Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Judgment in Joshua
Joshua is not an easy Old Testament book to read. There's a lot of violence, warfare, and killing. Guess we shouldn't be surprised - it is a book about the displacement of the Canaanites from the Promised Land. They didn't agree that it was time to go so they were forced out. In Joshua 8 is the story of the battle of Ai. As in most of the battles of Joshua, it is clear that the battle belongs to the LORD. The human military factor does not add up to much. These Old Testament battles are presented as the judgment of God against the Canaanites. The execution of the King of Ai is depicted as the outcome of God's sentence of judgment. So says John Goldingay who is a good guide to some hard to understand stuff in Joshua. Goldingay goes on to say that we should be glad God does not act in judgment on us the way he did on the Canaanites. But, he also reminds us it might be good to be just a little scared about the way we modern nations deserve God's judgment to fall in this way, not least because of what Jesus said about God judging the nations when they are separated like sheep from the goats.