You may recall on Day 24 we read about the cities of refuge where someone whom killed another individual unintentionally could escape to, in order that they may be protected and have a fair trial. I find it of intrigue that in chapter 21 of Joshua we see the cities of refuge were cities that were allotted to the Levites—the priests—the pastors. Is this in order that judgments against individuals might be dealt with or mitigated in a merciful way? Or could it just be that these cities were within just a short distance of everyone and thus this put the Levites within a short distance of everyone? Or maybe both? The latter would make sense in that the dispersion of all the cities the Levites received (48 total) on a map we can see the dispersion of them indicates that the rest of Israel was never far from the Levites who were responsible for the religious education of the people. God wanted Israel to remain connected to His Spiritual leaders.
Chapter 22 is a positive example on how to solve conflict. The tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh did something that offended the rest of Israel. Israel was ready to go to war against them and destroy them, but before they did they sent messengers to let Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh know what they believed their grievance to be. When these tribes heard of this, they did not become defensive instead they gave explanation, a logical, and reasonable explanation at that. Such that the rest of the tribes were happy to hear the explanation and rejoiced that there would be peace.
Imagine that: We’re upset, let’s go explain why we are upset. Oh we’re sorry we didn’t mean it the way it was taken. Here is what we meant. Oh that makes sense. Well let’s not have conflict then.
Amazing how proper conflict resolution tactics can save all of us from a world of hurt!
Joshua 24 is a review of the history of Israel. We saw Moses do similar and it is done often throughout the Bible. Reviewing history is a good way of teaching truth. And I believe the reason Joshua did it and others can be summed up in the statement that Ellen White wrote,
“We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” Life Sketches p. 196,
Oh that we would remember such a truth!
Finally at the conclusion of Joshua we find one of the great verses in scripture,
“If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (24:15)
And with that we will close this post and the book of Joshua with one of my favorite all time songs:
My name is Chad Stuart, and I'm a preacher. Inevitably, I spend a lot of time speaking from “inside” the pulpit, however, this blog reflects thoughts I have beyond, or “outside” the pulpit. It represents my own thoughts on religion, spirituality, the Bible, family, leadership, church growth, and some random other stuff.