|I can’t tell you how happy I am that you have decided to keep going on this Coast to Coast journey. We have already gotten much further than many people ever go. The good news is, the long lists of laws and sacrifices are over, and as Israel claims it’s promised home in Canaan, we’re back to some very exciting stories. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go!|
A QUICK LOOK BACK
Moses has died. Joshua has taken the lead, and the Israelites have finally crossed the Jordan River. Though this new generation of Israel has no memory of the parting of the Red Sea, they have now witnessed something equally remarkable. The Jordan River was mysteriously cut off during flood stage to allow the Israelites to cross over on dry land.
THE ROAD AHEAD
“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid!!” The Israelites follow God into the land of Canaan, and almost instantly run into conflict. Never forget, this land is already home to someone else. We tend to fight for our homes. God promises Joshua that their enemies will fall and flee before them as long as God is obeyed in every respect. Get ready to get caught up in the action this week as we march around the walls of Jericho along with Israel, and shout ourselves hoarse until the walls crumble and fall! It’s great to win, isn’t it? But our thrill at sharing the victory runs cold as we shudder at the responsibility to kill. The killing in this war is merciless, sometimes destroying every man, woman, and child. As Christians, we do not subscribe to the idea of “holy war”, so this is one section of the Bible that you do not have to start applying in everyday life. But remember, these books of the Bible are theological, intended to teach us about God. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19)? Their wicked practices were judged by God and as a result they were completely destroyed. Their evil was purged from the face of the earth. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, God commanded Israel to “purge the evil from their midst”. Purity and holiness must be complete. Through Joshua, the inhabitants of the land are judged for their wickedness and practices that honor idols and foreign gods. Israel becomes an instrument of justice to cleanse Canaan.
This idea of killing and destroying sinners is not what Christ has commanded us, His Church, to do. But there are some important applications in Joshua to our lives. Israel is told to obey God completely. Do exactly as they have been told and finish what they have started. When God gives us a command, we must obey it completely, following through to the very end. Have a great week!
Keep reading, and I’ll see you in the Bible!
WEEK 11 Reading Schedule:
Mar 12 Joshua 5-8 Fall of Jericho
Mar 13 Joshua 9-11 More Battles, The Sun Stands Still
Mar 14 Joshua 12-15 Records of Defeated Kings, Land Unclaimed and Allotted
Mar 15 Joshua 16-18 Land Allotted
Mar 16 Joshua 19-21 Land Allotted
Mar 17 Joshua 22-24 Tribes Return Home East of Jordan, “Choose This Day”
Mar 18 Judges 1-2 Incomplete Conquest, Cycle of Disobedience