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Thoughts and Reflection

When the Israelites enter the Promised Land, the Lord tells Joshua that all the men need to be circumcised. When a man is circumcised, he is brought into the covenant. The people of Israel are being fully delivered from their former slavery and the covenant is being renewed. They celebrate the Feast of the Passover and the Manna ceases. The Lord is taking care of them in a new way.

The culture of the Canaanites is built upon wickedness. They even sacrifice their children to the god Molech. This isn’t just a battle for territory, It is a battle for morality.

Each of us has wounds that continue to have a hold on us. We need to give God the permission to transform this woundedness.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Joshua 5

1 When all the kings of the Amorites living to westward across the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites living on the seaboard, heard that Yahweh had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed, their hearts failed and they lost all courage to resist the Israelites.

2 At this time Yahweh said to Joshua, ‘Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again (a second time).

3 Joshua made flint knives and circumcised the Israelites on the Hill of Foreskins.

4 The reason why Joshua circumcised them was this. All the males of the people who had come out of Egypt of age to bear arms had died in the desert on their journey after leaving Egypt.

5 Now, all the people who came out had been circumcised; but none of those born in the desert, during the journey, after leaving Egypt, had been circumcised;

6 for the Israelites walked the desert for forty years, until the whole nation had died out, that is, the men who had come out of Egypt of age to bear arms; they had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, and Yahweh had sworn to them never to let them see the land which he had sworn to their ancestors that he would give us a land flowing with milk and honey.

7 But in place of these he set their sons, and these were the ones whom Joshua circumcised: they were uncircumcised because they had not been circumcised during the journey.

8 When the circumcising of the whole nation was finished, they stayed resting in the camp till they were well again.

9 Yahweh then said to Joshua, ‘Today I have taken the shame of Egypt away from you.’ Hence, the place has been called Gilgal ever since.

10 The Israelites pitched their camp at Gilgal and kept the Passover there on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening, in the plain of Jericho.

11 On the very next day after the Passover, they ate what the land produced, unleavened bread and roasted ears of corn.

12 The manna stopped the day after they had eaten the produce of the land. The Israelites from that year onwards ate the produce of Canaan and had no more manna.

13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him, grasping a naked sword. Joshua walked towards him and said to him, ‘Are you on our side or on that of our enemies?’

14 He replied, ‘On neither side. I have come now as the captain of the army of Yahweh.’ Joshua fell on his face to the ground, worshipping him, and said, ‘What has my Lord to say to his servant?’

15 The captain of the army of Yahweh answered Joshua, ‘Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.

Joshua 6

1 Now, Jericho had shut and barricaded its gates (against the Israelites): no one came out and no one went in.

2 Yahweh then said to Joshua, ‘Look, I am putting Jericho, its picked troops and its king, at your mercy.

3 All you warriors must march round the city (go right round the city once, doing the same on six successive days.

4 Seven priests must carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. On the seventh day, you will go seven times round the city and the priests will blow their trumpets).

5 When the ram’s horn sounds (when you hear the sound of the trumpet), the entire people must utter a mighty war cry and the city wall will collapse then and there; the people will then go into the assault, each man straight ahead.’

6 Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, ‘Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets ahead of the ark of Yahweh.’

7 To the people he then said, ‘Forward! March round the city, and let the vanguard march ahead of the ark of Yahweh!’

8 (Everything was done as Joshua had given orders to the people.) Seven priests, carrying seven ram’s-horn trumpets ahead of Yahweh, moved forward blowing their trumpets; the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came behind them,

9 the vanguard marched ahead of the priests, who blew their trumpets, the rearguard followed behind the ark; the men marched, the trumpets sounded.

10 Joshua had given the people the following orders, ‘Do not raise a war cry, do not let your voice be heard (not a word must pass your lips), until the day when I say, “Raise the war cry.” That is when you must raise the war cry.’

11 He made the ark go round the city (going round it once), then they went back to camp, where they spent the night.

12 Joshua got up early, and the priests took up the ark of Yahweh.

13 Carrying the seven ram’s-horn trumpets, the seven priests walked ahead of the ark of Yahweh, blowing their trumpets as they went, while the vanguard marched ahead of them and the rearguard behind the ark of Yahweh, and the march went on to the sound of the trumpet.

14 They marched once round the city (on the second day) and went back to camp; and so on for six days.

15 On the seventh day, they got up at dawn and marched (in the same manner) round the city seven times. (This was the only day when they marched round the city seven times.)

16 At the seventh time, the priests blew their trumpets and Joshua said to the people, ‘Raise the war cry, for Yahweh has given you the city!

17 ‘The city and everyone in it must be devoted to Yahweh under the curse of destruction; the life of Rahab the prostitute alone must be spared, with all those with her in her house, since she hid the messengers we sent.

18 But beware of the curse of destruction, yourselves, for fear that, moved by greed, you take something lying under the curse; that would put the camp of Israel under the same curse and bring disaster on it.

19 All the silver and all the gold, everything made of bronze or iron, will be consecrated to Yahweh and put in his treasury.’

20 The people raised the war cry, the trumpets sounded. When the people heard the sound of the trumpet, they raised a mighty war cry and the wall collapsed then and there. At once the people stormed the city, each man going straight forward; and they captured the city.

21 They enforced the curse of destruction on everyone in the city: men and women, young and old, including the oxen, the sheep and the donkeys, slaughtering them all.

