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W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health 11-03-2021

Read:  Joshua 13:1

I’m tired of “herem” and violence. We’re skipping over years of it. Joshua 12:7 says, “These are the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered…” and it lists “thirty-one kings in all.” (12:24).  We’ve focused on herem for a month.  Why?  Because for many people it’s hard for them to understand or accept. It’s better to study and learn than to ignore or avoid tough issues and questions.  W.I.S.H. posts are about helping to create spiritual health.  That doesn’t happen with avoidance and denial of tough questions.  Hopefully people have a broader perspective and more options to consider when reading these verses in Joshua. I’ve ended this series of W.I.S.H. posts, with “keep your eyes on Jesus,” because that’s always essential.

“When Joshua was old and well advanced in years…” begins ch. 13. Joshua’s days are coming to an end.  In chapters 14-22 they divide up the promised land among the twelve tribes of Israel.  Only the Levites, the descendants of Levi, who were the priestly tribe, didn’t receive their own land, but dwelled among all the others.  The tribes agreed that if one came under attack, the others would come to their aid.  That union made the Israelites stronger than neighboring pagan city-kingdoms.

We are entering the time of the “judges”.  These men and women were not “judges” as we use that term, but they were leaders that God used up to protect the people. The Canaanites were still a threat, as were the Philistines.  The time of the judges is BEFORE the time God’s people had a king.  Before long God’s people would ask to have a king, to be like the other nations, and God would very reluctantly agree.

Becoming a “kingdom” would lead to the practice of royal succession.  In the USA we find this idea strange; that power is automatically handed down by bloodline.  I prefer to have elected leaders, not having it decided by royal bloodline.  The practice of royal succession is really a pox on human history.  It led to class layered societies that abused and oppressed much of humanity.  Notably, royal succession wasn’t God’s design for establishing leadership.  God’s people borrowed that practice from the pagan nations around them.  We can be thankful for representative government, for the right to vote, and the ability to have orderly and peaceful transitions of power.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob Nystrom