Day 85: Fighting for Each Other
Joshua 12:1-24 This is a record of the thirty-one kings and kingdoms that Israel had to conquer to acquire the Promised Land.
Chapters 13-19 These seven chapters provide great detail as to the allocation of land to the various tribes of Israel. The three tribes that had settled in Transjordan were allowed to keep those lands on the condition that they continued to support the other tribes militarily (POP QUIZ!! What were the three tribes who stayed in Transjordan? Turn in your answers on the Ascension Facebook Group Page 🤪). The remaining nine tribes drew lots and were apportioned property in that fashion. The lots were drawn in the Tent of Meeting so God would guide the process and determine the subdivision of the land.
Ch 13:6 I will myself drive them out: Some nations were still living in areas around the fringe of the Promised Land, but God would move them out as necessary. Some of these nations remained on their land and coexisted peaceably with the Tribes of Israel.
Ch 13:33 When it came to time to divide the Promised Land among the Twelve Tribes of Israel, no territory was given to the Levites. They were designated by God as a priestly tribe who would be at the service of all the other tribes, conducting worship and offering sacrifices in atonement for sin. Their members were to live in all the tribal regions and were to be provided for by a tithe from the tribes. For the Levites, their inheritance was not the land but their special relationship with God. (CCC 1539)
Ch 14:6-15 The people of Judah requested that land be given to the family of Caleb. He and Joshua were the only survivors of the Exodus from Egypt, and Caleb had performed courageously as a spy and as a warrior. He was given the city of Hebron.
Psalm 129 The description of welts, cuts, and gashes that covered the psalmist’s back on account of being scourged brings to mind the SCOURGING OF CHRIST before his Crucifixion. This may be a figurative reference to the suffering Israel had endured at the hands of its enemies. In spite of all the adversity, the hope of vindication and eventual restoration of Jerusalem remained in the heart of the psalmist. As always, the hopes for Jerusalem translate into Christians’ expectation of the heavenly Jerusalem, where we hope someday to enter and live forever in Christ.
Cut the cords of the wicked: This is likely a reference to the cords used for scourging prisoners. Longer cords pick up much more speed than shorter ones, thereby inflicting greater punishment; this image of a reduction in the cord’s length may indicate a cessation of suffering imposed on Israel.
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Key Event 35: Tribal Allotment (Joshua 13-21)
Each tribe receives a designated portion of the Promised Land. Reuben, God, and half of Manasseh settle east of the Jordan River (Josh 13). West of the Jordan are Judah, Ephraim, and the other half of Manasseh (Josh 14-15), as well as the smaller tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan (Josh 16-19). Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, are each counted as a tribe since the tribe of Levi has no allotment of land (Deut 10:9).
Joshua’s defeat of the pagan kings and the claim that the land is at rest make Joshua 13-22, a bit of a surprise because chapter 13 opens with God’s warning to Joshua that “there remains yet very much land to be possessed” (Jos 13:1) and the narrative contains repeated complaints that Israel is not taking possession of the Promised Land.
What is going on?
If we read carefully, we discover that after their military victories in Joshua 1-12, Israel usually returns to their camp at Gilgal.
In Joshua 13-22, the complaint that the tribes are not taking possession of their inheritance means that Israel is failing to follow up their military victories with a physical occupation of the land of their defeated enemies.
Of all the tribes, Judah is most successful in occupying the land allotted to them, but no tribe completes the task.
The problem is acute, as Joshua realizes, for if Israel does not take possession of the land, a new generation of Canaanite leaders will arise, and the rest from fighting that has been granted to Israel will soon be squandered.
(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
Ok this is going to be a hard one for me...I’m transcribing at Fr. Mike’s Normal Speed because the podcast isn’t on Google Podcasts yet…..And Heeeere Weeeee GOOOOO!
What’s happening when it comes to the battles and these wars?
How easy is it for us to misunderstand what is happening?
