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Jericho - the ill-fated city

Query for the Month

of

March 2018

Next up-date: April 1st 2018 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

 

This article is available as a PDF file here.    Or as a WORD doc.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


Query:  It is written:

    Joshua 6:

16 And it came to pass at the seventh time [of circumnavigating the city], when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout; for the LORD has given you the city. 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

18 “And you, in any wise [at all costs] keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest you make yourselves accursed, when you take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron [the items of value], are consecrated to the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD”.

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass [and cats and canaries], with the edge of the sword.  

Yet I read in the S of P;

    {COL 34.4} 

The gospel of Christ was a stumbling block to them [the Jews and the nations] because they demanded signs instead of a Saviour. They expected the Messiah to prove His claims by mighty deeds of conquest, to establish His empire on the ruins of earthly kingdoms. This expectation Christ answered in the parable of the sower. Not by force of arms, not by violent interpositions, was the kingdom of God to prevail, but by the implanting of a new principle in the hearts of men. 

Why is it then that when the former slaves from Egypt entered the Promised Land under the direction of the LORD God of Israel (the God of the Ten Commandments, including the sixth – “you shall not kill”), that they presented to the people of the land a picture of a bloodthirsty, angry and revengeful God who demanded that every living thing in the city be slaughtered?  How would that have endeared the nations to follow Him in love? 

Response:

This query is included in the general question many ask regarding the God of the Old Testament.  He appears to be a very violent God who often endorses, or even commands His followers to kill any opposition. The enquirers are often told that the reason He does this is because they have closed their probation anyway and need to be removed because they will lead Christians astray. 

But as A. T. Jones wrote the following, he gave us a principle we can live by:

    American Sentinel 91.11

Assuredly! An open circus or theater will always prove a great hindrance to the devotion of those “Christians” whose Christianity is the least an affair of the life and of the heart.  In other words, an open circus or theater will always be a great hindrance to the devotion of those who have not religion enough to keep them from going to it, but who only want to use the profession of religion to maintain their popularity, and to promote their selfish interests. 

On the other hand, to the devotion of those whose Christianity is really an affair of the life and of the heart, an open circus or theater will never be a particle of hindrance, whether open at church time or all the time.  But those people had not enough religion or love of right, to do what they thought to be right; therefore they wanted the State to take away from them all opportunity to do wrong, so that they could all be Christians.  Satan himself could be made that kind of Christian in that way: but he would be Satan still.  {March 19, 1896 ATJones, }

If the reason given for the exterminations was true, then God missed a great opportunity when He allowed Lucifer and his rebels to continue on as Satans!

Some say that the God of the Old Testament was a different Person to that of the New, but we have surely established by now that that God of the Old Testament was actually the LORD God, the Son of God, the Creator of the universe, and in the picture we are given of Him in the New Testament He did nothing but good and loving things!  And He tells us that if we have seen Him we have seen His Father.  So, regardless of whom we blame for the Old Testament problem, it affects both of Them.

So we need to dig deeper to find the truth.

If He didn’t do or originate any of these actions, then where do they come from?

Let’s look at the situation as it applies to Jericho and we will find the answer.

This is also what is written;

    Joshua 5:

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho [before the attack], that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand [ready to fight]: and Joshua went to Him, and said to Him, “Are You for us, or for our adversaries? [Are you friend of foe?]

14 And He said, “No; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come” [claiming to be from God and taking control].  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship [which tells us that he accepted Him as God Himself], and said to Him, “What says my LORD to His servant?”

15 And the Captain of the LORD'S host said to Joshua, “Loose your shoe from off your foot; for the place whereon you stand is holy [accepting His right to be worshipped]”.  And Joshua did so . . .

Chapter 6:

2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given into your hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour” [only the fighting men].  

That is what the LORD said at that time.

This is what Joshua said later:

  Joshua 6:

16 And it came to pass at the seventh time [of the circumnavigating of the city], when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout; for the LORD has given you the [whole] city. 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent”.  

Are they identical?

Obviously not – there is a great discrepancy!

