Text: Joshua 11 Theme: At times the LordÂ leads hisÂ people to show no mercyÂ Key verses: “So Joshua took this entire land…He captured all their kings and struck them down, putting them to death.” (v. 16-17) “Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them in battle. For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.” (v. 19-20) “So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.” (v. 23) What God said to me: Dwayne, it is one thing to read and hear what I want you to do. It is quite another thing when you are in the midst of having to actually obey and carry out my orders. Imagine how difficult it must have been at times for Joshua and some of his soldiers as they had to enter houses and closets to hunt down children and families to kill. Imagine how hard it was to literally destroy everything that breathed. Try to fathom showing absolutely no mercy and realizing it was me, your God, who had commissioned such total annialation. Apparently, the God who assigned this task to them was showing no mercy either – at least, that wasÂ how it must have appeared to the Israelites. Of course, only in the annuls of eternity might they and you ever really know whether I was being merciful. You do not for a moment understand or comprehend my ways and my thoughts. No doubt every Israelite citizen bathed in the idea that I was giving them that land. Yet, when it came time to deliver on my promise, it meant them having to do some difficult and dangerous and reason-defying things. Yes, the time of such mass killing is past. No, I do not want you to go out and destroy your neighbors who do not follow me. However, Dwayne, I do want you to go out and share the good news of my Son with them. This will require some dying still. You yourself will have to be put to the sword – your old nature, that is. It will be difficult. It will require courage and determination. Then again, obeying me always has – just ask the Israelites… What I said to God: Thank You and praise You, holy and wise, almighty Lord. I love and adore You today. Spending time with You in Your Word is like taking a nice long warm bath and coming out clean and refreshed. That is how I feel right now – refreshed and more determined to reckon myself dead to me and alive in You. I choose to boldly proclaim Your Word and Your witness today to any and all I come in contact with. Send me to someone today to share You with. Show mercy on them, Lord, before the day comes when You once again decree no mercy on them.
09. July 2007 Joshua 0