Thought to Guide Your ReadingNotice the difference in outcome when Israel consults God and when they do not consult God.
Summary in 100 Words or LessThe Hivites at Gibeon tricked Israel by imitating emissaries from a far land. They became Israel's servants.
Several kings attacked Israel and Gibeon. Israel roundly defeated them when God rained stones on the kings' armies and held the sun to help Israel kill their enemy. Joshua executed the five kings to show Israel God's power.
Other kings attacked Israel and God gave them into their hands. The abnormally-tall tribe was driven out of Canaan.
Joshua and Israel did all that God commanded them to do through Moses—conquer the land of Canaan. Israel rested from war.
How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right
The story of the Hivites at Gibeon shows the perils of not consulting God on decisions.Israel decided not to take the strange emissary's request to God before agreeing even though they had reservations at first. This provides a great example that all decisions should have God's approval through prayer. Do not make decisions without consulting God in prayer.
Joshua executes the kings in public to remind Israel that God was defeating their enemies before them.The conquest of Canaan took a long time. Israel could have become war-weary or questioned God's ability to defend them. So Joshua gives yet another example of God helping Israel—defeating the five kings. Leaders should show how God is helping His Chosen People.
The new generation fulfilled another part of God's promise to Abraham—land.This generation finished the task God wanted the preceding generation to accomplish—the conquest of Canaan. They were faithful. God will fulfill His Promises when His Chosen People are faithful.
The people of Canaan are being punished for their sin.Reading this section of scripture is difficult. There is a lot of death and destruction. It is easy to write this off as God being a ruthless, punishing god. This assessment of God is one of the major reasons I wanted to write this blog in the first place. If you have followed the entire readings you know that God has repeatedly given Israel reasons to not allow the Canaanites to live. This reason is a simple one—the people in Canaan disobeyed God and polluted the land. God is cleansing the land of their sin. It is difficult for us to read this section of scripture because of its violence. However, we should feel more uncomfortable because of what it says about God's character. God will punish people who do not set things right on this earth.
Be strong and courageous!
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