At this point in Joshua we are transitioning from lots of violent death when Joshua and the Israelites take the land that God has given to them (I still have questions and issues with this), to a recounting of the Kings that were defeated on both sides of the Jordan River by Moses and Joshua.
Joshua 11:23 says, “So they land finally had rest from war.”
Throughout the last couple of Books, in Numbers and Joshua, I have wondered what things Israel had grown used to and what they had come to expect. For instance the miracle of the Israelites following the cloud in the day and the fire at night as God guided them in the direction they should go (Numbers 14:14) or even the manna that appeared on the ground every morning (Numbers 11:9). An entire generation had died out and the current generation had grown up seeing these things from birth. I think they developed an expectation and lost some appreciation for the things that were taking place. For this generation of Israelites a pillar of fire at night and manna on the ground in the morning was like the sun rising, or the rain falling is to us. They were used to it.
Have this generation of Israelites at this point in Joshua grown used to war? Has it become their expectation and a part of their identity? I find it interesting that the verse does not say that the “Israelites” had rest from war but that the “land” had rest from war. You know I bet they asked themselves… ok… what now? What does it mean to a people who have been nomadic for so long to finally settle?
These are just a few of the questions that I’m asking myself and wrestling with. I’d love to hear some of your questions that are coming out of Joshua.