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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018.12.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 11:1-15

Questions for Littles: Who “heard these things” (v1)? To which kings and nations and regions did he send word in v1-3? What did they do (v4a)? How does v4 describe the number of their soldiers? Of what else did they have very many? Where did they camp (v5)? To do what? Who spoke to Joshua in v6? What did He tell him not to do? What did He tell him to do? What did Joshua and all the people of war do in v7? Where? In what manner? Who delivered the great army of the nations into the hand of Israel (v8)? And what did Israel do? How many did they leave remaining? What does v9 say directed Joshua’s actions? What did he do? What did Joshua turn to and Israel do in vv10-12? By what does v12 say that these actions were directed? What special kind of city is mentioned in v13? Which of these did Israel burn? What did Israel do with their spoil and livestock (v14)? What did they do with the people? Who directed all this (v15)? Through whom? What is emphasized a third time in the end of v15?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we heard the account of the conquering of the northern portion of the land of promise. One could wish to focus upon how the nations all gathered as one, to destroy Israel. But, when the Lord repeats the same editorial comment several times in a passage, we need to deal fairly with that.

“But Yahweh said to Joshua…” (v6).

“Yahweh delivered them…” (v8).

“Joshua did to them as Yahweh had told him…” (v9).

“Just as Moses the servant of Yahweh had commanded” (v12).

“Just as Yahweh had commanded”  (v15a).

“He left nothing undone of all that Yahweh had commanded” (v15d).

The Lord anticipates our recoiling at the fierceness and completeness of the devastation of the conquest. And, recoil we have done! What frequent complaining there is about the conquest by wicked unbelievers!

But, if we are not going to read in filthy rebellion, then we cannot come away offended at actions that this passage emphasizes six times that this was what Yahweh commanded. Rather, we must come away stunned at what we deserve—that every single one of us deserves this, and worse!

What is truly amazing is that there is any nation that the Lord is speaking to at all. Any nation that the Lord is tolerating at all. Any nation that the Lord is helping at all. Any nation that the Lord is saving at all. Any nation that the Lord is enriching at all.

And through preserving this nation, the Lord is keeping His promise to do this for every single one, from all the nations, who believes in Jesus Christ. Amazing grace!
What should we think about ourselves, when we are surprised at God’s judgement? 
Suggested songs: ARP51A-B “God, Be Merciful to Me” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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