Thoughts on Joshua

The book of Joshua has been the topic of study for the last several weeks in Sunday School. God parts the waters of the Jordan river allowing dry passage into the land. God miraculously delivers Jericho to the Israelites and all of the inhabitants of that city are slain, except for Rahab and her household. After a bit of a stumble, the people of the city of Ai are put to the sword except for the king of the city, who is hung from a tree. The population of Gibeon are made slaves. The armies of the cities of Jerusalem, Jarmuth, Lacish, Hebron, and Eglon are devastated by a hail of rocks from heaven; then the sun and the moon stand still while the Israelites destroy those who remain.

Marauders believing in a manifest destiny enter a land that is not theirs, have a bit of a go at genocide, and the point of this story is the power and faithfulness of God? Somebody hasn't read their St. Paul.

Except for Rahab, there was no message of peace, no message of reconciliation, no message of the transforming power of God to enable us to live together in love; just a lot of screaming, pain, loss, destruction, waste, and ruin.

Joshua is about what happens when tablets of stone are brought into a land. It is not a celebratory tale; it is a cautionary one.