Friday, October 11, 2013

Joshua Part I: Just a Few Questions

Finally Through the Pentateuch


Yay! We have finally made it through the first five books of the Bible and all of the questions related to those books. Whew. THAT...was an ordeal. Now we will move onto the rest of the Old Testament. The very first book after Deuteronomy is Joshua.

Joshua 1:2-3
Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.

I promise you what I promised Moses: 'Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you--

Questions
     1) Do you see something wrong with these verses? Moses is now dead, right? And, Moses died before he could realize the promise that God gave to the people of Israel in regards to the promised land, correct? Why didn't Moses ever see the fruition of God's promise, hummm? Why did it seem like when the people of Israel were this close to getting to the promised land that God found a way out of the promise He gave to Moses?

     2) Joshua, you do realize that the promise God is giving you is the very same promise He gave to Moses? You do realize that Moses never received this promise from God, right? You DO realize that now you are working with God you had best watch your back lest God hamstring you for some teeny mistake you make, right?



Joshua 1:4
from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.'

Questions

     1) Do you know where the boundaries of this location is? Go to a map, or better yet get on the Internet and look it all up. Now, supposedly the Israelites are back in the promised land, right? When Israel finally became a nation and up to this point now in history there have been (and still are) plenty of Christians who claim that since God's people are back in the promised land that the time of Christ's return is imminent. Really? How can this be when present day Israel is nowhere near the size of the boundaries mentioned in the Bible?

     2) If the measurements of modern-day Israel are nowhere near the boundaries mentioned in the Bible and PROMISED BY GOD how in the hell can Christians sit there and make all of these claims that prophecy is being fulfilled? How can you fulfill the prophecy without first fulfilling the promise? God's people STILL don't have what He promised so how can the assessment of Christ's supposed return to earth be accurate?



Joshua 1:5
No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

Questions

     1) Do you recall how God was with Moses, how God interacted with and treated His promises to Moses? God sought for a way to revoke His promise to Moses. God is all-knowing and so He KNEW full well that Moses would hit that rock instead of speaking to it, and God also knew why Moses did this and that it was out of frustration and feeling that he had zero control of a very crappy situation. Did God counsel Moses on this? God will be with you as He was with Moses? That isn't very comforting now, is it? And how in the blazing blue does God say He won't fail or abandon when this is exactly what God did to Moses?


Joshua 1:6
Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.

Questions

     1) So far as we have come to this point in the Bible...HOW many people has God made this promise of a promised land to, and how long is this promise supposed to take before God actually follows through on his end? How many generations have passed since the first uttering of this promise?

     2) Why does God insist on making these promises to people that He never intends will actually see or enjoy this grand promise?


Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Questions

     1) The LORD is with you wherever you go? Really? Shouldn't it be something more like the LORD will drag you wherever He wishes for you to go? He drags the people of Israel to Egypt where they are supposedly enslaved for 430 years during which the people are treated poorly, at one point having their male children murdered by being thrown into the Nile...and the LORD was with them?

     2) Sooo...meandering around the desert for forty friggin' years is no sweat, right? Because God is with you? Or maybe you really mean because God is the one who put you there in the boonies on purpose...so be strong and show some courage, is that it? Is that the price of the LORD being with you wherever you go, that He can take you and put you wherever He wants EVEN IF IT IS TERRIBLE?



Joshua 1:11
11 Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you."

Questions

     1) Isn't what really should be said here something more along the lines of, "Get ready. In three days we will go and take everything from the people who are already living in this land," and don't forget that in all of this TAKING authorized by God the people of Israel will be taking the lives of the inhabitants of the land as well?


Joshua 1:18
18 Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!"

Questions

     1) Say, didn't Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Pablo Escobar, and actually quite a few others have this very same approach?


Joshua 2:11
11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the LORD your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

Questions

     1) Do you notice that the acknowledgement of God as great and powerful has nothing to do with the grand nature of His love, but rather the intense nature of His hate and the mean and terrible things He does to people or that He gets His people to do to other people?

     2) Do you think that it is not so much that God is supreme in the heavens above and the earth below so much as it is God is absolutely willing to do absolutely ANYTHING to get whatever it is that He wants, whether that means kill women and children, trick men into lowering their guard and then killing them, taking what is not His own, and absolutely every horror conceivable?



Joshua 3:17
17 Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the LORD's Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.

Questions

     1) Sooo...is the ark of the covenant what is controlling the flow of the water? Does that mean the ark is a machine of some sort?

     2) Where did the design of this machine come from, God? If God is God of everything and controls everything WHY would He need a machine?


     3) Did God explain to His people that this was a machine and there were scientific reasons why it did what it did? Did God NOT tell the people about the truth of the ark machine because He wanted them to continue to be mystified and think that this being God really was God?


     4) Sooo...the ENTIRE nation of Israel crosses at this point in the Jordan? How many people crossed? How long did this take? The way it is written in the above verses it really makes it sound like it was pretty quick.



Joshua 4:4-7, 9
So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen--one from each of the tribes of Israel.
  
He told them, "Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder--twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, 'What do these stones mean?'


Then you can tell them, 'They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD's Covenant went across.' These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever."


Joshua also set up another pile of twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan, at the place where the priests who carried the Ark of the Covenant were standing. And they are there to this day.


Questions

     1) Sooo...if the stones are supposed to be a lasting memorial for all time...are these stone still where they are supposed to be?

     2) Are these stones mentioned in these scriptures still serving as a visible memorial to the people of Israel? Are they the very same stones? No one at all has changed the stones?



     3) If these stones, the ORIGINAL stones are no longer at this place mentioned in the verses, and if these verses are in this book called the HOLY BIBLE that is supposed to be the absolute truth, and if these words are supposed to be the very words of God, and if the Word of God is never wrong and never faulty and never fades, and if these verses say that the stone markers serve as a memorial for the people of Israel FOREVER...what does this say about the infallibility of the Word of God (the Bible) and its lasting truth?

     4) Okay, we know that according to the Bible man is born into sin and thus from the very beginning man finds that human life is riddled with error, poor decisions (even if on accident), and intensely terrible situations. Then you have this ultimate divine being, God, Who cares so much for and has done so much for His people and they love Him right back so very much that God finds it necessary to find ways to remind His people how very great He is?


     5) Is God's care really so perfect and so great that it is even believable that ANYONE on the receiving end of that greatness would ever find themselves forgetting the love and the glory and the peace, yada-yada plucka-plucka, of the LORD?

     6) Why does God often focus on the terrible punishments He has smashed His people with in an effort to remind them of God's care? Why doesn't He insist on reminding them of the beauty and love He represents? Is it because He rarely shows beauty and love to begin with?


Joshua 4:14
14 That day the LORD made Joshua a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites, and for the rest of his life they revered him as much as they had revered Moses.

Questions
     1) Well, if the people are responding to Joshua in the same manner as they did Moses, well then Joshua would be screwed, right? How can it be said that the people revered Moses when all they did was complain to him about pretty much everything and caused problem after problem?

     2) Are complaining and causing problems consistent with expressing reverence towards any individual or group?


Joshua 5:13-15
13 When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”

14 And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”


15 And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.


Questions
     1) If this angel of the LORD is FOR the people of God why the hell is his sword drawn?

     2) Wouldn't the LORD/God be the commander of His own army? Why is an angel running things? Is God too busy with running the rest of the universe?

     3) If God/the LORD is everywhere then why did the LORD send a commander angel when due to His omni-presence the LORD would already be present?


Joshua 6:19
19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.”

Questions
     1) Why does God/the LORD need the metals mentioned here?

     2) Why does the LORD have a treasury here on earth when the Bible says in Matthew 6:19, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,"?


Joshua 6:21
21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

Questions
     1) How does a God of ultimate love command those who follow Him to devote themselves to the utter destruction of something, to include people?


Joshua 6:25
25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Questions
     1) In what capacity is Rahab still in Israel today? Are her descendants prostitutes?


Joshua 6:27
27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

Questions
     1) Loads of present day preachers drone on and on of how God does not give a hoot about fame and fortune and all of such things, if anything finding them to be detestable. Sooo...this was not the same in Joshua's time?

     2) If God never changes and His Word stands forever WHY is God's approach to fame seemingly different in Joshua's time as opposed to present day? 


Joshua 7:1, 12
But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel.

12 Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you.


Questions
     1) Sooo...this one guy does something that is contrary to what God decrees and God decides the right thing to do would be to get angry with everyone?

     2) What is God's justification for penalizing the non-guilty?


Joshua 7:23-26
23 And they took them out of the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the people of Israel. And they laid them down before the LORD.

24 And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor.


25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The LORD brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.


26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the LORD turned from his burning anger. Therefore, to this day the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor.


Questions
     1) This man takes what he was not supposed to take and his ENTIRE family must pay with their lives and all of their possessions?


Joshua 8:1-2
And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land.

And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.”


Questions
     1) Sooo...the LORD is ordering His people to commit genocide, but this time around He is going to allow them to keep the possessions belonging to the people they murdered?


Joshua 8:16-17, 19
16 So all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and as they pursued Joshua they were drawn away from the city.

17 Not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who did not go out after Israel. They left the city open and pursued Israel.


19 And the men in the ambush rose quickly out of their place, and as soon as he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it. And they hurried to set the city on fire.


Questions
     1) Doesn't this sound like something General George A. Custer would have done?


Joshua 8:24-27
24 When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword.

25 And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai.


26 But Joshua did not draw back his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had devoted all the inhabitants of Ai to destruction.


27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as their plunder, according to the word of the LORD that he commanded Joshua.


Questions
     1) You mean after all of the men had been killed, the entire army wiped out, Joshua and his men go back to the city that now holds only defenseless women and children and then proceed to cut them all down?

     2) Is this God that Joshua follows the same God YOU believe in and worship?


Joshua 8:28-29
28 So Joshua burned Ai and made it forever a heap of ruins, as it is to this day.

29 And he hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening. And at sunset Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the gate of the city and raised over it a great heap of stones, which stands there to this day.


Questions
     1) I am curious, did the LORD allow His people to desecrate a corpse so long as it was the corpse of the enemy?


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1 comment:

Roman Howell said...

I can't wait until you get to Revelation!