22 Joshua said to the two men who had reconnoitred the country, ‘Go into the prostitute’s house, and bring the woman out with all who belong to her, as you swore to her that you would.’

23 The young men who had been spies went and brought Rahab out, with her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out all her clansmen too, and put them in a place of safety outside the camp of Israel.

24 They burned the city and everything inside it, except the silver, the gold and the things of bronze and iron; these they put into the treasury of Yahweh’s house.

25 But Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family and all who belonged to her, these Joshua spared. She is still living in Israel even today, for having hidden the messengers whom Joshua sent to reconnoitre Jericho.

26 At that time Joshua made them take this oath before Yahweh: Accursed before Yahweh be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city (Jericho)! On his first-born will he lay its foundations, on his youngest son set up its gates!

27 So Yahweh was with Joshua, whose fame spread throughout the country.

Joshua 7

1 But the Israelites were unfaithful to the curse of destruction. Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took something that fell under the curse of destruction, and the anger of Yahweh was aroused against the Israelites.

2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai (which is near Beth-Aven), to the east of Bethel, having said to them, ‘Go up and reconnoitre the country.’ They went up and reconnoitred Ai.

3 Coming back to Joshua, they said, ‘There is no need for the whole people to go up; let some two or three thousand go and attack Ai. Spare the whole people such an effort; there are only a few of them!’

4 Of the people, some three thousand marched up, but these broke before the people of Ai,

5 who killed some thirty-six of them and pursued them from the town gate as far as Shebarim, and on the slope cut them to pieces. The hearts of the people melted away and turned to water.

6 Joshua then tore his clothes and prostrated himself before the ark of Yahweh till nightfall; the elders of Israel did the same, and all poured dust on their heads.

7 And Joshua said, ‘Alas, Lord Yahweh, why did you bother to bring this nation across the Jordan, if it was only to put us at the mercy of the Amorites and destroy us? If only we could have settled down on the other side of the Jordan!

8 Forgive me, Lord, but what can I say, now that Israel has turned tail on the enemy?

9 The Canaanites, all the inhabitants of the land, will hear of it; they will unite against us to wipe our name from the earth. And what willyou do about your great Name then?’

10 Yahweh said to Joshua, ‘Stand up! Why are you lying prostrate like this?

11 Israel has sinned; they have violated the covenant which I imposed on them. They have gone so far as to take what was under the curse of destruction, they have even stolen it; they have actually hidden it; they have put it in their baggage.

12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand up to their foes, why they have turned tail on their enemies: because they have come under the curse of destruction themselves. Unless you get rid of the object among you which has been put under the curse of destruction, I shall be with you no longer.’

13 ‘Get up, sanctify the people and say, “Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, since Yahweh, the God of Israel, declares: The curse of destruction has now fallen on you, Israel; you will not be able to stand up to your enemies, until you have rid yourselves of that object which has been put under the curse of destruction.

14 Tomorrow morning, therefore, you will come forward tribe by tribe, and then the tribe which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward clan by clan, and the clan which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward family by family, and the family which Yahweh selects by lot will come forward mam by man.

15 And the man indicated by lot as regards the object which has been put under the curse of destruction will be delivered to the flames, he and all his possessions, for having violated the covenant with Yahweh and for having committed an infamy in Israel.” ‘

16 Joshua got up early; he made Israel come forward tribe by tribe, and the lot indicated the tribe of Judah.

17 He summoned the clans of Judah, and the lot indicated the clan of Zerah. He summoned the clan of Zerah, family by family, and the lot indicated Zabdi.

18 Joshua then summoned the family of Zabdi, man by man, and the lot indicated Achan son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah.

19 Joshua then said to Achan, ‘My son, give glory to Yahweh, God of Israel, and confess; tell me what you have done and hide nothing from me.’

20 Achan replied to Joshua, ‘Yes, I am the man who has sinned against Yahweh, God of Israel, and this is what I have done.

21 In the loot, I saw a fine robe from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and an ingot of gold weighing fifty shekels, I set my heart on them and I took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.’

22 Joshua sent messengers; they ran to the tent, and the robe was indeed hidden in the tent, with the silver underneath.

23 They took the things out of the tent and, bringing them to Joshua and all the Israelites, laid them out before Yahweh.

24 Joshua then took Achan son of Zerah and led him up to the Vale of Achor, with the silver and the robe and the ingot of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his goats, his tent and all his belongings. All Israel went with him.

25 Joshua said, ‘Why have you brought misfortune on us? Today may Yahweh bring misfortune on you!’ And all Israel stoned him to death (and they burned them and threw stones at them).

26 Over him, they raised a great mound of stones, which is still there today. Yahweh then relented from his fierce anger. That was why the place was called the Vale of Achor, as it still is today.

Psalm 125

1 [Song of Ascents] Whoever trusts in Yahweh is like Mount Zion: unshakeable, it stands for ever.

2 Jerusalem! The mountains encircle her: so Yahweh encircles his people, henceforth and for ever.

3 The sceptre of the wicked will not come to rest over the heritage of the upright; or the upright might set their own hands to evil.

4 Do good, Yahweh, to those who are good, to the sincere at heart.

5 But the crooked, the twisted, turn them away, Yahweh, with evil-doers. Peace to Israel!

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