Total Pageviews

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 32 - 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge - Joshua 1 - 4 - The Great Adventure A Journey Through the Bible

Day 32 

Joshua 1 - 4

Bible Time Period: Conquest and Judges 
You led Israel triumphantly into the Promised Land.  They failed to teach their children, and instead did what was right in their own eyes:  Help me to keep my eyes on you and teach others what is truly right. 

Lord God, the Exodus generation of the children of Israel failed in their vow of obedience to You and Your covenant.  When adversity challenged them, they abandoned their gratitude to You and forgot the many miracles You worked on their behalf:  leading them out of suffering slavery in Egypt, defeating their enemies, feeding them bread from heaven, and giving water from the rock to sustain them on their journey.  As Your New Covenant children, we pray that You will strengthen our faith and give us the perseverance to trust in You when we face hardships on our journey to salvation.  In gratitude we thank you, Lord, for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who has given us victory over slavery to sin.  He is the living bread from heaven and the Rock who nourishes us on our journey to salvation.  Please send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in our study of Israel’s new generation of holy warriors, preparing to cooperate in Your plan to take possession of the land You promised to their forefathers.  We pray in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

In God’s Fatherly Plan for mankind’s salvation, He selected the twelve tribes of Jacob-Israel to be the vehicle to teach the other nations of the earth about the One True God and ultimately to call all men and women to salvation through His only begotten Son, Jesus of Nazareth, a descendant of Abraham and a son of the Israelite tribe of Judah.

In that plan, God took the children of Israel from slavery under the Egyptian pharaoh and led them to freedom through His emissary Moses, to become the holy covenant nation of the One True God.  It was a liberation and a promise of nationhood based on a covenant God made the Israelite’s forefather, Abraham. 

It is sometimes difficult for those of us on this side of salvation history to reconcile the image of the “warrior God of judgment” in the Old Testament with the image of the “God of mercy and salvation” in the New Testament.  However, one must remember that God is unchanged. He is the same God revealed in the Old as in the New Testament. He is the God of love but He is also the God of justice.

God the Redeemer and God the Divine judge are not contradictory terms – both attributes of God express His love for humanity.  Surely, it is the intervention of the “warrior God of justice” that gives humanity hope when the depravity and cruelty of men and nations threatens human freedom.  When the lives of individuals or peoples are in peril, it is the prayer of men and nations that Divine justice will restore order out of chaos.  We must be thankful that mankind is protected by the absolute power of the Divine Judge to intervene in human history to preserve the gift of man’s integrity and freedom.

The plan of the conquest of Cannan and the promise of possessing the “Promised Land” can be seen as typological images (a foreshadowing) of God’s mission to offer the gift of salvation to the world.  The Canaanites can be compared as a biblical “type” to individuals who refused to turn away from sin.  God granted the Canaanites the time to turn away from their wickedness.  He patiently persevered in withholding His Divine judgment against the pagan peoples of Canaan for half a millennium before He unleashed His judgment through the Israelite army.

Ultimately, it was the accumulation of their sins that condemned the Canaanites.  In the same way, God patiently perseveres in offering His gift of salvation to individuals throughout their earthly lives, giving them the opportunity to come to salvation and to possessing the “Promised Land” of heaven up until the very last moment when their lives on earth come to an end, when every human being must face Divine justice.  (Agape Catholic Bible Study, Joshua Lesson 1)

Joshua Contents 
The book of Joshua is a theological history of the conquest of the Promised Land and its subsequent division.  The account includes the detailed preparations for the campaign, the actual conquest, the division of the land according to tribal allotments, and the final farewell of Joshua after he had fulfilled his divinely appointed task of leadership.  

The conquest of Canaan itself is waged in three principal phases.  The first (chapters 1 - 8) had as its target establishing a bridgehead into Canaan and then reducing key Canaanite strongholds - starting with the impregnable fortress of Jericho, followed by Ai, and then the central highlands.  In this section we will read about the preparations for invasion (1:1 - 2:24) and watch how Israel enters Canaan (3:1 - 4:24). (Catholic Bible Dictionary Scott Hahn General Editor, page 478)

Today’s Reading 

Discussion Boards Day 32
Agape Catholic Bible Study Commentary Joshua 1-3
Part of the above 10-minute study was taken from the Great Adventure Bible Study for Catholics. 

For items devotional items related to the Catholic Church 

Back to Index 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge

The Raphael Loggias, Crossing the Jordan River - Unterberger

No comments:

Post a Comment