In 1978, actress Vanessa Redgrave won the Oscar for her role in the movie Julia. She stood on the ceremony stage and attacked Zionism and the Zionist gangs that threatened her and everyone who would go to watch a documentary she had produced about the Palestinians and their… pic.twitter.com/KdmznqE0o5— The_Truth (@the3dmachine) November 5, 2023
More Israeli lies?— Sam Parker 🇺🇲 (@SamParkerSenate) November 4, 2023
Norwegian Doctor Mads Gilbert, who has been working at Şifa Hospital intermittently for 16 years:
"If the Israeli command center is so sure that it is a military base, where is the evidence? Where are the photographs?"
"I have been everywhere in Şifa… pic.twitter.com/X5Q8BnimNi
🇮🇱🇵🇸 Today, November 4th, marks 28 years since Israel's Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by a Jėwish extremist for seeking a historic peace deal with the Palestinians.— Keith Woods (@KeithWoodsYT) November 4, 2023
Many in Israel now blame members of the current Israeli government for the political assassination.… pic.twitter.com/dfkI310S4Z
In America we understand that there is a disconnect between our politicians and the people. They rarely if ever represent us. It is frustrating. But, we have to realize the same thing goes on in Israel and even Palestine. Governments are highjacked to serve a one world order objective.
🇩🇪 Immigrants not being loyal to the German nation was never a problem to their government, but not declaring allegiance to a foreign country will now be enough for deportation.— Keith Woods (@KeithWoodsYT) November 4, 2023
Clearly one group comes first in Germany, and it isn't the Germans. pic.twitter.com/TH2QBnnkcJ
This section of Schaeffer's work addresses this most important and timely question of our day as the Israeli's attempt to genocide the Palestinian people - Was it unjust for Joshua to drive out the people who were in the land? Understanding the Bible's explanation turns the world's narrative on its head.
What follows are fragmentary pieces of Francis Schaeffer’s commentary Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History picked out for my own edification and direction. I am interested most in finding the conditions God gave for taking and possessing His land. Also, what can we learn from this story of conquest? To go to the start of these lessons click here.
The Continuity of the Covenant
The Abrahamic Covenant
…the covenant God made with Abraham had two aspects. The more important was a spiritual promise: all the world would be blessed through Abraham…The second aspect of the Abrahamic covenant was the national blessing.
The Promises Repeated
After Abraham died, God reassured Abraham’s son, Isaac, that He would fulfill His promises. Not surprisingly, God began with the land: “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father” (Gen. 26:3). He then went on to repeat the spiritual portion: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 26:4). God spoke the promise to Isaac a second time, though this time the land was not mentioned (Gen. 26:23, 24).
The covenant was also made twice with Jacob. Having come into conflict with his brother Esau, Jacob fled the land. At a certain place he stopped for the night. He dreamed that he saw a ladder reaching to Heaven, and in the dream God spoke to him. As in his dealings with Abraham and Isaac, God began with the promise of the land: “And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham, thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed” (Gen. 28:13). And he also spoke of the spiritual promise: “In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 28:14).
God repeated the covenant to Jacob when he was coming back to the land after his years abroad. Though Jacob’s name was changed, the covenant retained the same elements: the national blessing and the land.
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. (Gen. 35:9–12)
Years later in Egypt, as Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, lay dying, the promise about the land was on his mind: “And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from here” (Gen. 50:24, 25). Because these were the covenant promises of God and because God is not a liar, Joseph said to his people, “Don’t worry. The promise will be fulfilled. God will take you back in due time. I don’t want my bones left here in Egypt. Take them with you when you go.” This, incidentally, they did.
When the Passover, a new order of worship, was established, the promise of the land was again involved: “And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service” (Ex. 12:25). To whom did God make the promise that is mentioned? To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. When the people entered the land, however, their order of worship was to be the Passover celebration and all that God commanded Moses on Sinai concerning worship, rather than patriarchal worship.
At Mount Sinai, as we have seen, the race finally became a nation. For the first time the word nation could be used to describe an immediate historic reality: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19:5, 6). At Sinai the people were given the law, and the nation was to be a holy nation.
As the people left Sinai, all but one piece was in place. They were now a nation, they had the law, they had been given the new order of worship, they had the book (Ex. 17:14). The last of the pieces, the promise of the land, was ready to be put in place. In only a year and two months after being slaves in Egypt, the people were ready to complete the full complex of the promise of God! Then the spies were sent out, and they came back with the majority report that led the people into real rebellion. There was no need to stay in the wilderness a further thirty-eight years. The people had only to believe the promises which had been given; instead, they rebelled.
