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Friday, July 13, 2012

You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots. Joshua 11:6b

In Joshua 11, the Joshua's army was faced with a vast number of enemies, as numerous as the number of sand on the seashore, all equipped with horses and chariots. The Lord promised to hand them over to Joshua, all slain. But, the Lord would not do a thing to the horses and chariots. It was for the Israelites to destroy them all, for the Lord commanded Joshua,  "You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots."

Obeying the command to destroy them is a truly "daunting" task. No doubt, there is a temptation involved. First consider the value of one horse or one chariot. The horse in the photo is still  available on-line for sale: asking price -150k euro. The chariot is comparable to a tank in modern times. 21st Century M-1 Abrams tanks are rolling computers and are in excess of 1 million dollars apiece.

When one puts himself in the position of Joshua, he might be tempted to say, "Man, am I to burn this much of money to go up into the thin air for nothing?"

Well, is it really for nothing? Why did the Lord command Joshua to do that? And why did Joshua obey the command ever so heartily? What is the redeeming value?

I think the answer is found in what the Scriptures say.

1. [When a band of gang-bangers came to arrest Jesus with guns and knives, one of Jesus' disciples drew sword and cut the ear of a rank-and-file, whereupon Jesus said, "No more of this". Then he touched the man's ear and healed the man. Luke 22:51

2. "Put the sword away. Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" John 18:11

3. "Knowledge puffs up; love builds up" 1Co 8:1

4. I resolved to know nothing [while I was with you] except Jesus Chrsit and him crucified." 1Co 2:2

5. If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. John 8:7

I think after the World War I and II etc. and as an increasing number of nations got hold of nukes (the power of Atom), the Adam's race were made aware of the need to exercise self-restraint.

But I see people within a close community (or even a body) of believers hitting each other not with guns or knives but with stones of theories and isms. And I saw this happening increasingly not so often among the unbelievers but among those who profess their faith in Jesus Chrsit. [Despite differences they are supposed to love one another, and use their energy to reach out for the needy outside of the body. But since they neglect the latter, using the leftover strength, they strike their fellow brethren within!]

What is truly absurd is that in their swollen egos they think that finally they figured all things out, that they need to stand up like Joshua, and indeed as they go out (Oh, wait, they do not go out; they stay inside) start  assaulting their brethren or young infants, and they do so ever so fervently and confidently all in the name of serving the Lord! The Lord's command to Joshua (Joshua 11:6) reminds me of the Apostle Paul's resolution to know nothing but Christ, and him crusified. 

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