August 30 – Weekend Passage

Genesis 31

Jacob Leaves Secretly for Canaan

31 Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what belonged to our father he has made all this wealth.” 2 Jacob saw the attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as formerly. 3 Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to his flock in the field, and said to them, “I see your father’s attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength. 7 Yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times; however, God did not allow him to hurt me. 8 If he spoke thus, ‘The speckled shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth speckled; and if he spoke thus, ‘The striped shall be your wages,’ then all the flock brought forth striped. Thus God has taken away your father’s livestock and given them to me. 10 And it came about at the time when the flock were mating that I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream, and behold, the male goats which were mating were striped, speckled, and mottled. 11 Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am.’ 12 He said, ‘Lift up now your eyes and see that all the male goats which are mating are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar, where you made a vow to Me; now arise, leave this land, and return to the land of your birth.’” 14 Rachel and Leah said to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance in our father’s house? 15 Are we not reckoned by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and has also entirely consumed our purchase price. 16 Surely all the wealth which God has taken away from our father belongs to us and our children; now then, do whatever God has said to you.”

17 Then Jacob arose and put his children and his wives upon camels; 18 and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had gathered, his acquired livestock which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. 19 When Laban had gone to shear his flock, then Rachel stole the household idols that were her father’s. 20 And Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was fleeing. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he arose and crossed the Euphrates River, and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

Laban Pursues Jacob

22 When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, 23 then he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night and said to him, “Be careful that you do not speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26 Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword?27 Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre; 28 and did not allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now you have done foolishly. 29 It is in my power to do you harm, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to speak either good or bad to Jacob.’ 30 Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father’s house; but why did you steal my gods?” 31 Then Jacob replied to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.32 The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself.” For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent and into Leah’s tent and into the tent of the two maids, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the household idols and put them in the camel’s saddle, and she sat on them. And Laban felt through all the tent but did not find them35 She said to her father, “Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is upon me.” So he searched but did not find the household idols.

36 Then Jacob became angry and contended with Laban; and Jacob said to Laban, “What is my transgression? What is my sin that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Though you have felt through all my goods, what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. 38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of beasts I did not bring to you; I bore the loss of it myself. You required it of my hand whether stolen by day or stolen by night.40 Thus I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flock, and you changed my wages ten times.42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had not been for me, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and the toil of my hands, so He rendered judgment last night.”

The Covenant of Mizpah

43 Then Laban replied to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, and the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day to these my daughters or to their children whom they have borne? 44 So now come, let us make a covenant, you and I, and let it be a witness between you and me.” 45 Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. 46 Jacob said to his kinsmen, “Gather stones.” So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. 47 Now Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me this day.” Therefore it was named Galeed, 49 and Mizpah, for he said, “May the Lord watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other.50 If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.” 51 Laban said to Jacob, “Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 53 The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. 54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his kinsmen to the meal; and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain. 55 Early in the morning Laban arose, and kissed his sons and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned to his place.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

In the Book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, known by many as the “Hall of Faith” we read in verse 32:

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets—”. (ESV)

Judges and 1– 2 Samuel bridge the gap from the entrance of the people of God into the Promised Land under the faithful leadership of Joshua to their expulsion from the land due to unfaithful kings in 1-2 Kings.

The book of Judges chronicles the moral and spiritual descent of Israel from the relative high point at the beginning of the book (they are in the Promised Land) through a series of downward spirals to the depths of degradation in chapters 17–21, where we read of both religious apostasy with the idolatry of Micah, civil war (Israelites fighting each other), and complete social degradation.

Since the conquest of the land is not complete, the book begins with the question of who will lead in battle (Judges 1:1) and ends with the statement, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25).

Though God raised up a sequence of deliverers—the judges (hence the title of the book)—they were unable to reverse this trend and some even became part of the problem themselves.

Despite all the warnings, promises, and blessings, the Israelites (the people of God) have abandoned Him for pagan gods. They are given over to recurring cycles of oppression by foreign nations, they constantly cry to the Lord for help, and He intervenes on their behalf.

