A peace treaty and Jesus before the authorities….

3 05 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN : Joshua 8 v. 1 – 9 v. 15; Luke 22 v. 63 – 23 v. 25; Psalm 51 v. 1 – 9

JOSHUA
Ai Destroyed – The Lord commands Joshua to take the army and do the same as they had with Jericho, for ‘I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai….’. Only difference with Ai – they can keep the plunder for themselves.
Of the 30,000 men, 5,000 are sent as an ambush behind the city, and when the rest of the army draw the Ai army out of their city (out front), the ambush from behind takes place.
The Ai army pursue the Israelites towards the desert, away from the city, until not a man remained in the city.
At the sign of Joshua holding a javelin high, the ambush begins – the army enter Ai, capture it and burn it.
The rest of the fleeing Israelite army, with the Ai army in hot pursuit, see the burning city, they turn on the Ai army, who have nowhere to run, as the Israelites who’d ambushed the city are behind them and come out to fight. All the me of Ai were killed, except the king, who Joshua hung from a tree till sunset, after which it was buried across the gateway to what had been the city of Ai.

12,000 men, women and children died on that day, and all the livestock and plunder was carried off my the Israelites as God instructed.

Covenant Renewed – Joshua builds an altar on Mt. Ebal (according to instructions in ‘the Book of the Law of Moses’), and burnt offerings and fellowship offering are sacrificed there.
The Law of Moses is copied onto stones there.
Joshua reads all the words of the law to all the Israelites – the whole lot.

Gibeonite Deception – The remaining kings (of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites), join together to make war against Joshua / Israel.
But the Gibeonites came to the Israelites pretending to have travelled very far (moldy provisions of bread and wine (from cracked wineskins), and torn sandals, even though they were Hivites and from close-by.
‘The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not enquire of the Lord.’
So Joshua makes a treaty of peace with the Gibeonites, and their deception has succeeded in getting themselves protected….


LUKE
The Guards Mock Jesus – They play a game with Jesus – ‘Who hit you?’ – taunting His prophetic claims. He is blindfolded, insulted and beaten.

The King of kings is thoroughly insulted, mocked and beaten – and He’s the one accused of blasphemy !

Jesus Before Pilate and Herod – Before the council of the elders, at daybreak, Jesus confirms that He is the Son of Man, aware that they ‘will not believe me’. So, He is led away to Pilate, who is told the lie that Jesus has been stirring up opposition to paying taxes to Caesar (which, of course, He had avoided saying earlier : ‘Pay Caesar what is Caesar’s and God what is God’s’.)
The further charge is that Jesus claims to be Christ, a king.
When Pilate asks Him, Jesus says that yes, He is the King of the Jews.
Pilate refuses, at this stage, to find Jesus guilty of any crime, but when He hears that Jesus has come from Galilee, he sends them across to Herod (whose jurisdiction included Galilee), who happened to be in Jerusalem just then.

Herod was delighted to be introduced to Jesus – he had longed to meet Him, hoping to see a miracle from Him. Though he asks Jesus many questions, He doesn’t answer, so he has Jesus dressed in an ‘elegant robe’ and has Him ridiculed and mocked, before sending Him back to Pilate.

That day, Herod and Pilate became friends, where they had been enemies before. What an interesting effect Jesus has on people !!

Back with Pilate, he passes a judgement that Jesus has done nothing warranting His death, so he plans to simply punish Him and let Him go.
The crowd began to shout for Barabbas to be freed, not Jesus (Barabbas was an insurrectionist murderer).
Luke is at pains to say that Pilate really wanted to release Jesus, but the crowd’s shouting for Jesus to be crucified gets louder and more insistent.
Pilate, finally, grants their demand, releases Barabbas, and ‘surrendered Jesus to their will’.

Clearly, for Luke, Pilate and Herod play very minor roles in the story, effectively puppets in the hands of the chief priests and teachers of the law.

PSALM
This is the psalm identified as the one David sings following the terrible incident of adultery with Bathsheba, when Nathan ‘outs’ him.

‘Mercy Lord God, show mercy, according to Your unfailing love.
Blot out my offences.
Wash away all my guilt.
Cleanse me completely from sin.

My sin, my offences, my guilt are ever before me,
reminding me how often I have grieved You….
But You, Lord, desire every part of me to be filled with truth and wisdom.
Cleanse me, wash me, fill me with joy and gladness, rejoicing.’

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