Cover to Cover
Reading: Joshua 14:1-17:18
Focus: Joshua 15:63; 16:10; 17:12-18
In the 2009 release of Sherlock Holmes, the plot devices are used in such a way that each little detail comes to play a significant part in the greater scheme of the story. Sharp intuition may see these pieces come together bit by bit, but for most people it only comes together in hindsight. Only when the bigger picture starts to unfold does the role of the smaller pieces start to fit.
In the story of Joshua, plot devices are dropped throughout that begin to piece together the future of the nation of Israel. God had commanded the Israelites, through Moses and now through Joshua, to first make an offer of peace resulting in enslavement into forced labour; if the offer is rejected then they are to wipe the people out entirely. Aside from God’s own judgment against the enemies of the Israelites, for the benefit of the people of Israel they were to drive them out. Moses had warned them (Deuteronomy 20:16-18):
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hitties, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the LORD your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.
The seeds of unrest had been planted and in time would grow to be a thorn in Israel’s side. The very warnings of Deuteronomy would come to bite back at Israel; Israel would follow the sinful ways of those they failed to drive out from the land. The words of future prophets only serve to highlight Israel’s failure to do what God had commanded them to do.
Life isn’t all that different. There are things in life which allowed to grow roots will only end up in unrest. In dealing with sin, we need to remove it from our lives, not to give it a foothold in our hearts.
Next Reading: Joshua 18:1-21:45