Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blessed Deception

I've been reading through Joshua in my quiet time. I came to Joshua 9 this morning and wonder what you think...

If you know the story, skip down a paragraph. If you don't, keep reading. Joshua and the Israelites are coming into the land of Canaan; taking possession of God's Promised Land. They are destroying all the people they encounter and the surrounding regions are getting scared. The Gibeonites (from the land of Gibeon) don't want to be destroyed, so they play dress-up and deceive the Israelites into believing that they are from a far off land (when they're really from right next door.) Joshua covenants with them to leave them alone. After three days, they realize that these "distant travelers" are really their neighbors. However, rather than destroy them (like they were commanded) they keep their oath and covenant and they let them live and give them jobs in the camp.

So, how is it that deception ends up "blessed?" The Gibeonites, rather than being destroyed, ended up employed in the camp of Israel. On top of that, in Joshua 10, Joshua comes to their aid when they've gotten into battle "over their heads."

Is it Joshua's faithfulness to God that allows the Gibeonites to be blessed? Is it the Gibeonites willingness to try a plan that "just might work?"


Monday, December 1, 2008

Generational Differences

I don't pretend to be a sociologist. I do enjoy the attempt at learning why people do certain things. Lately, I've been confronted with the reality of generational gaps. I'm trying my best to see things from multiple perspectives but I'm really struggling.

I recognize that people's actions are a product of multiple factors. Upbringing, experience, fears, passions, beliefs etc. All these things drive behavior. I'm finding difficulty especially when it comes to belief driving behavior. If we all claim to follow the same Jesus, how can we bear His name and yet act so differently? There are some who are overtly generous in their compassion and others who are as tight-fisted as the day is long.

Perhaps this takes us back to the discussion of lordship and salvation (or better stated lordship versus salvation in some circles). Whatever the fundamental discussion is, the difficulty remains to bridge the gap between the generations. The Scriptures are clear that God will use men and women of all ages in His plans, eg Joel 2, sons, daughters, old men, young men, etc.

So, hypothetically, how do we bridge the generational gap? There are no wrong answers but dialogue is appreciated.