Judges tells the story of these cycles. Despite the people’s continuous rejection of God’s kingship, He is moved to compassion for them. Individual judges, described as those who “saved Israel” are provided by the Lord again and again.

By the end of the book, Israel had become as pagan and defiled as the Canaanites they had displaced. If this trend continued, it would only be a matter of time before the land would vomit them out, as it had the Canaanites before them, a warning we read about in Leviticus 18.

The book of Judges demonstrates what happens to the Lord’s people when everyone does whatever they want. The failures of both people and judges are so significant that they urge us to long for the hero who will never fail.

The need for a king who will lead God’s people into their full inheritance is an important theme. Later in 1-2 Samuel we will read of the establishment of Israel’s monarchy. But they too will eventually fail as they turn from God as described in 1-2 Kings.

Israel in Judges is in bad shape, but a new day is dawning when God will provide, from the line of David, King Jesus — the king of His choosing. AMEN!

Until next time…  keep reading!

Jim

Excerpts taken directly from: Gospel Transformation Bible, ESV Study Bible, HCSB Study Bible, Bible Knowledge Commentary

May 2 – OT Reading

Joshua 12

Kings Defeated by Israel

12 Now these are the kings of the land whom the sons of Israel defeated, and whose land they possessed beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon as far as Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah to the east: 2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, both the middle of the valley and half of Gilead, even as far as the brook Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; and the Arabah as far as the Sea of Chinneroth toward the east, and as far as the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, eastward toward Beth-jeshimoth, and on the south,at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah; and the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the remnant of Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, and ruled over Mount Hermon and Salecah and all Bashan, as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half of Gilead, as far as the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. 6 Moses the servant of the Lord and the sons of Israel defeated them; and Moses the servant of the Lord gave it to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh as a possession.

7 Now these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the sons of Israel defeated beyond the Jordan toward the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon even as far as Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir; and Joshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, 8 in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, on the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the Negev; the Hittite, the Amorite and the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite: 9 the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one;10 the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; 11 the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; 12 the king of Eglon, one; the king of Gezer, one; 13 the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; 14 the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; 15 the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; 16 the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; 17 the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; 18 the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; 19 the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; 20 the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Achshaph, one; 21 the king of Taanach, one; the king of Megiddo, one;22 the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one; 23 the king of Dor in the heights of Dor, one; the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one; 24 the king of Tirzah, one: in all, thirty-one kings.

Joshua 13

Canaan Divided among the Tribes

13 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and all those of the Geshurites; 3 from the Shihor which is east of Egypt, even as far as the border of Ekron to the north (it is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines: the Gazite, the Ashdodite, the Ashkelonite, the Gittite, the Ekronite; and the Avvite 4 to the south, all the land of the Canaanite, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorite; 5 and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. 6 All the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon as far as Misrephoth-maim, all the Sidonians, I will drive them out from before the sons of Israel; only allot it to Israel for an inheritance as I have commanded you. 7 Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”

8 With the other half-tribe, the Reubenites and the Gadites received their inheritance which Moses gave them beyond the Jordan to the east, just as Moses the servant of the Lord gave to them; 9 from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley, and all the plain of Medeba, as far as Dibon; 10 and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the sons of Ammon;11 and Gilead, and the territory of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all Mount Hermon, and all Bashan as far as Salecah; 12 all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (he alone was left of the remnant of the Rephaim); for Moses struck them and dispossessed them. 13 But the sons of Israel did not dispossess the Geshurites or the Maacathites; for Geshur and Maacath live among Israel until this day. 14 Only to the tribe of Levi he did not give an inheritance; the offerings by fire to the Lord, the God of Israel, are their inheritance, as He spoke to him.

15 So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families.16 Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba; 17 Heshbon, and all its cities which are on the plain: Dibon and Bamoth-baal and Beth-baal-meon, 18 and Jahaz and Kedemoth and Mephaath, 19 and Kiriathaim and Sibmah and Zereth-shahar on the hill of the valley, 20 and Beth-peor and the slopes of Pisgah and Beth-jeshimoth, 21 even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land. 22 The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain. 23 The border of the sons of Reuben was the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages.

