HISTORICAL. Under his direction and guidance, Joshua led the House of Israel across the Jordan River on dry ground to the promised land (Joshua 3:15-17, 4:23). They no longer ate manna, but began to eat of the old corn of the new land. When they warred against the inhabitants of the land, they not only would win the war, but would kill every person: man, woman, and even the children!
I don’t understand why the Lord would order those who confessed their sin to have them and their children killed, as with Achan (Joshua 7:19-25), or with the city of Ai (8:24-26), and even houghing (hamstringing!) the horses (11:6, 9). I guess it’s hard for me to reconcile the love of Jesus Christ with the Law of Moses. Why was it necessary to kill confessed sinners, or innocent children, and to cause the cruelty of animals?
However, God is Just, and His ways are marvelous to me, and seeing the love for me in the eyes of Christ in a dream, I know He will reveal all truth to me sometime.
Joshua read the Law that Moses had written (8:30-35).
And we find in Chapter 10:12-14, that Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to stand still for a whole day. This was proven by scientists recently when they had found through computer research that there was a day missing and they finally realized that it was the day that Joshua had ordered!
A list of all the kings that the armies of Israel commanded by Joshua had killed is found in Chapter 12:7-24. There was still much land to be won in war, and Joshua was getting old, so many of the tribes themselves had to destroy many cities to claim their inheritances. You can read of these in various subsequent chapters.
Joshua pronounced a tremendous blessing to the House of Israel in Chapter 23. Please read it.
And just before he died at 110 years of age (24:25-32), Joshua set a ‘stone for a witness that heard all the words of the Lord’. (This reminds me of the time that Christ said even the rocks could speak. You can read about this in PERSPECTIVES #5.) Then the people buried him in Mount Ephraim, and buried the bones of Joseph where his father was buried in Shechem.
EXPERIENCES. In the late 1980’s we had rain and more rain one spring. The heavy clay soil turned to mud and got to be unbearable. When you walked it would bind with the dead grass until your boots would be balled up with this adobe until they weighed an extra several pounds. I remember getting so frustrated that I kneeled right out in the middle of the barnyard and prayed, “Lord please let there be a drought!” And it happened! – much like the one we are having now in 2012! The heavy clay soil dried and shrunk and cracked. There were many large cracks. You had to be careful when you walked so you wouldn’t step in one. You could twist an ankle or lose a boot. It got so bad that I remember going out one night with a flashlight and a tape measure. One crack was about four inches wide at the surface and six feet deep!
I remember kneeling again and asking the Lord to send 4 inches of rain. A single small cloud appeared in the west and traveled eastward and soon was over our property. It dumped 4 inches of rain! A friend came to visit right after the rain stopped. He said the road was all dry until it got to our place! The Lord did it. He certainly can be in charge of the weather!
The next day I drove to the feed store, which was about 6 miles away. The owner was complaining about the drought. I told him about the nice rain we had received. He said why did we get the rain, and he didn’t. I told him about praying for the rain. He asked if I would pray for rain on his place.
I told him I would teach him how to pray so he could do it. He was not interested in that!
SURVIVAL AND TIPS FOR LIVING. I remember fishing at the park in Greenville, Michigan. I had run out of bait, and was just sitting on the ground watching the robins. They would hop on the ground for a ways, cock their head sideways, then poke their beaks into the ground, and start pulling our earthworms. They would pull and pull, and the worms would get all stretched out and finally the worms would get tired and release their tail holds and pop out of the ground. I watched while one robin pulled a large earthworm almost out of the ground. I ran over to where the bird was and it flew away. I finished pulling out the worm and went fishing again.
Earth worms are sensitive to vibrations. A lightning storm will drive them out of the ground by the thousands. When we lived in Michigan and in the Eugene, Oregon we would go out on the side streets after a storm and the streets would be littered with large worms (night crawlers). The worms were slippery and difficult to pick up. However, it was easy to use a little broom and sweep them into a dust pan. If you didn’t want to use them for fishing, the bait shops would pay for them. Sometimes it was easy to make good money in just a couple of hours!
If the ground is damp, and there is good soil, you can push the tines of a pitchfork into the ground and just wiggle it back and forth for several minutes, and earthworms will come out of the ground. It doesn’t damage the soil, and the earthworms will soon replenish the area.
‘till next time. GREENSTONE