“So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.” -Joshua 11:23
People who read the Old Testament often ask why there is so much talk about war and death. However, Joshua 11 highlights one important aspect of war in the Bible–God does not desire war to last, but to end.
God had a plan to bring Israel from slavery to its own land. The process involved battles between nations. Once the Israelites had taken their predicted land, war ended.
Of course, we also should keep in mind that Joshua retells history of his nation. The history of nations involves war. He tells the story as it happened, within his theological understanding, rather than hiding it.
A couple of thoughts stood out to me as I reflected on the words of Joshua 11. First, this world involves painful realities. War, poverty, terrorism, and more mark our daily headlines. One reason Christians long for heaven is because it will mark the removal of all the problems of this earth.
Second, God walks with us during the heat of battle. No matter where we are, God is with us. In battle, in peace, in struggle, in celebration–God is with us through it all. We need not blame him for the wrongs that happen, but rather rely on him when things do go wrong. He may allow a battle today, but in the end we with be with him and free from war.
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Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.