It’s easy to honor our friends, to be kind to those who are nice to us… but when a family member or friend lashes out and tries to destroy us it suddenly becomes a very different story. This is where we find David in 1st Samuel. This is our David, the boy that fought the giant Goliath and won. The shepherd boy anointed a king. David, the harpist called to sooth Saul in his most tortured hours. The boy who became like a brother to Saul’s own son and given the hand of his daughter in marriage because of his amazing victory in battle.
As we roll into Joshua 9 we find the Israelites in an encounter with travelers supposedly from a distant land begging for friendship. As we continue to read we discover the truth is these travelers are really from a neighboring city, but they’ve put together this grand ruse of packing dry moldy bread and putting on worn out clothes so it looks like they’ve been traveling a long way when in reality they are the neighbors. Scripture tells us that the Israelites sampled their supplies but didn’t seek the Lord’s will, and instead of seeing these travelers for what they are, they are taken in. They had all the right answers, they knew the right phrases to earn their trust and so the Israelites swear a treaty with them despite the fact the Lord told them to drive all the people in the land of Canaan out.
Have you ever noticed that when God tells us to do something or calls us to a place it doesn’t always make sense? The bible is filled with these moments, from God telling Moses to strike a rock for water to holding his staff over his head so the Israelites can claim the victory, or even when Jesus tells Peter to throw his nets into the water in the heat of the day. Often times the things we are called to, the places He leads us to look ridiculous to others and even ourselves.
In the darkness of Good Friday, it’s easy to ask why God has abandoned us -in the wake of broken dreams nailed to a tree, in the face of tragedy that struck out of nowhere in the breathtaking triumph of evil that leaves us speechless- as a hammer prepares to strike a nail that will pierce the Savior. The story of the birth of Christ that we just celebrated a few months back comes to a crushing, agonizing stop.
I think for the most part when we come to Joshua 2 we tend to skip over Rahab’s profession or avoid Rahab entirely. We try to whitewash it a bit, maybe read over that bit of scripture a little faster, the wording can make us feel uncomfortable so we try to soften it.
The Israelites have been wandering in the desert for 40 years, Moses has died and now Joshua is leading the people. As we reach Joshua 2, Joshua is sending two spies to look over the land but especially Jericho. It’s not all that different from Moses’s entrance plan – except for one key detail, my bible says that he sent them secretly. He didn’t
The Israelites are way into their desert journey toward the promised lands, they’ve faced battles, and witnessed His provision, and have seen the glory of God come to rest on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24. They’ve got some experience under their belt, so it’s little surprise when God gives the word to move on and enter the promised land. I picture a scene from the end of Wagon Train episodes where the wagon master tells them to “Load ’em up and move’em out”… can you tell I watch a lot of old westerns?
As the Lord led the Israelites out of Egypt in Exodus 13 the bible explains why He led them through the desert. Despite the fact that they left arrayed for battle they were not prepared to face the battles which lay ahead so God takes them the long way around.
I think sometimes God leads us into a dry season because He needs to deal with something in us. He’s got to unearth some things we’ve allowed to take up residence in our hearts and dethrone Him so that He can prepare us for what lies ahead.
It’s hard to recognize the importance of something in the midst of the season we’re walking through. It’s hard to see the reason we had to journey through some of the places we’ve been to. Sometimes we find ourselves like the Israelites, wandering around the desert and the promised land seems so far away. Day after grueling day they trekked on for forty years before they came to the place they had been promised.