Joshua not only changed the word of 6:2, but he added the part about saving all the sinners who were in Rahab’s house (on the wall) as act of repayment for services rendered.

Where did he get that idea from?  I am not saying that we should discount his words as wrong, for we cannot “add or subtract” from the word ourselves and I don’t think that he did either. (Revelation 22:18-19).  But I am asking why this man of God should think that is what God wanted, apparently in good faith?

As mentioned in the query, this statement makes the LORD God out to be a monster even greater than Hitler!  Or most other conquerors in history!

Let’s go back a bit in the record.

Moses had said just before his death, when he was recounting the history of the Hebrews during the forty years wandering:

    Deuteronomy 2:

31 And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have begun to give [king] Sihon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land”.

32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz [and protect his nation, a righteous act of self-defence on his part]. 33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. 34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain: 35 only the cattle we took for a prey to ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took. [They were murderers and thieves!]  

So Joshua at Jericho was just copying what his mentor had done.  And he apparently had the word of God as his support.

But where did Moses get his authority?  Not only for that conquest, but also for many others, for we can continue in Moses’ speech:

    Deuteronomy 3:

1 Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.

2 And the LORD said to me, “Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into your hand; and you shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon”. 

3 So the LORD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining.

4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore [60] cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. 6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. 7 But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey [loot] to ourselves. [Does this remind you of Attila the Hun?  Click here.]

8 And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan [this was all outside the Promised Land], from the river of Arnon to mount Hermon; 9 (which [mount] Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir;) 10 all the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, to Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants [a throwback to before the Flood, Genesis 6:4.  Later, Goliath was one of them]. 

Behold, his [Og’s] bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon?  Nine cubits was the length thereof [13 feet or 4.5 metres], and four cubits [2 m] the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man [18 inches or metre].

12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I to the half tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants.  

Through Moses the LORD God gave that land to the two and half tribes which refused to go on to the Promised Land because what they could see was better than what they were being told about!  Better than God’s promise of a land of “milk and honey”!  Exodus 3:8.  Why did He do that?

    Numbers 32:

1 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; 2 the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the princes of the congregation, saying, 3 “Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon, 4 even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and your servants have cattle: 5 wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan”.

6 And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to war, and shall you sit here? 7 And wherefore discourage you the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD has given them?

8 “Thus did your fathers [the twelve spies, Numbers 13:17], when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. 9 For when they went up to the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them. 10 And the LORD'S anger was kindled the same time, and He sware, saying, 11 “Surely none of the men that came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land which I sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; because they have not wholly followed Me: 12 save Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite, and Joshua the son of Nun: for they have wholly followed the LORD”. 13 And the LORD'S anger was kindled against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.

{PP 391.2-4} 

In their rebellion the people had exclaimed, “Would God we had died in this wilderness!” Now this prayer was to be granted.  The Lord declared: “As ye have spoken in Mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness, and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward . . . But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.” And of Caleb He said, “My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” As the spies had spent forty days in their journey, so the hosts of Israel were to wander in the wilderness forty years.   {PP 391.2}

When Moses made known to the people the divine decision, their rage was changed to mourning.  They knew that their punishment was just.  The ten unfaithful spies, divinely smitten by the plague, perished before the eyes of all Israel [Numbers 14:37]; and in their fate the people read their own doom. [See Numbers 14 where Moses pleaded for them.] {PP 391.3}

Now they seemed sincerely to repent of their sinful conduct; but they sorrowed because of the result of their evil course rather than from a sense of their ingratitude and disobedience.  When they found that the Lord did not relent in His decree, their self-will again arose, and they declared that they would not return into the wilderness.  In commanding them to retire from the land of their enemies, God tested their apparent submission and proved that it was not real.  They knew that they had deeply sinned in allowing their rash feelings to control them and in seeking to slay the spies who had urged them to obey God; but they were only terrified to find that they had made a fearful mistake, the consequences of which would prove disastrous to themselves.  Their hearts were unchanged, and they only needed an excuse to occasion a similar outbreak. [So it was their choice!]