This is not meant to be a whitewashing of history
This is not meant to take away from the fact that these were TROUBLED TIMES
This is not meant to take away from (OH MY GOODNESS HE TALKS SO FAST!! Are we SURE that 1.0x speed is accurate? Oh my fingers be cramping!🤯) that this was NOT part of God’s ORIGINAL PLAN
(Oh Sweet Mother McCree the Google Podcast is available….my typing fingers were leaving trails of smoke 🤪)
God’s ORIGINAL PLAN was PEACE
God’s ORIGINAL PLAN was HARMONY
HARMONY IN OURSELVES
HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER
HARMONY WITH GOD
But now we live in this BROKEN AND DIVIDED WORLD
Also, we recognize and we must be reminded of this, was that for the People of Israel God is commanding this war and destruction
We think of this kind of HEREM warfare as so strange, violent, and brutal
We think of this as so ABSOLUTE
This is because of the FALSENESS and FICKLENESS of the hearts of the People of Israel
Which is also IN OUR HEARTS
If they are going to live as GOD’S HOLY PEOPLE, God knows they WILL NOT BE ABLE TO LIVE among a people that will lead them astray
They would be SO TEMPTED to live the same as the people around them
We heard this in Deuteronomy and Numbers AGAIN AND AGAIN
God knows that if the Israelites try to COEXIST with these people, THEY WILL FAIL
This is not to say that we CANNOT COEXIST with people today
There are three reasons to keep in mind if these passages UPSET YOU
Joshua is leading the people into BATTLE
The FIRST REASON is because of the CORRUPTION OF THE CANAANITES
Leviticus 18: Sexual corruption (go back and read it and see how morally corrupt they were)
Deuteronomy 12: The Canaanites performed CHILD SACRIFICE
There is a JUDGEMENT that God is extending upon the Canaanites
There is a FULFILLMENT of God’s Judgement
The SECOND REASON is the question whether God is COMMANDING GENOCIDE?
We need to understand that this is HYPERBOLE
Calling for the destruction of everybody is NOT EXACTLY what happened, but it was a way to HYPERBOLIZE or EXAGGERATE the amount of destruction that happens
How do we know this?
In Deuteronomy 7: God is calling for the destruction of EVERYBODY through Moses
But then God also says, “Don’t marry them or do business with them.”
Ok so Scripture is giving us a clue that maybe this is HYPERBOLE when it says DESTROY EVERYONE, but don’t marry them or do business with them
It would be VERY HARD to marry someone or do business with someone that has been COMPLETELY DESTROYED
In Joshua 10: “Leave no survivors in these cities.” (It’s like when Emperor Palpatine told the newly anointed Darth Vader to kill every single Jedi, but there was at least one he didn’t kill. I mean technically Obi-Wan had the high ground...but still 🤓)
But we will hear TOMORROW in Joshua 15 that THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE THERE
This is THE SAME BOOK OF JOSHUA
We are looking at HYPERBOLE here when we read that NO MAN WAS LEFT ALIVE, NO WOMAN WAS LEFT ALIVE, NO CHILDREN WERE LEFT ALIVE
THAT IS HYPERBOLE
Not only this, but God reveals to us in Deuteronomy 20 that this is a LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
This is JUST for the people of Canaan
God’s WILL is that Israel has PEACE WITH ALL NATIONS
The Prophecy is that people will come from NORTH AND SOUTH AND EAST AND WEST and they respond to GOD’S BLESSING
They respond to his PROMISE of being PRESENT TO THEM
God’s desire is NOT DIVISION AMONG PEOPLE
God’s desire is NOT DESTRUCTION OF PEOPLE
God’s desire is the RECONCILIATION AND UNION OF ALL PEOPLE
That’s what GOD’S PROMISE is
That’s what God is REVEALING
On the way, it is incredibly difficult to get to this point
THERE WAS A REASON why the people of Canaan were being defeated
THERE WAS A REASON why the people of Canaan were being driven out
This was HYPERBOLIZED and EXAGGERATED
Knowing this, we know that God’s ULTIMATE PLAN was NOT the destruction of the entire world
God’s ULTIMATE PLAN was NOT the destruction of anyone WHO IS DIFFERENT
God’s Will is NOT the destruction of anyone who BELIEVES SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY
God’s plan, his Will, is the UNION OF PEOPLE
God’s plan, his Will, is HARMONY WITH EACH OTHER
God’s plan, his Will, is HARMONY WITHIN OURSELVES
God’s plan, his Will, is HARMONY, ABOVE ALL, WITH HIM
So THAT is GOD’S PLAN
We will continue to get DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO GOD’S PLAN as we continue this journey
GOD’S PLAN is that we are NOT DIVIDED, BUT UNITED
GOD’S PLAN is that we are NOT FIGHTING AGAINST EACH OTHER, BUT FOR EACH OTHER
Let’s keep FIGHTING FOR EACH OTHER
Let’s keep PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER
Let’s keep HOLDING EACH OTHER UP
We have COME SO FAR
We have SO FAR TO GO
Keep praying for each other
Pray for Fr. Mike
Prayer by Fr. Mike “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and glory. We thank you for bringing us to this day. We thank you for bringing us all the way through The Bible, to this point, your Word, to this point. And we know that without your Word, we would not know who you are. We would not know who we are, God, without revealing yourself to us, and revealing your heart to us. Yes, we can see your traces, we can see your fingerprints in the world around us. We can see hints at your truth in the created world, the world you created, as we can see the person of the artist in the artwork. Yet Lord, we still might know your heart unless you reveal your heart to us. So we ask you to please, continue to reveal your heart to us that we can reveal our hearts to you. We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”