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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019.01.09 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 12

Read Joshua 12
Questions for Littles: Upon which kind of Canaanite people, from each tribe, does chapter 12 focus (v1, 7)? On which side of the Jordan does chapter 12 begin (v1)? Which king gets two verses to himself in vv2-3? Which king gets two verses to himself in vv4-5? Who conquered these two (v6)? To whom was this land given? Who conquered the kings in the second half of the chapter (v7)? To whom are their territories given? Which peoples had these kings ruled (v8)? How many kings named in vv9-24? 
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we have a list of all of the kings that have been defeated—first by Moses, and then by Joshua. This is going to become even more significant when we get to the themes of the book of Judges, “there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in their own eyes.”

So, on the one hand, Israel was different from these 34 kingdoms, because they did not have a king at all. Even Moses, who defeats the two great kings that get all of that “press” earlier in the chapter—even Moses is called “the servant of Yahweh” not once but twice in v6. Who defeats all these other kings? Not Israelite kings, but servants!

But, on the other hand, as we are going to find out, Israel turns out very sadly similar to these other kingdoms. Many people have put up in their homes the “as for me and my house” verse from 24:15. Very few put up in their homes v19: “But Joshua said to the people, ‘You cannot serve Yahweh for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.’”

So here, in chapter 12, when this massive list of kingdoms is given, the emphasis is not so much on the difference between Israel and these kingdoms but rather between Yahweh and their kings. Yahweh is perfectly good. Yahweh is keeping His threats of judgment against them. Yahweh is keeping His promises of inheritance to His people.

And Yahweh cannot be defeated. Be there ever so powerful kings as the ones conquered by Moses, be there ever so many kings as the ones conquered by Joshua, still Yahweh cannot be defeated. He cannot die. Who is a mighty God like Yahweh your God?

This is a necessary lesson for our age today. The enemies of the people of God are many. Powerful nations. Powerful religions. Powerful armies. But Christ cannot be defeated!
What/who seems threatening to you in this world? How do they compare to Christ? 
Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH2A “Why Do Heathen Nations Rage?”

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