Israel, now having obeying God in circumcising all the men and boys, and having properly observed the Passover … is ready to march! And the nearest city to be conquered is Jericho, where the two spies of Joshua chapter 2 had been sent. Also where Rahab the harlot lived!
God gave Joshua specific marching orders, too.
Here they are: “The LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.” Joshua 6:1-5
March around the city one time, both today and again tomorrow … then for four more days, a total of six. Then on the seventh day march once more, around the city. At which time the priests blast their trumpets … and the people all shout loudly with their voices … the wall of that significant city will “fall down!” (God is really “giving” Jericho to Israel!) Plus, the natives of Jericho are already inside, quaking in fear! “Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.” Joshua 6:1
But verse 9 caught my attention earlier this morning. As the Jews marched each day, obeying the Lord … “The armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the REREWARD came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.” Joshua 6:9
The soldiers (army) led the way. Then the (seven) priests with their trumpets. Next came the Ark (of the Covenant), properly carried by the Levites. THEN, THE “REWARD” FOLLOWED!
That’s what interested me!
The “rereward,” in Hebrew “asaph,” means in our context here “the rest” of the people. Those who came behind! The “assembled” congregation!
Literally, those in the “rear,” but spelled “rere.”
Many commentaries will tell you this “rereward” is simply the rest of the soldiers. But if that’s so … where are the people? The bulk of Israel’s citizenry?
No, the “rereward” are the common folks, following their leaders. Keeping pace with their God, too. Represented by the Ark, of course.
That’s my thought today!
In the Lord’s work, in His great Cause … I am simply a member of the “rereward.”
Not a shining leader.
Not a notable individual at all.
Just part of the “rereward.”
The back of the pack.
But, guess what?
They were blessed with victory as well as the majors and generals out front!
They were headed to the Promised Land as well!
God is no Respecter of persons!
I am a nobody in many ways … but a member of God’s family at the same time!
I may be in the “rear” (“rere”) … but I know the HEAD!
Some other “nobody” (fellow “rereward” member) rejoice with me today!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell