You may notice the tone of this post is a little different than usual... a little more personal perhaps. It came as a result of a discussion with a friend via email about Joshua's conquering of Jericho. I invite your comments as well.
So many are hurting and need to know the Good News of what Jesus provided for them on the cross. Most of what I have learned has been through relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and through the amazing Holy Spirit who is able to make all things clear to me... if I listen. I still have so much, even after 44 years "Born Again", to learn about the Truth. Jesus said, "I am the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE. No man comes to the Father but through me." I love walking in simple relationship with him. So.... I am not the intellectual type nor would I ever attempt to be at this time in my life. I was reading the book of Joshua recently and always have a hard time with the "killing of the innocents". I know that throughout history many "innocents" have been killed. I recently preached a message which included portions of Corrie Ten Boom's book, "He Sets the Captive Free". For those who don’t know, Corrie and her family hid Jews in their home during the time of Hitler and Corrie survived the Holocaust to tell their story. So many things are hard to understand that happen to "flesh and blood" over the millenniums. I don't think God has ever changed regarding his feelings about the "innocent" and the punishment that comes upon those who harm or kill them. I know there is so much to learn about God's plan for the salvation of mankind throughout the Old Testament but it is the New Testament that we live by. The most powerful example of the shedding of innocent blood is the death of God's only begotten son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Jesus had NO sin but he became sin for us so that we could live forever. From the beginning of time, there has to have been the shedding of innocent blood for there to be life. It began in the garden with the animals that were slain so Adam and Eve could be clothed. I would hate that fact if it were not for the LIFE that comes about from that shedding of blood. "No greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for his friend." John 15:13. It had to happen. If I were to die for someone, it would be the guilty dying for the guilty because we are ALL guilty. However, that is where the reason for that innocent blood comes into play. "Therefore being JUSTIFIED (just as if I'd never sinned) by FAITH we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1 To me, FAITH is the key. Peter's FAITH in who Jesus was, is the Rock on which the Church is built. God would NEVER let the innocent BC or AD suffer for eternity. Jesus went somewhere in the spirit during those three days while "dead" to set the captives free through the BLOOD which he shed (1 Peter 3:18-20). The Kingdom of God is not comprised of FLESH AND BLOOD but of SPIRIT AND SOUL. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Joshua is an amazing example of the Victory that the Lord gives his people. We, the Church are an example of the Victory of the Lord over sin, death and the grave. None of us are going to escape those things unless that trumpet sounds and the Lord returns before we breathe our last breath. My baby boy, innocent as it gets at age 2 days, struggled for breath and died before I could ever give him the love and nurturing I had dreamed of for 9 months. I was told that God killed him because I was living in sin. I believed, even in my "non" Christian lifestyle that my baby went to Heaven as soon as he died. God didn't kill my baby. My baby died because he had a disease that had no cure at that time. The reason he had a disease is because we live in a sinful, fallen world where a GOOD GOD had pity and mercy upon mankind's stupidity of believing they could do it their own way just as Lucifer in his pride made his own decisions. In God's pity and mercy for us, he devised a plan from the onset of time to make a way for all of us to be with him in Soul and Spirit for endless days... all because of LOVE! God told Abraham to "kill" his son, Isaac. But instead, he provided a sacrifice of a ram and let Isaac live. Abraham was willing... God was willing and followed through with his son, Jesus. Flesh and Blood was sacrificed so that Soul and Spirit could and would live forever and never suffer again! God will NEVER let the innocent die nor those who have become "innocent" by Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He knows the difference between "innocent" and "...those who know to do good but do it not..." James 4:17. God knows the ones who don't understand and the ones who deliberately "trample the blood of Jesus under foot", Hebrews 10:26-29. He is the JUDGE and he is JUST. Joshua said: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15. I am choosing life for the rest of my life!