Thursday 06 September 2018

Bible Book:

All Israel, alien as well as citizens … (v. 33)

Joshua 8:30-34 Thursday 6 September 2018

Psalm: Psalm 133


Victory has been won. The region has been subdued and God’s people are beginning to realise that the promises made to them are starting to come true. In response to this, Joshua builds an altar to God to recognise the divine hand on all that has happened. He does this exactly as laid out by Moses, down to the smallest detail such as using stone that hasn’t been cut by iron implements. Why this level of detail? I think it is to help demonstrate to us that consecration to God is a 100% thing. It involves every aspect of our lives responding to God and following God’s ways. We might not understand everything – indeed, in these chapters there is quite a bit that is hard to fully comprehend – but we can all follow God. The old song that reminds us to “trust and obey” has caught something of our needed response in a complex world.

There is an inclusive element within this renewed consecration of God’s people after victory. It includes both those who are citizens and those who while not citizens are now living in what has become the land of Israel (v. 33). All are included in this renewed covenant. Sometimes we have interpreted our relationship with God as quite narrow, with many more excluded than included. In the midst of a recommitment to God, Joshua and his people included a surprising breadth, and perhaps give us a partial glimpse of the development of the nation of Israel into the Kingdom of God. 


To Ponder

  • How easy is it to recognise that “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (StF 416)?
  • How do we respond when we are excluded?
  • Are there any we still exclude today? If so, what can we do to change that?
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