God, you’re killing me.

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Death to Self

Joshua 11:23
So Joshua took control of the entire land, just as the Lord had instructed Moses. He gave it to the people of Israel as their special possession, dividing the land among the tribes. So the land finally had rest from war.
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When I read of the merciless slaughter in Joshua 11, and much of the OT for that matter, I feel conflicted. A loving God clearly commanded, approved and even participated in all this gore, violence and bloodshed. How is that consistent with His nature revealed through Jesus in the NT? A passage in Joshua 11 gives insight.

Remember OT physical elements give us insight into NT spiritual truths. Joshua, a picture of Jesus, is destroying all the enemies in God’s promised land which does not represent heaven (there will be no enemies to fight in heaven). Rather the “promised land” represents the place of peace in my soul that God wants me to inherit here on earth – a place of victory over sin.

The Amorites, Perizzites, etc. represent the evil that resides in my soul, the varied sins that plague me. When I view it from that perspective I cheer for total annihilation – deliver me totally, Oh God!

With that understanding, let’s paraphrase the last verse of chapter 11, Joshua 11:23:
So Jesus totally annihilated all His enemies and repossessed my soul – destroying every evil thought, tendency and even the consequences of my fallen nature. Then He presented me my inheritance – the joy of wholeness and purity as a child of God. Thus my soul finally had rest from war.

Isn’t that awesome!? To finally be free from me! To finally live as I want to live – purely, righteously before my Holy Father bringing a smile to His face in every thought, word and deed. That will be joy and wonder beyond comprehension.

Don’t be discouraged and don’t give up. Defeating the enemies in our soul is a life-long marathon, not a sprint.
Joshua waged war a long time with all these kings. – Joshua 11:18
But he didn’t quit till they were totally vanquished. Jesus won’t quit either until we are totally set free from our old nature, set free from ourselves, set free from sin. Hallelujah!
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Colossians 1:22
(God) has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

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