Joshua 12 – Joshua 15
Today the world is hearing the unfortunate news of another mass shooting. Our prayers extend to the families of the victims and to the entire community of Christchurch in New Zealand. 49 dead. Killed at two different Mosques. Again we ask how long will this senseless violence go on?
Even reading through our story in Joshua, people could have asked the same question as the nation of Israel laid waist to community after community. Chapter 12 tells us that 31 kings fell under the leadership of Joshua. Basic instinct (or implied reading) tells us that there was complete annihilation of each and every tribe and community. Not quite the case. Our friends remind us of that in the video on Joshua which I posted yesterday.
Everywhere Joshua and the nation of Israel went, a remnant of the Canaanites remained. Lives were spared. Communities ended up living together and accepting one another. This helps to tell explain a good portion of the story we are yet to read, and why the Israelites find it so easy to be tempted and stray away from God. This explains the future Exile and return to the Promised Land under Ezra and Nehemiah. But I’m getting way ahead of myself. Still the question and thought of senseless violence is nothing new. Why can’t we all just figure it out together. Until that time, we find ourselves asking again and again haven’t we experienced enough? We can even ask, when will enough be enough?
Will it take the death of my son, or your daughter?
Would it take a shooting at my congregation, or your place of work?
What happens when it takes place at our local Middle School, or your elementary school?
Ever though about if it was you or happened to me?
Too often we have seen schools, theaters, churches, synagogues, mosques, places of work, and everywhere in-between fall victim to someones’ senseless act. While we may never fully understand why any of these things happen. While we may never fully grasp God’s reasoning for the devastation done as Israel took the Promised Land. While we may never understand any of it. This one thing i believe to be true. . . .
In the beginning, God created all things . . . good, pure, and innocent . . .
to be at peace and harmony with one another.
That is creation as God intended.
That is creation as we should see it.
That is the creation that you and I need to work to fully recreate.
Together let us all work to spread God’s peace!
Our next reading: Joshua 16 – 18