In Case You Missed It -- Joshua 1, Psalm 120
The book of Joshua begins according to plan. God promises to grant Israel the land (Joshua 1:2-5) and to be with Israel wherever they go (vv. 5,9). Israel accepts Joshua’s leadership and vows to listen to Joshua as God’s appointed messenger, threatening any opponents with death (vv. 16-18). In ironic fashion Israel vows, “Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so will we obey you” (v. 17). This should be the first hint for us to expect more of the same disobedience Israel has shown to this point. Blind to their forefathers’ rejection of Moses, Israel now pledges to completely obey Joshua as they seek to take the new land. The book starts with a good step, but as our own experience shows, though these people promise great things, they likely will fail to deliver. Even in their vows Israel shows little self-knowledge—about their personal weakness amidst chaos and also their collective history as a people. I offer one response to our day’s reading: let us pursue greater knowledge of ourselves and our blind spots, both the personal and those learned from our families of origin.