I have finally caught up again with my reading, and I love that we are getting into the story of Joshua, although there are just a few things I want to point out before we get there.
In a previous passage I pointed out that the Levites were blessed and made to be the priesthood because of their ‘fighting nature’ and at the end of Moses life he blesses the tribes much like Jacob did but his word for Levi were much different than Jacob’s
8And of Levi he said,
“Give to Levi your Thummim,
and your Urim to your godly one,
whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
9who said of his father and mother,
‘I regard them not’;
he disowned his brothers
and ignored his children.
For they observed your word
and kept your covenant.
10 They shall teach Jacob your rules
and Israel your law;
they shall put incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11Bless, O LORD, his substance,
and accept the work of his hands;
crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
It appears that Moses and God by proxy are still proud of the Levites for their willingness to fight for God’s Law and commands.
Now on to Joshua
John Piper once said something about our preconcieved ideas, something to the affect that we all bring them to the scriptures, it is our nature to do so. However when those ideas don’t match the scripture it is the ideas and not the scripture that must be thrown out. I am starting to wonder about the concept of free will. I know as an evangelical I have been taught that all men have a free will and have a choice regarding how they live and react toward God. Although it is not explicitly stated in scripture it is extrapilated by the fact that we are given a law to obey and held responsible for our actions. But there are so many places that it just does not seem to be true. We have already read how God hardened Pharoah’s heart and in Josh 11 we read:
There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. 20For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses.
I have always heard it said that God will not violate your free will but this sure looks like he will. This is just something I am meditating on.