Do you know when to be silent and when to shout from the rooftops? There are times to keep your mouth shut, and then there are those times to just let it rip!
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to be silent and a time to speak.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7 NIV)
A time to be silent…and a time to shout – those were God’s instructions for Joshua and the people of Israel as they faced the great stronghold of Jericho. We read in Joshua 6 that God had given them three specific directives: “See!” “Advance!” “Shout!”
Regardless of what we may “see” with our physical eyes, God wants us to see what He has declared is done. Before the battle of Jericho begun, God declared, “I have delivered Jericho.” Joshua and the Israelites had to see that before it came into being.
“New things I declare. Before they spring into being, I announce them to you.” (Isaiah 42:9 NIV)
God wanted the Israelites to advance in silence, advance in worship, and advance out of a slave mentality and into a spirit of sonship. There are times and seasons when God wants us to be silent, to be still, to move forward in a position of rest.
And now, finally, it was time to shout! Let’s jump into the story in Joshua 6.
“The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding.
So on the second day, they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.
On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times.
The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city!
…When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.”
When the Israelites operated in obedience – when they listened and obeyed God’s directives for when to be silent and when to shout – the stronghold came down! If we want victory over those strongholds in our own lives, we need to be sensitive to those times to be silent, and those times when God wants us to shout!
When do we need to be quiet?
- When there’s a spirit of grumbling, or doubt or judgment
- We need to guard what comes out of our mouths. Watch out for grumbling words that reflect doubt in God’s provision. Guard against words that reflect a judgmental, condemning spirit against others.
- “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Proverbs 21:23)
- When it’s time to listen and obey
- God’s strategy for bringing down the stronghold of Jericho flew in the face of any known battle tactics. Joshua and the Israelites had to be quiet and listen to God’s instructions, and then follow them, silently marching for six days.
- Have you ever thought of the immense self-control it took for half a million men to be completely silent for six days of marching? No war cries. No marching chants. The only sound was the trumpets announcing the presence of God. The Israelites didn’t say a word. They were completely obedient.
- Be completely obedient to the Lord. Your obedience to the Lord is the measure of your love for Him. (John 14:15-24)
- When it’s time to rest
- We war not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities – so the weapons of our warfare are mighty! Keep your eyes on the Lord. You war best from a position of rest. “Rest” does not mean you’re not doing anything – it means you’re confident in God. If I’m seated in Heavenly Places, looking down at the problem – and my heart is saying, “Hallelujah! It’s done!” – my soul’s at rest.
- “In quietness and trust is your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15 NIV)
- “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14
When do we need to shout?
- We shout when we’re declaring it’s finished, it’s done, victory is won!
- Why did God tell the people on the seventh day to march around Jericho seven times? Why seven? It’s the number of completion – like the seven days of creation. Seven means “It’s finished!” “It’s done!” They shouted on the seventh day.
- There was a particular way that the priests learned to blow the trumpets. There were short blasts and long blasts. When the priests blew the last long blast, that meant, “It’s over!” That’s when Joshua told them to shout!
- We shout to declare that victory is won – it’s already finished! Had the city fallen yet, before they shouted? No, but Joshua said, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” God still requires us to do our part. We still have to go in and take the city. We still have to declare His authority. But thank God that He does what only He can do!
- And, when our obedience brings us to victory – we need to shout! When that breakthrough comes, we need to shout! Do you know that you’re not robbing God of glory when you glorify Him through your victory? You’re displaying His glory through you. You are becoming a platform for the glory of the Lord. You don’t have to stay hidden under a rock. It’s time to arise and shine! Your light has come!
- “May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.” (Psalm 20:5 NIV)
- We shout the high praises of God as we declare the Presence of God.
- Through three actions – blowing the trumpet, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, and raising a great shout – the army of Israel declared the Presence of God.
- Shouting in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant acknowledged that God Almighty was enthroned between the cherubim. We read in 1 Samuel 4:5 that “When the ark of the LORD’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook.” When the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem, King David was leaping and dancing with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets (2 Samuel 6:14-15).
- How about you? Are you shouting and declaring the Presence of God? You are His temple! He dwells in you! You are filled unto all the fullness of God. And continually being filled! You have the richest measure of the Divine Presence and are a body filled and flooded with God Himself! (Eph. 6) Now, that’s something to shout about!
Lord, let us know when to be silent. And let us know when You say, “Shout!” Let us know how to keep our mouths shut when we need to love those around us and not judge or condemn or correct. And then teach us when to open our mouths, as we keep our eyes on you and not the enemy, for You are able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.
I thank You Lord that You’re declaring, “It is finished!” It’s already done. And in every season and every circumstance that we’re in, You have a plan and a strategy. I thank you Lord that You’ve declared us “more than conquerors!”
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