Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 3/Chapter 3

This morning it was a little harder to get things (e.g., my mind, body) going and functioning properly. I guess I’m not naturally a morning person. I would have loved to just turn the TV on and sit down and relax. As a matter of fact, I did turn the TV on and then off twice. This is the third straight morning I’ve woken up without an alarm. I don’t normally do that. What’s going on? It seems I’m receiving help from above to spend 34 days with the book of Deuteronomy.

Chapter 3 observations
- Chapter 3 breaks down nicely into three sections; Battle with Og (vv.1-11), the passing out of land (vv.12-20), the encouraging of Joshua by Moses (vv.21-29).
- Again the Israelites receive help from God in defeating and destroying the inhabitants of the Promised Land.
- Moses is told to not be afraid as they march into battle (v.2).
- In the last section Moses encourages Joshua. Moses will not be crossing the Jordan River and entering the land. It is unclear as to why that is, but I’m guessing the story will be picked up and explained a little later in the book or elsewhere in a different book. The only thing you can deduce from this chapter is that God was angry with Moses. Moses says in verse 26 that it is because of the Israelites. The phrase, “because of you” is spoken (cf.1:37) in reference to the Israelites.
- Joshua had been right by Moses and seen “with his own eyes” everything God had done. He was now getting ready to cross the Jordan and take the rest of the land.
- There is more work to be done in conquering and claiming the land. The Israelites still have a ways to go, they still have to cross the Jordan and take the cities.
- A very encouraging word is spoken to Joshua in verse 22, “the Lord your God himself will fight for you.”

Why so much violence and war? Was this the only way for the Israelites to inherit the Promised Land? I remember discussing this issue in my Old Testament classes at Indiana Wesleyan. Those verses about the Israelites destroying everything, including women and children (v.34) are hard to reconcile with a loving God. I think placing this story and other stories similar to it in the context of the time helps shed a little light on why the Israelites did this. War and violence was the norm of the time. If you wanted land you would go and have a bloody violent fight for it. There was no U.N. to keep peace and talk about things. So, it seems God is just speaking the language of the day through the Israelites and their actions. I bet God would have done this a different way if it was possible in this particular time and culture, but it wasn’t. I can’t help but wonder if so much fighting and victory puffed up the Israelites and made them feel invincible. Maybe that is what led to them turning their backs on God. Maybe they started thinking they didn’t need Him, that they could do it on their own.

It’s neat to see some of the interplay between Moses and Joshua in the last section. It seems they had a tight relationship with each other. Moses had a lot of trust and confidence in Joshua. I’m surprised there is not bitterness here. Moses truly was a humble man and he respected God’s decision to not let him enter the land. So, he is preparing and encouraging Joshua. He gives him hope and assurance. I hope you will be an encourager today to someone.

1 comment:

molly123 said...

It is essential that we encourage others. A few kind words can make a profound difference in somebody's life. For instance, thanks, you are a big help to me, you are my hero, I can't do it without you, good job, you are good at that, thanks for sharing, thanks for caring, God bless you etc... "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess...consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Hebrews 10:23-24

My question, do you considered, really pray about, ask God to show you how you can spur (encourage) others toward their love of God, love and good deeds?

Tim, you are an encouragment to me!