Dear 365 Bible Readers,
Wow! In one short week of reading we have covered 7 years and the military conquest of the Promised Land… it really is incredible what God did for the people of Israel while they were obedient. I love the book of Joshua, and especially the story of Rahab’s faith and redemption – did you realize that Rahab became Ruth’s mother-in-law (Matthew 1:5) and then the great grandma or so of King David?! Did you also note in the story of Achan’s sin (Joshua 7) the principle that you cannot stand strong in warfare when there is sin in your life? And then the wonderful note (twice!) at the end of the book that,”… not one of the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled, not one has failed.” Joshua 21:44 and 23:14.
For all that went right in the years of Joshua, the era of the Judges is mostly a train wreck. The people of Israel failed to drive out all of the locals, and thus began a cycle of oppression and suffering until the people cried out to God and He sent them a deliverer. The characters in Judges are really more like guerilla fighters – rough, unheroic, flawed – and they participate in rape, murder, idolatry, etc. They are not character models for your children, even if God used them to deliver His people!
The story of the judges could be summed up with “Everyone did as he saw fit” (Judges 21:25) and what a mess that attitude created. There’s a helpful chart of the Judges and the oppression cycle up on the website here: http://mylhumc.net/365-bible
Keep reading, this is a colorful book!