We begin a new period in our study this week, looking at Conquests & Judges, a period set between 1406-1050 BC. We pick up the story immediately after the death of Moses as God is commissioning Joshua to lead Israel… and we’ll conclude with the prophet/judge Samuel preparing to anoint Israel’s first king. In between, we’ll hear about the conquest of the promised land and the ongoing struggle Israel faces to remain faithful to God through the period of the Judges. This represents one of the more violent periods you’ll read about in Scripture (something I address in the introductory video below.
As you read, consider a few things. As you read Joshua 1, consider not only what that encouragement to be “strong and of good courage” would have meant to the man who was succeeding Moses in leading Israel. Also, Joshua sends spies into Jericho, might his decision to send only two spies (rather than the twelve sent a generation earlier) come from his desire not to repeat the fear-mongering that had happened after his own look into the promised land? And finally, take note of Rahab. When we hear the reading of Jesus’ family tree on Christmas eve – she is named as one of Jesus’ ancestors. This means that God didn’t simply use her to protect the spies: He brought her into the very bloodline of the kings and eventually the Messiah.
In later chapters this week, you’ll read about the division of Canaan amongst the tribes of Israel. Perhaps this map will help you make sense of it all if it seems to get a bit tedious to read:
With all of that in mind, this week, you’ll read:
- Monday: Joshua 1-2
- Tuesday: Joshua 3-4
- Wednesday: Joshua 5-6
- Thursday: Joshua 7-8
- Friday: Joshua 9-10
- Saturday: Joshua 11-13
- Sunday: Catch up on what you’ve missed or read the Sunday readings
And below are the links I mentioned in the video:
- Bishop Barron’s video on violence in the Bible: https://youtu.be/1A65Wfr2is0
- Jimmy Akin’s article “Pope Benedict on the Dark Passages of Scripture”: https://strangenotions.com/pope-benedict-on-the-dark-passages-of-scripture/