We continue our comparison between Jesus and Joshua.
Israel was not a nation as you and I would think of one. The land itself was a series of tribal and family plots that would be held as that family’s possession in perpetuity. That is why over a thousand years later, all of the descendants of David went to Bethlehem. It was their family’s city.
There are several chapters in Joshua devoted to which tribes got which towns. Now no family was strong enough to fight off the current inhabitants of “their cities.” It would take a nation or several tribes together to conquer the land. Joshua was the leader of the people and the army. He determined where and how each battle was fought.
God had said that Israel was finally getting this land, not because they deserved it but because the people living there were so evil. Examples were the worshippers of Molech who burned their children alive as a sacrifice. Others would worship their idols by having sex with temple prostitutes. God wanted all of the evil out of the country, they were to destroy the current inhabitants. They were not to worship their gods or imitate their practices.
When Jesus went around the countryside, He visited every town and village healing people of their diseases and casting out demons. In the Old Testament, evil was found in the individuals consumed by it. The only way to handle it was to destroy them. With Jesus came the power to heal and deliver people.
As St. Paul said, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our mission is to free people not to destroy them.
Joshua never conquered all the land that he was supposed to. After people’s own home towns were conquered, they lost interest in fighting other people’s battles. They kept the inhabitants as slaves instead of sending them to God. They ended up adopting the practices of the conquered peoples and committing grave offenses against God.
If you see someone whose life is a terrible mess, maybe it is because they have had no one to pray and fight their spiritual battles for them. Many of us have become like the Israelites who were living in lands that were already conquered. We ignore or look down on those who still have battles to fight. Others of us enjoy our vices rendering us ineffectual in our prayers.
Jesus can direct us as to where and who to fight for, but His directions will be useless if we don’t respond. The Body of Christ is a lot like the nation of Israel. It is made up of individuals and their souls. Spiritual battles won’t be won until we view our neighbor’s battles as our own. Nobody can conquer the enemy alone.
#trcot #tcot #Spiritual Warfare #Joshua