Browsing articles tagged with " Joshua"
Aug 31, 2011

But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua assembles the Israelites for a second covenant renewal ceremony at the end of his life. They assemble at Shechem, where Joshua recounts their history, from Abraham’s father Terah, through the time of the patriarchs, to the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan. He then tells them to serve the Lord, saying that, if they refuse, they should choose “this day” whom they will serve: the gods of Terah or of the Canaanites. In words familiar to many Christians, Joshua concludes, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

The Israelites choose to serve the Lord, and Joshua makes a covenant with them, writing in the book of the law and setting up a stone at Shechem to serve as a witness against Israel, should it break the covenant.

This passage highlights one of the central theological claims of the book of Joshua: the Lord is God and is the only deity worthy of worship. Neither the gods of the Canaanites nor the gods of Israel’s own pre-Abrahamic ancestors are to be worshiped. The Lord demands complete covenant loyalty from Israel and will bless such loyalty with divine favor.
(via Enter the Bible)

Jul 22, 2011

The trumpets of Jericho

The city wall of Jericho did not tumble because priests blew their trumpets. It did not come down at all. Canaanite settlements in this period didn’t even have walls. Look at this 15th century painting by Jean Fouquet:
The fall of jericho
Jericho looks like a 15th century city!
What we have in today’s reading Joshua 6:1-27 does not want to be a historical account of sorts but it has two distinct purposes:

First: It shows that God is faithful toward the prostitute Rahab.
Second: The taking of Jericho resembles a liturgical celebration more than a military engagement.

This is a celebration of God’s faithfulness as verse 25 makes clear: “Her descendants have lived in Israel to this day.” Every generation tells stories of the good ol’ days to interpret its presence. What are your walls God needs to break down?

May they all come tumbling down:

Jul 21, 2011

Me too

Aaron is Moses’ little brother. Compare the crossing of the Jordan River with the crossing of the Red Sea under Moses’ leadership (Exodus 14). How are the situations similar? How are they different? What instructions were given to the priests concerning the Covenant Box? Re-read verses 9-11. What are your thoughts concerning this miracle crossing?

Jul 20, 2011

Holy Hooker

God does not choose the people that would be chosen by human standards. Who assisted the Israelites in capturing the Holy Land? – Rahab, the prostitute.
She is also an ancestor of Jesus. What an out-of-this-world bloodline! That is just stuff people can’t make up, only God can do that!

Jul 19, 2011

Be strong

The commandment “Be strong and courageous” is given three times. Obviously it cannot be easily accepted. Here is my sermon on that one from January 2010.