he’s also so much more loving and faithful, so we can trust him with his strategies, even when we can’t see clearly. Thanks, Cris.

    • Yes, Lisa. We are limited and no matter how hard we try, we cannot create the perfect strategy. But He can. And we know that whatever happens, as long as with stick with His plan, it is for our good.
      Thank you for your comment, Lisa!

  2. Excellent points. God’s strategy is confounding, but they work so much better than our own. Good post.

    • Yes, they do, Helen. They may sound weird, but in the end, they’re perfect.
      Thank you for your comment!

  3. Wow! What a great post. Thanks for the reminder today, Cris. What an encouragement.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Jenna, I appreciate it!

  4. I love Joshua 6! Such a great example of how God’s ways are different than ours. And soooo much better and wiser! Thank God he is not bound to our thinking and our ways and capabilities. Great post, Kris. Thank you. Stay blessed!

    • Thank you, Mari-Anna! Yes, this is a great example of what God can do when we trust him fully. God bless you too!

  5. His ways are not our ways! So often when I look back at how God has worked in my life it has been in unexpected ways…something I need to remember when life doesn’t go as (I have) planned. : )

    Thanks for sharing this today and for stopping by my blog.

    • Joyce, thank you for stopping by here too and for your comment, I appreciate it.

  6. … we usually don’t understand them at first is because we usually don’t know what His ultimate goal is…

    Well said! And indeed! Relationship with Him is ALWAYS a priority goal for God.

    • It is! Thank you for your comment, Anne!

  7. In our day and age, the attitude overall is that we are so “intelligent” and know so very much that no one can tell us what to do that is wiser than what we think. My present comment? GIVE ME A BREAK! [That’s especially when I’m dealing with kids and g-kids and they just keep me shaking my head.] We all need to be wise, pay attention, and trust the Word of God for the victorious results in our lives that spread through our homes, towns, nations. We can’t NOT pay attention a lot most days. Can you tell I’m a very serious person? So glad my Father God is BIGGER!

    • The keyword is trust, we have to learn to trust God. Then no matter how weird it may sound, we know that it is for the best, even if it doesn’t make sense.
      Thanks for your coming by and commenting, Joanne!

  8. In every case the strategy that God gave to his people sounded foolish and unwise. In the wilderness God fed the people every morning but they were only to collect what they needed for that day. The waters parted when Moses held out his rod, and that rod also was the instrument used to perform other amazing miracles to confound the Pharaoh. I liked how you brought your illustrations over to Jesus and how the Jews were looking for a King, not someone to die so that they could be saved. May we never question God but trust as he leads us down perhaps strange path ways to perfect His purpose?

    • Yes, Hazel, thanks for mentioning those other episodes. We have tons of examples in the Bible.
      Thank you for your words, I appreciate it!

  9. What a beautiful post. I will admit to being confused many times when I try to figure out why God didn’t do something the way I would have done it. I’m thankful for examples in scripture, like these, that show us how big his picture is.

    Your ending was perfect:

    “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.”

    I love that!

    • Thank you very much for your feedback and for sharing, Chuck, I appreciate it!

  10. Great post Cris- The idea of giving up on trying to understand the reasoning behind God’s plan and just trusting in Him is something we often need to be reminded of.

    • Thank you for your comment, Jeff!

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