24 Moses also gave an inheritance to the tribe of Gad, to the sons of Gad, according to their families. 25 Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah; 26 and from Heshbon as far as Ramath-mizpeh and Betonim, and from Mahanaim as far as the border of Debir; 27 and in the valley, Beth-haram and Beth-nimrah and Succoth and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, with the Jordan as a border, as far as the lower end of the Sea of Chinnereth beyond the Jordan to the east. 28 This is the inheritance of the sons of Gad according to their families, the cities and their villages.

29 Moses also gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh; and it was for the half-tribe of the sons of Manasseh according to their families. 30 Their territory was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the towns of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty cities; 31 also half of Gilead, with Ashtaroth and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan, were for the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh, for half of the sons of Machir according to their families.

32 These are the territories which Moses apportioned for an inheritance in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan at Jericho to the east. 33 But to the tribe of Levi, Moses did not give an inheritance; the Lord, the God of Israel, is their inheritance, as He had promised to them.

Joshua 14

Caleb’s Request

14 Now these are the territories which the sons of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel apportioned to them for an inheritance, by the lot of their inheritance, as the Lord commanded through Moses, for the nine tribes and the half-tribe. 3 For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe beyond the Jordan; but he did not give an inheritance to the Levites among them. For the sons of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, and they did not give a portion to the Levites in the land, except cities to live in, with their pasture lands for their livestock and for their property. 5 Thus the sons of Israel did just as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.

Then the sons of Judah drew near to Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which the Lord spoke to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully. 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God fully.’ 10 Now behold, the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. 12 Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken.”

13 So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.14 Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed the Lord God of Israel fully. 15 Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.

Joshua 15

Territory of Judah

15 Now the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south. Their south border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that turns to the south. Then it proceeded southward to the ascent of Akrabbim and continued to Zin, then went up by the south of Kadesh-barnea and continued to Hezron, and went up to Addar and turned about to Karka. 4 It continued to Azmon and proceeded to the brook of Egypt, and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border. The east border was the Salt Sea, as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border of the north side was from the bay of the sea at the mouth of the Jordan. 6 Then the border went up to Beth-hoglah, and continued on the north of Beth-arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and turned northward toward Gilgal which is opposite the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south of the valley; and the border continued to the waters of En-shemesh and it ended at En-rogel. Then the border went up the valley of Ben-hinnom to the slope of the Jebusite on the south (that is, Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain which is before the valley of Hinnom to the west, which is at the end of the valley of Rephaim toward the north. 9 From the top of the mountain the border curved to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah and proceeded to the cities of Mount Ephron, then the border curved to Baalah (that is, Kiriath-jearim). 10 The border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and continued to the slope of Mount Jearim on the north (that is, Chesalon), and went down to Beth-shemesh and continued through Timnah. 11 The border proceeded to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border curved to Shikkeron and continued to Mount Baalah and proceeded to Jabneel, and the border ended at the sea. 12 The west border was at the Great Sea, even its coastline. This is the border around the sons of Judah according to their families.

13 Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the Lord to Joshua, namely, Kiriath-arba, Arba being the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). 14 Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 Then he went up from there against the inhabitants of Debir; now the name of Debir formerly was Kiriath-sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “The one who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as a wife.” 17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it; so he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. 18 It came about that when she came to him, she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she alighted from the donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 Then she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families.

21 Now the cities at the extremity of the tribe of the sons of Judah toward the border of Edom in the south were Kabzeel and Eder and Jagur, 22 and Kinah and Dimonah and Adadah, 23 and Kedesh and Hazor and Ithnan, 24 Ziph and Telem and Bealoth, 25 and Hazor-hadattah and Kerioth-hezron (that is, Hazor), 26 Amam and Shema and Moladah, 27 and Hazar-gaddah and Heshmon and Beth-pelet, 28 and Hazar-shual and Beersheba and Biziothiah, 29 Baalah and Iim and Ezem, 30 and Eltolad and Chesil and Hormah, 31 and Ziklag and Madmannah and Sansannah, 32 and Lebaoth and Shilhim and Ain and Rimmon; in all, twenty-nine cities with their villages.

