Continuing a plan to get through the entire Bible in a year, follow as I journal through the reading. I have chosen a straightforward approach that begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. This will not be an in-depth study or a comprehensive commentary. There are plenty of sources for such material. This is stage one Bible reading, taking the text at face value and sharing impressions.
Today’s reading comes from the book of Joshua, chapters 9 through 11, detailing Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land. Some impressions from the text:
- The Gibeonite deception proved to be a mixed bag for the Gibeonites. On the one hand, they rightly feared the God of Israel on account of what had been done to the Egyptians and foreign kings encountered in the wilderness. They sought to preserve their lives, and accomplished that by submitting to Israel and Israel’s God. But they did so in a way that was deceptive, and therefore sinful.
- It’s worth noting that Joshua and the other Israelite leaders made their covenant with the Gibeonites without first consulting God. This was the same mistake made before their first attack on Ai, and again bore consequences. The lesson for us is to consult the Lord in prayer before acting on presumption.
- The joint army of the Amorites was likely the greatest fighting force the Israelites had ever encountered. Their defeat was dramatic and plainly supernatural. God set a panic upon them, battered their forces with hailstones, and held the sun in place in the sky while Israel put them to the sword. The miracle of the sun standing still may be the most astounding recorded in scripture beside the resurrection of Christ. It defies everything we know about how the natural world works. But there exists One who knows better.
- Joshua’s campaign through Southern Canaan reads as a montage of uncontested victories, taking one city after another and laying its inhabitants to waste. Jabin’s coalition from Northern Canaan presents an even larger threat than the Amorites, “in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.” With God at their head, Israel mops them up with no problem.
Return soon as we continue our year-long journey through the text of the Bible.
Catch up on the previous entries:
Israel crosses the river Jordan. – Joshua 1 through 4
The Lord claims victory at Jericho. – Joshua 5 through 8