The Walls of Jericho

Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.” Joshua 6:1-7.

This really happened. I will just leave a link today to an article in Answers in Genesis.

The Severity of God

While the people of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron and to all the congregation. They put him in custody, because it had not been made clear what should be done to him. And the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” And all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, as the Lord commanded Moses. Numbers 15:32-36

Is it kindness or justice to make a law and then not enforce it? Or to selectively enforce it? This man is the first recorded Sabbath breaker. God could not just let it go. Our Western sensibilities cry out against this, calling it brutal and unmerciful and the act of a barbatic God. And yet, our Western ideas of justice and concepts of humane government are yielding a harvest of lawlessness, godlessness and unequaled self-righteousness. We pass judgment on our creator while lacking the will to enforce our own laws, and creating laws that oppress the godly.

There is so much we do not know. Is this man in hell today? Was he among the saints in prison that Jesus preached to (1 Peter 3:19-20) before His resurrection? Will there be punishments in the spiritual realm that fit the crime, as Jesus alludes to in Luke 13:47-48? If we know so little, and presume the worst about Him, how will we be judges?

Burden of Leadership

So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.

Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord‘s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Numbers 11:24-29

When the people got tired of manna, they complained for want of meat. Moses was so tired of the complaining , he asked God to kill him. It is a hard thing to be the go-to guy for every problem a million or so people have. Even though there is a steady supply of food falling from the sky, in the middle of nowhere, the people complain.

Is a miraculous God just not enough? Would you still rather be slaves in Egypt? This is the juxtaposition of sinful man and a holy God. Ingratitude and rejection of God begets suffering and death.

God offers to take some of the spirit given to Moses and impart it to the 70 elders, so they can help Moses bear the burden of leadership. And people complain about that! We would do well to be grateful without complaining, for it is God who supplies all our need.

Eating Blood

“Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off. And every person who eats what dies of itself or what is torn by beasts, whether he is a native or a sojourner, shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening; then he shall be clean. But if he does not wash them or bathe his flesh, he shall bear his iniquity.” Leviticus 17:13-16

Man and beast alike were all vegetarian after creation. Animals were only used as sacrifices for sin. The blood of that animal was given as a ransom for a human. Animals were innocent. It was not through animals that sin entered the world. The innocent dying for the guilty was a foreshadowing of the sacrifice if Christ.

After the flood there was a change. God allowed man to eat animals. Likewise, some animals became carnivores. But the blood that was sacrificed still came from herbivores. Animals that had shed blood could not be sacrificed. And the animals that were “clean,” and could be eaten we’re also herbivores. The flesh could be eaten, but the blood could not. The blood contained the life of the creature, and whether it was sacrificed or buried, it belonged to God.