Learning From the Boring Bits
Have you ever read Joshua? It starts out pretty cool. Joshua has just taken over from Moses as the dude leading this massive group of people, and FINALLY, after 40 years of wandering they are moving into this land that they have been promised by God. The book of Joshua goes on to describe the conquest of God’s people through this promised land. Here, after 40 years, there is finally this feeling of fulfillment. The Israelites are moving into the Canaan. Then, the book takes a turn, and it gets super boring. Joshua goes into painful detail about where the boundaries and borders are, who gets what land, and on, and on, and on.
Now I’m sure that there are people who eat this stuff up. People who study this, and then write articles which we read and benefit from. But If you are one of those who pulls out your sextant and your map of the mid-east then this blog post isn’t for you. Lets face it, of the 4 of you who are going to read this, none of you even know what a sextant is. And based on my usage of the word I probably don’t either. But here’s what I do know, God told us about it so it must be important.
“Here’s what I do know, God told us about it so it must be important.”
I’m one of those who believes that God has given us everything we need to know in the Bible. I don’t think that there is anything God is going to tell you that isn’t in the 1 book, 2 testaments, 66 books, 1,189 chapters, 23,145 verses… You get the idea. God used a finite number of words to tell us about everything he found important. So why spend soooo many verses/chapters on such boring stuff as boundaries and distributions as the second half of Joshua is devoted to.
As I write this I’m not done with Joshua, but I hit this verse that was so awesome that I had to stop and write a blog post. It’s Joshua 21:45: “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” BOOM! It all makes sense now. This is the promised land. The point of all this seemingly boring crap is right there in the title. God has fulfilled his promise.
“The point of all this seemingly boring crap is right there in the title. God has fulfilled his promise..”
Joshua (the book not the dude, but actually also the dude: see Joshua 11:15) is an amazing and detailed image of God fulfilling his promise. The whole Old Testament is full of this stuff. God promises Moses that he will deliver Israel out of Egypt, and then he does. God promises Noah that he will keep him and his family safe, and then he does. God promises to give Abraham a son, and then he does. God promises to give Jacob descendants that will out-number the stars, and he does. God promises Eve that he offspring will crush the head of the Serpent, and then he does… That’ll preach. Joshua is a painfully long and meticulous reminder that God keeps his promises. And if he’s faithful in the little things, and then in some bigger things, I choose to trust that he’ll be faithful in everything.
If there is anything I know about myself, and I’m sure many of you would say this too, it’s that I’m thick headed. God has to beat it into me. This “boring section” in Joshua is God beating his faithfulness into my head! God is proving that he’s not making this up. He’s giving us geographical evidence of his faithfulness. Maybe it isn’t as boring as it seems. God promised that he would conquer Satan, sin, and death, and then he does. We are beneficiaries of that. Go read Joshua, and learn about his faithfulness.