Good morning friends! Today we continue on in Joshua...Joshua inspired by his defeat of Jericho decides to turn on his homicide meter to a strong 15 out of 10. It's a tough chapter to read when we are used to hearing God be a God of peace being the one to say to Joshua "do not be afraid, I will hand them all to you. Let none of them survive." Sheesh. I still think there are ways that this can be related to us. I have two thoughts below on that, but I welcome your own thoughts too! Share them in the comments.
Scripture to Read
Joshua 9 -12
Audio Bible (there are still audio issues and I'm sorry for this, I'll switch back to a different recording camera soon.)
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about God?
What does this teach me about humanity?
What part of this reading did I need to pause at? Why is that?
Would Jesus say amen to this?
- My Thoughts -
So there are two thoughts I have on this...first is a little shallow I admit but maybe you need to hear this and that's totally cool. We all have to fight something...our inner doubts, our addictions (to work, to stimulants, to alcohol, to perfection, etc.) our impulses, or those things external to us that are a roadblock to our happiness and success. This scripture speaks to me and says "no matter what or no matter how big the obstacle you face is, nothing, absolutely nothing, can stop God from delivering you to the happiness that God wants you to have." I find that encouraging, but the collateral damage along the way leaves me concerned.
Second thing that sticks out to me is the final chapter where it lists the names of the Kings that Joshua kills. I think in light of COVID-19 I'm more sensitive to death as a topic than I usually would be. As a pastor I'm somewhat desensitized to death as I see it so often. But I like that they named each King because it reminded me that these were people just like Joshua. They ruled and cared for their people. They had family that loved them. They had their own fears, doubts, insecurities, and also dreams and favorite hobbies. Reading the names that Joshua killed didn't cause me celebrate Joshua's victories, it made me sad.
I think it's easy to dismiss COVID-19's severity when we see that 125,000 people have died. The number is so astronomically large that it's no longer personal. But we need to make it personal. We should consciously try to remember that every single person listed had their own hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities, vulnerabilities, friends, family, and passion projects.
I'm not saying God is wrong necessarily, but I refuse to let those kings, and the 125,000 dead just be another name on the wall. They were people. So wear your mask, stay home, and keep praying for success of this most recent vaccine.
God, thank you for helping me defeat the enemies that I face. While they might not be warriors with swords and shields, they nevertheless wear me down and break my spirit. I put my trust in you when my soul is weary to carry me the promised land as you had done in the past. In your great power I trust. Amen.