14 [Moses continued] “And, behold, you are risen up in your fathers' stead, an increase of sinful men, to augment [increase] yet the fierce anger of the LORD toward Israel. 15 For if you turn away from after Him, He will yet again leave them in the wilderness; and you shall destroy all this people”.

16 And they came near to him [Moses], and said, “We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and [walled] cities for our little ones: 17 But we ourselves will go ready armed before the children of Israel, until we have brought them to their place: and our little ones shall dwell in the fenced cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 We will not return to our houses, until the children of Israel have inherited every man his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on yonder side Jordan, or forward [the Promised Land]; because our inheritance is fallen to us on this side [of] Jordan eastward” [their choice].  [They bargained with the LORD!]

20 And Moses said to them, “If you will do this thing . . . this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. 24 Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which has proceeded out of your mouth”.

28 So concerning them Moses commanded Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the chief fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel . . .

33 And Moses gave to them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about.  

Moses got his authority direct from the LORD! 

So is He a bloodthirsty and pliable God?

The Scriptures appear to say so – until we ask “Why?”  Again!  (We should never stop asking till we get the Spirit’s answer to that question, not just some evasion or explaining away by some church leader.)

Where did God change and begin to tell His people it was OK to kill innocent people in their desire for land? (In Australia and New Zealand the craving of the new settlers led to, in that first country, the deliberate slaughter of many of the First People, and in the second, to the civil war of 1860-65 which ended with the conquest of legal subjects of Queen Victoria (in the Treaty of 1840).

Similar conditions of hunger for land existed in the United States and gave rise to three centuries of wars between 1664 and 1890.)  And that was not under the leading of the LORD!  

So are you convinced that the God of the Old Testament is/was a nasty Person?

If not, let’s go on.

Centuries later, just before the first exile and the destruction of the first temple (Solomon’s temple, about 586BC) Isaiah had this to say about their history. 

    Isaiah 26:

17 Like as a woman with child, that draws near the time of her delivery,

is in pain, and cries out in her pangs; so have we been in Your sight, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, [but] we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.  

If we go back to the very beginnings of the Hebrew nation we see them crossing over the Red Sea and seeing God (in their limited understanding) destroy the Egyptians.  But did He?  Or was it a case of His protection holding back the waters while His people crossed, but Him not being able to continue to do so when the Egyptians entered with rage and murder in their hearts?   What did the Hebrews do then?

First they sang a song;

    Exodus 15:

1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song to the LORD, and spoke, saying,

“I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has He thrown into the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation: He is my God, and I will prepare Him a habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt Him.

3The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name.

4 “Pharaoh's chariots and his host has He cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6 Your right hand, O LORD,

is become glorious in power: Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed in pieces the enemy” . . .

20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of [Moses and] Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, “Sing you to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has He thrown into the sea”.  

So it was a universal feeling.

Then they picked up the weapons of the fallen warriors, for when they next meet an enemy they are prepared to fight for their deliverance!

    Exodus 14:

13 And [yet] Moses [had] said to the people, “Fear you not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace”.  

But . . .

    Exodus 17:

8 Then came [the people of] Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.  

9 And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand”. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur [Moses’ brother-in-law] went up to the top of the hill.

11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. [So the battle went according to men’s ideas and capabilities.]

13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword [but was not able to conquer them.  That was left to king Saul’s anger some 500 years later. 1 Samuel 15.]  

Even though God tried to show them that He was not really accepting their way, they persisted and He, being the kind, gentle and forbearing Person that He is, allowed them their own way, waiting for them to learn His way [which is through love and patience].  [In the meantime, He continued to save from sin and the second death all who came to Him wherever they lived.]   

But the Old Testament record of Israel is full of failure and defeat and the occasional victory in God’s way, such as when Jehoshaphat took the field.

    2 Chronicles 20:

4 And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the LORD: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD. 5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 6 and said, “O LORD God of our fathers, are not You God in heaven?  And rule not You over all the kingdoms of the heathen?  And in Your hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand You? 

7 “Are not You our God, who did drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham Your friend for ever? 8 And they dwelt therein, and have built You a sanctuary [temple] therein for Your name, saying, 9 ‘If, when evil comes upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Your presence, (for Your name is in this house,) and cry to You in our affliction, then You will hear and help’.

