March21

Joshua 5:9-12

“The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.” vs. 12

The writers of Israel’s history believed that God had led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and had given them the land of Canaan as their territory. Most of us simply accept the story and are impressed by the generosity of God–we’ve heard about the conquest of the Promised Land since Sunday School and have sung about the battle of Jericho with gusto. Few of us have given a second thought to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites who fought bravely against the desert invaders and who were slaughtered, men, women, and children, as the Hebrews gradually took their cities. It’s an old, old story, that tale of invasion and conquest, and we’ve seen it being played out in real time during this last month as the Russians have established themselves in the cities of Ukraine. Like the Hebrews they insist that the land is theirs, and their religious leaders have supported the claim. In their mind this is divine destiny, a reclaiming of what had been given them by God. We humans are good at such power grabs, and we almost always claim that God is on our side. No wonder peace is in such short supply–will our greediness  and lust for power ever be satisfied? Thank God for the Jesus story! It really is humanity’s only hope!

Thought for the Day: Why do some religious leaders support war?

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