33 In the lowland: Eshtaol and Zorah and Ashnah, 34 and Zanoah and En-gannim, Tappuah and Enam, 35 Jarmuth and Adullam, Socoh and Azekah, 36 and Shaaraim and Adithaim and Gederah and Gederothaim; fourteen cities with their villages.

37 Zenan and Hadashah and Migdal-gad, 38 and Dilean and Mizpeh and Joktheel, 39 Lachish and Bozkath and Eglon, 40 and Cabbon and Lahmas and Chitlish, 41 and Gederoth, Beth-dagon and Naamah and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages.

42 Libnah and Ether and Ashan, 43 and Iphtah and Ashnah and Nezib, 44 and Keilah and Achzib and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages.

45 Ekron, with its towns and its villages; 46 from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages.

47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; as far as the brook of Egypt and the Great Sea, even its coastline.

48 In the hill country: Shamir and Jattir and Socoh, 49 and Dannah and Kiriath-sannah (that is, Debir), 50 and Anab and Eshtemoh and Anim, 51 and Goshen and Holon and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages.

52 Arab and Dumah and Eshan, 53 and Janum and Beth-tappuah and Aphekah, 54 and Humtah and Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages.

55 Maon, Carmel and Ziph and Juttah, 56 and Jezreel and Jokdeam and Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.

58 Halhul, Beth-zur and Gedor, 59 and Maarath and Beth-anoth and Eltekon; six cities with their villages.

60 Kiriath-baal (that is, Kiriath-jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages.

61 In the wilderness: Beth-arabah, Middin and Secacah, 62 and Nibshan and the City of Salt and Engedi; six cities with their villages.

63 Now as for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

The Book of Joshua

For many the book of Joshua can be perplexing, as we witness the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to the patriarchs to give Israel the land of Canaan.

By the end of Deuteronomy, Israel has been brought into the blessing of covenant relationship with the Lord and has become a great people. But, they remain outside of the Land of Promise, on the plains of Moab.

Just as Joshua’s leadership begins with the death of Moses, so the book of Joshua follows and some might say, completes the book of Deuteronomy.

As we read through the Book of Joshua we have to keep a few things in mind.

The Old Testament teaches that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is the Creator of everything, and therefore the owner of all lands. He has the right to distribute territories according to His good and holy will.

As the universal Creator, He is also the universal Judge, to whom all people everywhere are accountable. The Flood, Tower of Babel, and judgment on Egypt during the time of the Exodus all serve as examples of His Justice.

This means that God has the ultimate rights over the land of Canaan, and that He has the right to bring the Canaanites to judgment for their moral condition and deeds.

Here in the Book of Joshua, the Lord as divine Warrior, brings His people into the Land of Promise and gives them “rest”.  This is the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob back in the Book of Genesis.

God gave them victories, but each victory required a step of faith.

That the nation was later dispossessed reflects not on the character of God but on the fickleness of a people who took divine blessings for granted, fell into the worship of their neighbors’ gods, and therefore came under the chastisement God had warned them about in Deuteronomy prior to the Conquest we read about in Joshua.

We will explore this further in the Book Of Judges.

Paul taught that the events of the Exodus and the Conquest are meaningful for Christians symbolizing the work and ministry of Jesus.

The Greek form of the name “Joshua” (“Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation”) is “Jesus.”

Joshua led Israel to victory over her enemies and into possession of the Promised Land, and he interceded for the nation after it had sinned and been defeated at Ai.

In the same way, Jesus brings His people into a promised rest, intercedes for us continually, and enables us to defeat our enemies.

These factors—God’s right to allocate land and judge the world with perfect justice; the need to protect the purity of the Israelite theocracy; and the provisions for even Canaanites to be saved (Rahab and her family, the Gibeonites, etc.)—all illustrate the justice that lies behind the events that take place in Joshua.

Until next time…keep reading.

Jim

Excerpts and references: ESV Study Bible, HCSB Study Bible, Bible Knowledge Commentary