10 “And now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and mount Seir [Edom], whom you would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them, and destroyed them not;

11 behold, I say, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of Your possession, which You have given us to inherit. 12 O our God, will You not judge them?  For we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon You”. 13 And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

14 Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the LORD in the midst of the congregation; 15 and he said, “Hearken you, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat, Thus says the LORD to you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.

16 Tomorrow go you down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and you shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand you still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you”. [God was being given the freedom to do it His way.]

18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. 19 And the Levites, of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high. 20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall you be established; believe His prophets, so shall you prosper”.

21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, “Praise the LORD; for His mercy endures for ever”.

22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set [did He really?] ambushments [surprises] against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another. [Intertribal rivalries flared up and hot tempers ensured that extreme violence followed.]

24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked to the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.  

{PK 190.1 - 191.2} 

Until called to the throne at the age of thirty-five, Jehoshaphat had before him the example of good King Asa, who in nearly every crisis had done “that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” 1 Kings 15:11.  During a prosperous reign of twenty-five years, Jehoshaphat sought to walk “in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside.”  {PK 190.1} 

In his efforts to rule wisely, Jehoshaphat endeavored to persuade his subjects to take a firm stand against idolatrous practices.  Many of the people in his realm “offered and burnt incense [prayed] yet in the high places [of pride and self-determination].” 1 Kings 22:43. [Luke 18:9-14.]  The king did not at once destroy these shrines; but from the beginning he tried to safeguard Judah from the sins characterizing the northern kingdom under the rule of Ahab, of whom he was a contemporary for many years.  Jehoshaphat himself was loyal to God.  He “sought not unto Baalim [gods of force]; but sought to the Lord God of his father, and walked in His commandments, and not after the doings of Israel.” Because of his integrity, the Lord was with him, and “stablished the kingdom in his hand.” 2 Chronicles 17:3-5.   {PK 190.2}

“All Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honor in abundance.  And his heart was lifted up [encouraged] in the ways of the Lord.” As time passed and reformations were wrought, the king “took away the high places and groves out of Judah.” Verses 5, 6.  “And the remnant of the Sodomites [the “gays” of the time], which remained in the days of his father Asa, he took [exiled, but did not kill] out of the land.” 1 Kings 22:46.  Thus gradually the inhabitants of Judah were freed from many of the perils that had been threatening to retard seriously their spiritual development.   {PK 191.1}

Throughout the kingdom the people were in need of instruction in the law of God.  In an understanding of this law lay their safety; by conforming their lives to its requirements they would become loyal both to God and to man.  Knowing this, Jehoshaphat took steps to ensure to his people thorough instruction in the Holy Scriptures.  The princes in charge of the different portions of his realm were directed to arrange for the faithful ministry of teaching priests.  By royal appointment these instructors, working under the direct supervision of the princes, “went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people.” 2 Chronicles 17:7-9.  And as many endeavored to understand God's requirements and to put away sin, a revival was effected. {PK 191.2} 

This what the LORD had intended for the invasion of Canaan.  Below we have His positive word on it.

    Deuteronomy 7:

[Moses, the former Egyptian general, told the people (in a mixture of truth and error)]

1 When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land whither you go to possess it, and have cast out many nations before you, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you; 2 and when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you; you shall smite them, and utterly destroy them; you shall make no covenant [agreement] with them, nor show mercy to them.

3 Neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor his daughter shall you take to your son. 4 For they will turn away your son from following Me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy you suddenly. [This sounds very drastic and forceful.]

[But then God explained what He meant by that:]  

5 But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire [all their religious THINGS]. 6 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a special people to Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

7 The LORD did not set His love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people: 8 but because the LORD loved you [as He does all His creatures], and because He would keep the oath [the promise] which He had sworn to your fathers, has the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

9 Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations; 10 and repays them that hate Him to their face, to destroy them: He will not be slack to him that hates Him, He will repay him to his face [not through arbitrary death but through “the wages of sin”] . . .   

