Reading Joshua & The 1967 Six Day War Side By Side

October 25, 2017 — Leave a comment

One of the key themes throughout the Pentateuch (the first five books of the bible), is that in delivering His people, Yahweh fights for His people. This homeschool term brings us into the book of Joshua where this theme continues.

Yahweh doesn’t abandon Israel rather He goes with them. He is committed to the covenant and expects the people to also remain committed.

The book of Joshua is a continuation of Yahweh’s war against the gods of the Ancient Near East.

The commands given to Israel to remember “the one who brought them out of Egypt” are to safeguard Israel from the seduction of the culture which surrounds them.

Yahweh’s actions are not without mercy. The twelve tribes face their own failings and are brought back through repentance and correction. In addition, foreigners are accepted and some adopted into Israel without overwhelming prejudice. Such as the descendents of Zipporah (the Midianite wife of Moses), Rahab (the Canaanite prostitute), her family and all who were with her.

Yahweh is at war with the gods of the Ancient Near East, He is at war with those who place these idols of clay, stick and stone at the centre of ANE culture. Yahweh is at war against the superstition that has inflamed the hearts of the people with perverted passions. Passions that include human sacrifice. Chief among them was the ritual murder of innocents.

As with Pharaoh, Yahweh reaches forth in righteous judgement against each city-state because He is righteous and is committed to His people. One of the primary messages communicated by Exodus, up to Joshua and beyond, is this:

where men or women raise themselves up as god, their human throne and the empire it represents become enemies of God.

Man provokes God to anger, and in doing so brings about his own judgement.

It is true that the Israel of today is not the Israel of Joshua’s day. The latter was made up of the twelve tribes of Israel, and it would be difficult to prove that the former is also. What exists is a remnant. It would be careless than of me to say that the history of modern Israel reflects God’s commitment to Ancient Israel, without the above qualification.

It is enough, though to say that biblical prophecy regarding the promises made to Ancient Israel, do appear from time to time to be on the front page of the news. If we cannot give a definite “yes” to this, we still do well to at least pay attention to it.

One of those examples came up today as we reached and read through Joshua 11. Once again we hear the message “Yahweh fights for His people”. If we don’t hear that as a direct word today, we can hear today echo of that message.

The 1967, Six Day War is considered by many to be a miracle. Israel was outnumbered and outgunned. It had no strategic advantage or strategic strongholds, and was threatened on three fronts by a coalition of oil producing nations who had the power, means and motivation to wipe Israel off the map. They failed.

In an excellent series of short videos Jerusalem U sums up the events and consequences of that attempt. I used these for the first time today as part of our lesson in order to show how the biblical texts parallel some events in the world around us. They’re worth checking out.

‘..It was indeed necessary that they should serve as soldiers, and fight strenuously with the enemy, but still they were to depend only on the Lord, to consider themselves strong only in his might, and to recline on him alone…Hence the saying of Psalm 20:7, “some may trust in chariots, some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God”
(John Calvin, Commentary on Joshua 11)


 

 

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