This is Part 2 of our series, “The Voice: Let Me Clear My Throat”.
Good morning, peeps!
“Shout, shout, let it all out ~ These are the things I could do without ~ Come on ~ I’m talking to you ~ Come on” – from “Shout” by Tears For Fears
That right there is probably not what you expected to see at the top of today’s blog, but it is what’s been playing in my head and I figured that I should share the love. I really hope that it’s stuck in your head right now. I used to listen to that song a lot, but it wasn’t because I was a fan of the lyrics. Have you heard it before? Roland Orzabal’s voice is amazing. And his hair. Yeah. It’s mesmerizing. I never knew the meaning behind the lyrics, so I looked them up this morning. I got this off Wikipedia so…you know…give it as much weight as you want:
“A lot of people think that ‘Shout’ is just another song about primal scream theory, continuing the themes of the first album. It is actually more concerned with political protest. It came out in 1984 when a lot of people were still worried about the aftermath of The Cold War and it was basically an encouragement to protest.” – Roland Orzabal
Protest. The song is about political protest. Okay. All this time I thought it was about rebellion against the parentals, which was the theme of most movies and songs in the eighties. Hmm. I promise that there is a point. Perhaps using “Shout to The Lord” would have been easier.
JERICHO (Joshua 6)
When we arrive on the scene in Joshua 6, the children of Israel had crossed the Jordan River and set up camp near Jericho. So near, they could see it. It was hard to miss. This city was huge and the wall that surrounded it was massive. By the way, the word “shout” is mentioned eight times in this chapter. I just stopped to count them. Okay, the city was massive.
I want you to take that in for a minute.
When you hear the word “Jericho”, this is probably the first thought that comes to mind: the wall of Jericho fell down after the children of Israel walked around it for seven days. My first thoughts are usually that plus, Rahab and the spies, and that the wall came down after the Israelites shouted. By the way, the word ‘shout’ is mentioned eight times in this chapter. Did I already say that? When I found that picture this morning, I thought about something else: if where they wanted to be was on the other side of that city, why not just walk around it until they found a path going in the direction they wanted to go? Like, this:
Didn’t this nation of people just endure forty years of walking around in a circle? Did they really need to conquer the city? Can’t we all just get along? And seven times?? These were the random thoughts floating in my mind as I struggled to get the Tears For Fears song out of my head this morning. If I’m honest, there are some things in my life that I’ve been walking circles around or just avoiding. I haven’t dealt with them. I haven’t spoken life or death. I think I’m waiting for them to fade away or just fall down without my involvement.
This is not the point of this blog today, but it was something I felt I needed to share. Back to the wall of Jericho…
I told you on Thursday to make note of the number of times you saw the words “shout”, “say”, “declare” and “command”. The word “shout” is mentioned eight times in this chapter. I know that I’ve said that twice already, but there is a reason. Just so you can know how warped my sense of humor is, I actually sang the word “shout” as I found it…just like in the song. Pray for me. As much fun as I had with that, that is not what stuck out to me this morning. Check out verse 10:
And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout.
This is the command Joshua gave the people after he told them they were about to do seven days of intense cardio while lugging instruments and weapons. So, let me get this straight, J. You’re telling me that I have to walk around this enemy for seven days and I can’t say anything until YOU tell me to? Is that what you’re saying to me? [Side note: God knows exactly when folks need to be born and He knew that I needed to be born after the Resurrection. I don’t think I would’ve even made it out of the wilderness, with my grumbling self.] I want you to think of a situation of unrest in your life, one in which God is instructing you to be quiet until He tells you to speak. I’ll just use my situation. I have a co-worker who is two ticks away – just two – from being not only told where to go but taken there via Uber. And I’ll be the driver. The things they have done have been so foul and shady. And they are Christian. I didn’t put that word in quotes or even do the air quotes with my fingers because I cannot judge their Christian-ness level. But if you ask me…wait – I said I wasn’t going to do that. I have prayed about the situation several times – even asked God to move them – and I’ve been instructed to be silent. I do not want to be silent. I want to say something. I want to shout…and let it all out. I am not kidding when I say I’ve almost bitten the tip of my tongue clean off to keep from saying something. Oh, it wouldn’t be foul. I wasn’t going to cuss them out. No, no, no. I was going to use the Word.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 KJV
The Word is nothing to play with and when placed on the tip of an angry tongue, it can do some serious damage. This is not the dull butter knife I have in my kitchen which doubles as a flat-head screwdriver. No. I cannot just fling it around. Those descriptors? You cannot separate them. The Word of God is quick, powerful, and sharp. And that is why you have to be careful how you speak it out. It can be something that heals or something that kills. When you speak the Word of God, your intent has to be right. With this co-worker of mine? Honey, I was going for the kill. No lie. That was my intent. I was going to slice and dice, you hear me?
Clean up on aisle 4.
I have a few “thou shalt not” passages leaning in my favor that put this person in the wrong, but I am really the person who is wrong…which is why I have been instructed to be silent. You know, something really weird happens when you’re silent: you get to listen and think. God’s been speaking to me about my heart. God has been using this situation to work on me. The same Word I have been itching to speak out has been healing me. On the real, I don’t even think this is about the other person (even though I really want it to be). Some of the many things I have let go during this march-in-silence are pride (imagine that), doubt, fear, and insecurity.
It is my heart’s desire to speak God’s Word in truth and in love. That’s all I want to do. And if I have to march around this “walled city” in silence until I can do that, so be it.
This just popped into my head: what if the “walled city” is me?