14 [And if you do this] You shall be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, upon you; but will lay them upon all them that hate you. 16 And you shall consume [how?] all the people which the LORD your God shall deliver you; your eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shall you serve their gods; for that will be a snare to you.

17 If you shall say in your heart, “These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?” 18 You shall not be afraid of them: but shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh, and to all Egypt;

19 the great temptations [tests] which your eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD your God brought you out: so shall the LORD your God do to all the people of whom you are afraid. [It was a slow process involving ten plagues and their choices.  Was God the “destroyer” there?  Exodus 12:23.]

20 Moreover the LORD your God will send the Hornet [the Holy Spirit] among them [the nations of Canaan, with conviction], until they that are left [after the infighting that will ensue is over], and hide themselves from you, be destroyed [at their own hand].

21 You shall not be affrighted at them: for the LORD your God is among you, a mighty God and terrible. 22 And the LORD your God will put out those nations before you by little and little: you may not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon you. 23 But the LORD your God shall deliver them to you, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. [How?]

24 And He shall deliver their kings into your hand, and you shall destroy their name [reputation] from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before you, until you have destroyed them.

25 The graven images of their gods shall you burn with fire: you shall not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it to you, lest you be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.[1 Timothy 6:10.] 26 Neither shall you bring an abomination [any idolatrous thing] into your house, lest you be a cursed thing like it: but you shall utterly detest it, and you shall utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing. [This is where Joshua got his idea from.  He thought that God wanted it for Himself – as a man would.]   

So why did God so plainly appear to tell His people to kill the inhabitants of Jericho?

Because once the Hebrews had taken up the weapons at the Red Sea (which shows us their mentality regarding their future enemies), there was no way that God could get them to change their mind-set unless they became “born again”.  They wanted to fight and kill.  So He just had to work along with them, or drop them and start again.  Their attitude is called “the old covenant” or “the works programme” which is one where they hear God speak and then decide that they will “help” Him fulfil His desire [their way]

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do’. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD”. [When all He wanted was for them to let Him do everything!] Exodus 19:7-8.

When this was happening (and it was most of the Old Testament times), God was able to protect those who had accepted His offer in many different ways, while He could not save those who had rejected Him.  But their final verdict still had to await the judgment of 1844 onwards, so they have all, good and bad, been “sleeping” in the first death.

Abram entered into that type of covenant when he accepted Hagar as the mother of his child and it was not until the LORD told him plainly that Sarah, and not Hagar, would bear his rightful heir that he understood the difference. Genesis chapters 16 and 17.  Paul tells us that that story is an allegory [which can readily illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily comprehended by its readers or listeners.  Galatians 4:21-31.]

Let me finish with this thought:

The living God does not punish, hurt or destroy

any creature at any time in any place for any reason.

 

Conclusion:

{COL 84.4} 

God destroys no man.  Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself. 

Everyone who stifles [rejects] the admonitions of conscience is sowing the seeds of unbelief, and these will produce a sure harvest.  By rejecting the first warning from God, Pharaoh of old sowed the seeds of obstinacy, and he reaped [more] obstinacy.  God did not compel him to disbelieve [He tried to do the opposite]

The seed of unbelief which he [Pharaoh] sowed produced a harvest of its kind.  Thus his resistance continued, until he looked upon his devastated land, upon the cold, dead form of his first-born, and the first-born of all in his house and of all the families in his kingdom, until the waters of the sea closed over his horses and his chariots and his men of war.  His history is a fearful illustration of the truth of the words that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7. 

Did men but realize this, they would be careful what seed they sow.  

{OHC 26.4-5} 

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7.  God destroys no man [but many of His professed followers have].  Every man who is destroyed will destroy himself.  When a man stifles the admonitions of conscience, he sows the seeds of unbelief and these produce a sure harvest [of sins which lead to death.  Romans 6:23] . . .  {OHC 26.4} 

“They would none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof.  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” Proverbs 1:30-33. {OHC 26.5} 

 

Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated, but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

Next query. To be discussed from 1st April, 2018.

Revelation 13:

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.

12 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Just who and what is this beast, and what is he going to do?

 

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mail to:  nonconformist@mail.com  (Cut and paste)

 

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