At the end of the wilderness wandering, this unnecessary parenthesis in Jewish history, the Lord said to Moses, “This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed. I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over there” (Deut. 34:4). Moses was able to look at the land, but he was not able to go into it.
As Joshua waited to enter Canaan, the promise concerning the nation and the land that had been repeated over and over again for all these years was a tremendous factor emotionally, theologically and practically.
We can now more fully understand all that was involved as God spoke to Joshua, particularly as we pay attention to the matter of the land.
Now after the death of Moses, the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke unto Joshua, the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses, my servant, is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.… Be strong and of good courage; for unto this people shall thou divide for an inheritance the land which I swore unto their fathers to give them.… Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host and command the people, saying, Prepare victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it. (Josh. 1:1–4, 6, 10, 11)
Can you imagine the impact Joshua’s words had upon the people as they stood looking across the Jordan? Within three days the great promises were going to be fulfilled!
The Gifts of God Are Without Repentance
The continuity of the national portion of the covenant did not end with Joshua, or with Jews today, any more than the continuity of the spiritual portion ended with him. We have seen that the spiritual side of the covenant has something to say to the Jews in the Old Testament, to the Jews in the early church, to the Jews of today and the Jews of the future, and to the Gentiles also. The land, too, was tied with the everlastingness of the covenant:
“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:7, 8).
As we have seen, Paul, speaking about the future of the Jews, said that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [literally, are not repented of]” (Rom. 11:29). In other words, God is not done with the Jews. He has made promises which He Himself has said are everlasting.
Jeremiah, one of the Old Testament prophets, dealt with the everlastingness of the covenant in relation to the land:
Thus saith the LORD, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who divideth the sea when its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus saith the LORD, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (Jer. 31:35–37)
Just as God made an everlasting covenant with nature at the time of Noah—that the order of nature will not be ended throughout this era—He made a covenant with the nation Israel with as great a finality. If one cannot change, the other cannot change.
At a time when because of the Babylonian and Assyrian captivities people were saying, “God has cast off the Jews,” Jeremiah wrote,
Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? Thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. Thus saith the LORD, If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then will I cast away the seed of Jacob … for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them. (Jer. 33:24–26)
This prophecy should ram into our thinking that God’s promise regarding the nation is indeed without change.
In this Jeremiah passage the captivity mentioned cannot be just the Babylonian captivity because it is related to the covenant with nature, which continues throughout the whole era. Ezekiel, in a prophecy written at approximately the same time, related the covenant to that future day of which Paul spoke, a future in which Israel as Israel will be saved and will come into the same kind of situation as the individual Jews who believed at Pentecost and since: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine judgments, and do them” (Ezek. 36:26, 27). This relates to the promise of Joel (Joel 2:28–3:1), which was partially fulfilled at Pentecost and which partially remains to be fulfilled.
Clearly, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance in both halves of the Abrahamic covenant—the spiritual and the national.
Was God Unjust?
We are left with one final question—for our century one that is gigantic. Was it unjust for Joshua to drive out the people who were in the land? It is quite clear, as we have seen, that God promised His people the land, but wasn’t this unjust to those who were living there already?
During the cutting of the friendship covenant, God said to Abraham, “But in the fourth generation they [Abraham’s descendants] shall come here again” (Gen. 15:16). There was a reason they had nothing to do with: “The iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet full” (Gen. 15:16). At the same time that God swore He would give the Jews the land, He informed Abraham that the Amorites’ iniquity had not yet come to that level of revolt which made it the proper time to deal with it.
Immediately before the time of Joshua, however, Moses said to the people,
Speak not thou in thine heart, after the LORD thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, for my righteousness the LORD hath brought me in to possess this land; but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, nor for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land, but for the wickedness of these nations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Deut. 9:4, 5)
Moses was telling the people, “Don’t think you are getting the land because you are so good. Rather, it is because the iniquity of the people in the land has come to such a climax. The covenant promise is there, but God has waited hundreds of years for the Amorites’ cup of iniquity to flow over.”
I think of the cup of iniquity in a visual way. I imagine myself holding a cup which has water dripping into it. The water does not come quickly, but I keep holding the cup up. Gradually the water rises, and at a certain point it flows over the brim. This is the principle of the judgment of God: man is in revolt against God, and God waits in longsuffering until every possibility of man’s turning back is exhausted. When the iniquity is full, when the cup overflows, God’s judgment comes.
This was true at the time of the flood: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5). Men were in total rebellion against God. Genesis 6:11, 12 indicates that “the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” God waited, we do not know how long. Then came the judgment of the flood. When did it take place? When the cup was full.
