It’s only the start of the lent but I have still managed to break my promise. We had some family staying over during the weekend and I didn’t get a chance to get up early on Friday or Saturday to continue “my lent”. Hopefully that’s the last time it will happen.
Today, I was reading the account of the Fall of Jericho in Chapter 6 of Joshua. To be honest this is a passage that I struggle with. Maybe it’s because I didn’t live in that culture or I don’t fully understand what’s going on but in my western post modern mind I cannot understand why an entire city (men, women, children and animals) had to be slaughtered. There are many accounts like this in the Old Testament and I struggle with all of them.
What did these people do that was so bad that they deserved to be butchered? Most of us when we think of the holocaust are appauled that such an atrocity could take place but yet we, as Christians, accept this story of genocide. Im sure there are scholars out there who could tell me why it was justified but right now, I can’t find any reason.
There is a clear tension then inside of me when I read of these stories. Yes I can see the applicable lessons in this story:
God is faithful
Expect the unexpected with God
Trust God that he will do what he says he will do
but there is still the bitter aftertaste of genocide.
What then can I learn from this today?
To critically assess our faith. To not just accept things. To engage our brains when we read scripture.
I think we could all do with that.