Showing posts from 2024

A Witness that Yahweh is God: Joshua 22

   This is the third post in a multi-post series on the 7 Memorials found in the Book of Joshua. See part 1 and  part 2 . Have you ever seen a monument built not as a reminder for the people who built it, but as a reminder for someone else ? Some of the tribes of Israel decided to build an altar as a witness to God and to the other tribes of Israel in Joshua 22. It was a memorial to hold another group accountable. Yet, a major misunderstanding arose between the two groups of tribes, almost inciting a war based on accusations that the other was wrong about the worship of God. Joshua 22 is difficult to understand because of many cultural nuances lost to us today. The passage is not presented in the actual historical order, but is presented in the progression of thought. It is highly ironic in that each group desires faithfulness to God but perceives the other as theologically erroneous. The text does not critique one or the other but presents a simple lesson–we should not put barriers i

Achan's Sin at Achor: Joshua 7

This is the second post in a multi-post series on the 7 Memorials found in the Book of Joshua. See part 1  and part 3 . Could you imagine having a place named after you? Wouldn’t it be a great honor? When we think of a place being named after someone, we typically think of a person who was worth remembering in a positive way.  But what if a place was named after you as a warning, a cautionary message not to repeat your mistakes? Wouldn’t that be humiliating for your legacy? That’s exactly what happened to a man called “Achan”. His personal sin brought God’s anger against all of Israel and a whole valley was named after him. But what about his sin was worth remembering? After having crossed the River Jordan and defeating the city of Jericho, Israel was beginning to inherit God’s promised land, piece-by-piece. When they attack nearby Ai and its small militia, Israel is shockingly defeated. Israel experiences the same fear that Jericho (Joshua 2:11) and the Canaanites (5:1)  have experie

12 Stones at the Jordan River – A Miracle to Remember (Joshua 3-4)

 This is the first post in a multi-post series on the 7 Memorials found in the Book of Joshua. See part 2 . The two spies had just returned from scouting out the city of Jericho with promising news–according to Rahab, who secretly professed faith in Yahweh, the people of Jericho were deeply afraid (their “hearts melted”) because of Israel (Joshua 2:9-11). With confidence from this report and at God’s direction, it was now time for Israel to move into their promised land.  But to do this, they would have to cross the Jordan River. In a miracle reminiscent of the parting of the Red Sea, the Lord stops the flow of the Jordan River and allows the Israelites to cross it on dry ground. When the team of priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the river’s overflowing waters, the river dried and the Israelites crossed the river about a half-mile away (2,000 cubits) from the Ark. The power of this narrative is not simply the miracle of stopping water demonstrating God’s power. The