In the story of Sodom the same principle is reiterated (Gen. 18:20–33). Because Abraham bargained with God on behalf of the city, it almost seems as though Abraham understood this principle with exactitude.
We might paraphrase the biblical account like this. God said to Abraham, “Sodom is utterly wicked! It is time to destroy this rotten city!”
Abraham responded, “Lord, if there are fifty righteous people there, will You refrain from destroying it?”
“Yes,” God replied. “If there are fifty righteous people there, the iniquity is not yet full.”
“What if there are forty-five?”
“All right, if there are forty-five, the iniquity is not yet full.”
“What about forty?”
“Yes, even ten!”
But since not even ten righteous people could be found, Sodom was destroyed. The Sodomites’ cup had been filling, filling, filling; and when the iniquity at Sodom reached a certain level, judgment came.
When the Israelites stood on the east bank of the Jordan, the iniquity of the Amorites was full. The sword of Joshua was the sword of God in judgment—an exact parallel to the flood and to the destruction of Sodom.
Many of the Canaanite cities have been dug up, and one can see that the statuettes which were worshipped by the Canaanites at this period were overwhelmingly perverse. The worship was wrapped up not only with complete rebellion against God, but with all kinds of sexual sin. The statuettes were as pornographic as some of today’s worst pictures! And in its violence, their culture became equal to ours. So in Moses’ time God said, “All right, it is time for the judgment.” This reminds us that there is “death in the city” in our own culture.
We have here another continuity: the principle that when iniquity and rebellion come to the full, then God judges. The principle still is in operation. Jesus said, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). Though the Gentile world has had the advantages of the Christian age, wickedness will come to the full before the coming of Christ. The book of Revelation indicates the same thing. Then the principle will be applied again, and the judgment related to the second coming of Christ will fall.
At that time “all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins” (Rom. 11:26, 27). God has made a covenant, and all the Jews—all Israel—are going to come to this place of spiritual blessing when the Gentiles’ iniquity is full.
Jesus said the same thing: “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). When the iniquity is full, the course of events will be reversed, and a blessing will come to Israel as Israel. When the disciples asked Him, “What’s it going to be like when You come back and judge?” Jesus replied, “It’s going to be like two periods, like the days of Noah and the days of Sodom. When it is like those days, I will come back and judge” (Luke 17:26–30).
The Scripture insists that in a time still future to the present ticking of the clock, when the iniquity of the Gentiles is full, a greater Joshua will come and function once more in judgment:
And I saw heaven opened and, behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies that were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Rev. 19:11–16)
This is the greater Joshua, Jesus Christ. The One who died so that men can escape judgment will be the One who will be the judge. And it is this Christ who stood before Joshua as the captain of the host of the Lord.
A cup filled with iniquity followed by God’s judgment—this is the negative side of the covenant of grace. Why did there have to be a covenant of grace? Because man rebelled and could not come to God in his own goodness. Man was under the judgment of God with true moral guilt before God. So God had to give the covenant of grace at the terrible cost of Christ’s death because men were justly under God’s condemnation and judgment without it.
We have come now to the last of the continuities I wanted to look at before we examine the book of Joshua in detail. Out of the Pentateuch, through the book of Joshua, to the rest of the Bible and to a time future to ourselves, there is a continuity of the patience of God and the judgment which comes when iniquity is full. The books are not balanced in this life. If we live only between birth and death, we must acknowledge that we live not in a moral universe, but in an amoral universe. But if a holy God exists, we live in a moral universe, and that is wonderful. But again, this carries with it that insofar as the books are not balanced in this life, there will be the judgment of God in the future.
This brings us back to Joshua at Jericho. There he met the Christ of the cross, the Christ of the book of Revelation, who is the judge, who told him that Jericho would fall. As we comprehend the continuities of the book, the supernatural power, the supernatural leader and the covenant (including the principle of judgment), we are ready to understand the taking of the land.
Questions & Notes
At _________ _________, as we have seen, the race finally became a nation. ↑
As we have seen, Paul, speaking about the future of the Jews, said that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance [literally, are not repented of]” (Rom. 11:29). In other words, God is _________ _________with the Jews. ↑
What delayed the covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? ↑
We have here another continuity: the principle that when _________ and _________ come to the full, then God judges. ↑
God has made a covenant, and all the Jews—all Israel—are going to come to this place of spiritual blessing when the _________ _________is full. ↑
Click on the “Joshua and the Flow of Biblical History” tag below to see all the posts in this series. To go to the start of this series click here.