A Brand New End

Our readings are from Joshua and Luke.

In both chapters 5 and 6 of Joshua there is much to occupy ones mind. For me, I am captured like the Amorites by chapter 6:20-23.  What stands out for me is the amount of time God gave the Canaanites to repent. While he did indeed punish them he also gave them ample time to repent. However, as a result of their rebellion God was going to bring in Israel as one writer puts it as “His executioner”.

The lack of repentance would result in devastation for the city, “They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed every living thing in it, men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.” (6:21). Things could have been so different. The case of Rahab the prostitute in v 23 is evidence of this. Any Canaanite could have saved his or her life by sincerely accepting  God’s will and repenting from their past actions.

One thing that is worth reflecting on is, “Why did God seem to go beyond the normal actions required of any conquering nation?” (see Deut. 20:10-18). Could it be considered that the destroying of everything that could be destroyed was actually “overkill?”. Yes. However, we would then have forgotten that this was not a “normal” situation. This action did go beyond the normal, to show that Israel were not just common plunderers but were in fact acting as God’s hand of judgement.

Yes as we read on 6:27, “The Lord as with Joshua”, but even then, to try and picture in my head the actual situation is quite hard. It must have been awful for the inhabitants of Jericho. The marching, the wailing of ram’s horns, the falling if the walls and much much more.

God was calling a people and a city to account. Their time was up. One even feels the weight of this in reading Luke 22:24-38.

So today, give thanks that God has not called time yet on our own rebellion and maybe we still have time to turn back to him with our whole hearts.

Ian Barnett