Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Stung Again

I am so glad that we have the scriptures to guide us as we trundle through this life of faith! Paul said that we have all these lives lived out on the big screen of the bible for us to learn from their mistakes and victories. It would be so difficult if we didn't have these documented for us. Where would we be without them?
I have been reading Joshua lately and discovering him all over again. He really is quite an amazing figure in Israel's history and yet his foibles are out there for all to see. The last few chapters I have been reading have shown how he was stung by the same mistake more than once. He had a tendency to turn to his own counsel or the wisdom of other leaders before he would seek God. After doing this he was both times (in my current reading) humiliated, firstly when God gave him a tongue lashing after the first attack on Ai, and secondly when the congregation chided him for covenanting with the Gibeonites. Both instances had huge ramifications for the people he was leading, as well as historical implications that he could never have foreseen. If he had, I wonder if he would have acted differently?
It is easy from the sidelines of my study chair to flip a page or two and see these things rather clearly, but for him it was the life he was leading minute by minute. It is also easy for me to identify with Joshua as I too have been stung multiple times by the same old character flaws. Stung hard, too, even with the insights offered by these historical events. Stung in the same places. Stung, and yet giving thanks that the stings are farther apart than they used to be.
I wasn't stung huge today, but this passage has still given me pause to reflect.

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