Just finished reading the Crossway Bible Guide “Discovering Joshua” by Charles Price. I had a few thoughts and decided I’d post them here.
One big mistake Christians make is to think that Rahab sinned when she lied about not knowing the whereabouts of the Israelite spies. Rahab was doing the right thing in this case.
The Bible contains several instances where lying is deemed acceptable. The Hebrew midwives lied in Exodus and were blessed for it, there was acceptable lying in Judges, David lied once, and even Jesus lied about not going up to the Feast of Dedication.
Of course, nobody considers the fact the spies would have had to lie about the reasons for seeking out Rahab’s house. Obviously, the spies wouldn’t have told the Cananites their true intentions. Here is how I picture the conversation going:
Spies: Hey, you know where a couple weary travelers can find a good time?
Cananite: Yeah, Rahab, she’ll put you up for the night. She’ll see you get taken good care of.
The part of the wall on which Rahab had her house must have remained standing, falling after Rahab and her family were safe.
Though Achan’s sons and daughters being put to death along with Achan does seem harsh, for one thing his children were probably grown. For another, they were probably accomplices in Achan’s sin. Here is how I picture it going down:
Daughter: (Sees Achan burying stolen goods) Hey Dad, what are you doing?
Achan: Oh, I’m just burying this stuff.
Daughter: Isn’t that from Jericho?
Achan: Well, yeah, it is.
Daughter: Well then, that garment is supposed to be destroyed, and that gold and silver is supposed to be brought before the Lord and put in the treasury for Him.
Achan: Oh come on, honey. That whole city was filthy rich. The treasury has more than enough wealth. They won’t miss this stuff. And this garment, it’s of extremely good quality. Just look at it. We’ve destroyed everything else from Jericho and put all the rest of the precious metals from there into the Lord’s service. He’ll overlook me keeping this stuff.
Daughter: Well, I guess you’re right. All right, Dad, just as long as you think it’ll be OK.
Though God’s command to destroy everything in Ai may seem extreme and harsh as well, this command illuminates how sin contaminates and affects everything, including animals and inanimate objects.
This chapter confuses me. I realize one of its lessons: that we may still have to live with the consequences of sin even after we repent, but it seems to me that, since making the peace treaty with the Gibeonites in the first place was a sin, they should have killed them all in the end anyway rather than having to abide by the treaty. I don’t understand why men of Israel were punished in later years for killing Gibeonites, since to my way of thinking they were only carrying out what God had told them to do in the first place.
In Old Testament times, promises were taken a lot more seriously, but what constitutes a promise? These days, we often casually say that we’re going to do something for someone, but we usually don’t really mean it, or else it’s something we’d like to do for that person if we can find the time. If we were living in Biblical times, Would we have to keep every single little thing we had idly promised someone?