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In Case You Missed It -- Joshua 16-17, Psalm 129

Israel continues to divide up the land of Canaan, and we continue to know God’s ways in delivering Canaan into Israel’s hands. Today, I will offer one last truth before tomorrow’s summary of our discussion on God’s justice in the book of Joshua. God’s intrinsic and infinite goodness necessitates that God’s judgements and actions are always good. This is of course a statement of faith based on scripture’s testimony about God’s character. Though I end our discussion on God’s actions in Joshua with this truth, it colors my reading from beginning to end. For example, it is easy for me to reasonably believe that adult Canaanites were evil and thus deserved their punishment from God. It is harder for me to make the same argument about an 8-month-old killed by Israel. Yet I stand by my belief that God uniquely gives life to that 8-month-old and uniquely can, with goodness, take its life through any means He chooses. I take this on faith, but doesn’t make it untrue. For example, I could theorize that such an 8-month year old would eventually turn out to be a terror and God knows this. I don’t have proof that I am right, nor does defending God’s goodness require such proof. God could have other reasons. Even though my entire extended argument is intended to give rationale for God’s actions, I do so not because God owes explanations, but because in love God often helps us understand. When God doesn’t give us rationale, we would dishonor God to assume the worst. For in all creation and new creation in Christ we have sufficient reason to believe the best of God’s goodness.

Jeremiah Vaught