Holy Killing

30. June 2007 Joshua 0

Text: Joshua 10:28-43 Theme: God’s methods can be very hard to understand Key verses: “Joshua took Makkedah, and struck it and its king with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them – all the people who were in it.” (v. 28) “…they fought against Libnah. And the Lord delivered it and its king into the hand of Israel…all the people…with the edge of the sword…” (v.29-30) “…and the Lord delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel…all the people…with the edge of the sword…” (v. 32) “Then Horam, king of Gezer, came up to help Lachish; and Joshua struck him and his people…” (v. 33) “…Joshua passed to Eglon, and all Israel with him…all the people who were in it he utterly destroyed…” (v. 34-35) “…to Hebron…And they took it and struck it with the edge of the sword…he left none remaining…” (v. 36-37) (v. 36-37) “…to Debir…they struck them with the edge of the sword and utterly destroyed all the people who were in it…” (v. 38-39) “So Joshua conquered all the land…he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the Lord God of Israel had commanded…All these kings and their land Joshua took at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.” (v. 40-42) What God said to me: My son, where is that “God is love” caricature that so many view me as? How could I decree such brutal and horrible tactics? How could I stand back while “my people” pierce their swords through innocent women and children, little babies? Moreover, how could the writer of this book of Joshua credit/blame such cruelty on this loving and kind God? Am I a schizophrenic deity? Could there really be another side to me or even another God altogether that somehow siezed my throne and took control somewhere between the testaments? No, a thousand times no. Dwayne, my love is defined by my justice. You must set this series of annihilations in their proper context. Notice how verse 42 reads, “All these kings and lands Joshua took…” Rather than blaming me for their destruction, the focus should be on their leaders, those corrupt kings who chose to ignore me and instead follow hard after false gods and godless lifestyles. In order to keep their corruption and their influence from infecting my people, total destruction was inevitable. Furthermore, I had given that land to my people. Had the children of those pagans been allowed to live and grow, they would have later tried to lay claim again to “their” land. Rest assured that those in those pagan camps who had not yet reached the age of accountability received proper mercy on the other side of death. I am the one God of love. There is no other. My character does not contradict itself. I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. That is my perogative. Your task is to obey me and not ask questions about my reasoning. What I said to God: Lord, once again, I am bowed over by Your indescribable and fascinatingly confusing ways. I choose to trust You that You are both a God of Justice and a God of Mercy because You are ultimately the God of Love. Praise You, Father, for such knowledge! Praise You for taking time to care for one such as me and for speaking to my heart. You are under no obligation to explain anything to me about why You do what You do; yet today You have granted me a little better picture of the depth of Your attributes and the mystery of Your ways. I am humbled by Your greatness; awed by Your majesty; amazed by Your wisdom and silenced by Your unfathomable sovereignty.