Warfare

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

13 Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16 Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said. Deuteronomy 6:13-19

Abraham and his descendants were nomads for four centuries. and now the people would bring judgment on the people of Canaan. The Canaanites were given four hundred years to change their ways and now there was to be a reckoning. The people of Israel would clear the land, holding the Canaanites to account for atrocities committed. This was a brutal age and the Canaanites were a brutal people, see Deuteronomy 12:29-31.

We have already touched on the difficult subject of warfare in the Old testament see Homeland.

What we find in the book of Judges is the people of Israel behaving in a similar way to the people of Canaan. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs (Judges 3:7)

The final line of the book of Judges reads this:  “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” Judges 21:25

Once again the people of Israel were in need of deliverance.

Where are you tempted to forget God and behave like those around you? 

In what ways is God calling you to obey? Are you able to pray “not my will, but yours be done”?

Today, pray “Your Kingdom Come” and look for ways to serve your King.

Mission

LENT ADVENTURE 2016 Isaiah 42:1-9

6 ‘I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Israel had a mission, to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:6). Through Abraham and his family God was going to bless the whole world. The great mission of God to renew all things and bring restoration had been rescued and re-instigated through the Exodus. The people were now in the land “to be a covenant for the people and a light to the Gentiles” (Is 42:6), but once again the people lost the plot.

For example, the book of Judges, is really a depiction of the called family losing their sense of mission and calling, giving up on the holy law laid down by God and anarchy breaking out throughout the land. The people habitually failed to keep their terms of the covenant, again and again a faithful God rescues them from disaster.

Think about your day yesterday, how did you follow God’s way for your life , where did you go astray?

Today how will you bring light to those around you? How will you contribute to the mission of God to renew all things?

Let God take you by the hand and lead you to where He is already working in the lives of others. Be prepared to demonstrate the Kingdom to others.

Homeland

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant: 2 ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the River Jordan into the land I am about to give to them – to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates – all the Hittite country – to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

7 ‘Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:1-9

Born in Egypt, Joshua was Moses’ apprentice and successor. Moses only got to see the land promised to the people of Israel, Joshua would take them home. The Kingdom of God would advance and remove those who opposed God as King. This is the story of how, “a second generation of former slaves succeeded in invading and possessing Canaan, thus inheriting the land God had promised Abraham…” -Fee & Stuart

Our modern western minds struggle with this part of the history of Israel. We hate the idea of ‘Holy War’ and forget that the people that were to be evicted had been warned. (Genesis 15:16-21, Joshua 2:8-13).  Krish Kandiah in his excellent book Paradoxology, helpfully comments that, “The Canaanite conquest was uniquely God’s judgement on Canaan and God’s gift to Israel of a homeland. It is not appropriate for any nation to take these texts and use them as a model or a mandate for military conquest, and when these events have been used this way to justify war, it is an abuse of Scripture.” (See also this article)

What is God calling you to? Where do you need to be strong and very courageous?

Where can you find answers to the tough questions you have about the Bible? 

You will be held accountable for all that you do and do not do. How will you make the most of your day, today?