JOSHUA 6:22 -7:1
Today’s Joshua reading sees the culmination of the taking of Jericho at God’s direction (chapter 6:2-3). It highlights:
The unusual & unexpected
Belief & obedience v disobedience
God’s way of capturing Jericho was a most unusual military tactic (yesterday’s reading) and this may have tested Joshua’s faith as a commander, yet he trusted God and obeyed His directions. Succes was the result!
Rahab the prostitute, was an unlikely choice (maybe in our eyes) by God for the preservation of the spies (also in yesterday’s reading). Her behaviour, though, is that of trust – in the spies’ promise of protection, and – – in the measure of faith she had in the God of Israel. She gathered her whole family into her home and they were all saved. Joshua ensured that the promise of the spies to this woman was fulfilled.
By the way, God’s ‘unexpected’ continues in the genealogy of Jesus ( Matthew 1:5) where Rahab appears in the ancestor line. Isn’t God the God of surprises! His ways are not our ways. However, back to Joshua. After the complete devastation of the city, Achan, in spite of God’s instructions v18. ‘but keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it’ could not resist the valuable spoils, presumably for himself, bringing God’s anger once more for disobedience against the people of Israel v.7:1.
Obedience does matter to God. Obedience is important to God. Achan perhaps is an example of a fool who was ‘wise in his own eyes’ and ignored his leader’s clear instructions.
Fools get short shrift from the wise King Solomon. Throughout the collection of proverbs we have been reading, fools are disparagingly mentioned over 50 times!
In today’s reading contradiction in v4 answer a fool….. v5 Don’t answer a fool…. as in so many of the proverbs, requires the situation to be the guide to the right course of action. In these verses we need to be aware of our purpose in replying/ arguing with &/or correcting a person who is behaving foolishly. While there is no contrast today with WISDOM, throughout our Proverbs readings wisdom and foolishness are linked in a powerful and contrasted challenge. Without asking for the gift of wisdom and it being received, we are all fools and behave as such! Let us make sure we draw on the gift God is offering, and gain wisdom from Him! Proverbs 1:7. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom.
Peter and Elizabeth