Monday, May 31, 2004

So at the end of Joshua 5, Joshua is visited by a "commander" of God's army. Joshua asks him which side he's on, Israel's or their adversary's and the man responds "neither". He tells Joshua to take his shoes off since he's on holy ground and then chapter 6 happens and God addresses Joshua.

Leaves me wondering...did the angel(?) leave after Joshua took his shoes off so God could address him? But I'm even more curious about the angel's(?) supposed neutrality. I mean, it's not a stretch to say that God was on Israel's side, at least I don't think it's a stretch. But is it possible that he's on Jericho's side too?!? (With friends like that,eh?) Sorry. Redemption through destruction? Peterson's intro in The Message says that the land of Canaan was full or all sorts of detestable practices. Was God purging them for ultimate, eternal punishment, or simply short term punishment?

Maybe the angel(?) doesn't speak for God. Perhaps the angel(?) was simply saying, "Hey, I'm just following orders."

Maybe I'll consult some commentaries and see what some smart guys have to say about this...



Anonymous Chad Flaherty said...

Hey Brian,

Got your link from the Rhoda clan. I wrestled with this topic for quite a while. My issue was the all-out slaughter of women, children, donkeys, etc... What was the point of killing the children? I don't think I could have done that even before I was a parent. Maybe I'd feel differently if I had seen God cause the earth to swallow people for being rebellious (Numbers 16). Anyway, I'm reading a book by James Michener called The Source and it gives a great perspective on the Canaanite lifestyle and just how ingrained child sacrifice and sexual immorality was a welcome part of their religion. They believed throwing their newborns and toddlers into a fiery pit was a necessary thing. Before the mercy of Jesus was available, how was God to deal with this when he wanted his chosen people in that promised land? I thought to myself, what was the harm in one child surviving? What if I hid it instead of putting a sword to an innocent child? Is there any record of a child surviving a mandated slaughter that had an impact?

Oh yeah, two come to mind, Moses and Jesus. The two most influential people in the history of religion.

I think the angel was neutral because he answered to God alone. The angelic response would be to God's commands after God witnessed how Joshua would react to the commands given him.

That's just a guess. And seeing how you wrote this 6 months ago it's probably not on your mind anymore. But I'm going to read the rest of your entries now.


1:23 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Well, well, someone poking through the archives, eh? Chad, my brotha! Good to hear from you.

You'll have to excuse some of the missing links refered to in older blogs as I updated and changed things a bit when I rededicated myself to blogging.

Thanks for sharing your toughts...

9:30 AM  

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