Revisiting History

Whitney Capps

Day: 12 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today’s Reading: Joshua 12

Joshua 12:8 (NIV) “The lands included the hill country, the western foothills, the Arabah, the mountain slopes, the wilderness and the Negev. These were the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. These were the kings.”

Does the book of Joshua feel like a dusty history lesson? A too-long documentary on the History Channel? Like me, have you ever been tempted to skip passages like Joshua 12?

Historical books of the Bible, like Joshua, record the life and death of key leaders, the success and failures of God’s people, the conquest of land and the defeat of various kings—among other significant events.

Why would God spend so much time preserving the history—both good and bad—of His people? Consider that the entire twelfth chapter of Joshua lists just the defeated kings of Joshua’s conquest!

These rearview mirror books and encyclopedic passages have a purpose. What is it? Well, I believe these collective chapters give us insight into the incomparable character of God.

Books of history come alive when we look for the living God. He is the thread that strings them together. His glory is the lamp that sets each page aglow. We could yawn through the reading of Joshua 12, lost in a litany of old kings and ancient territories, or we could ask, “What does this passage tell me about God?”

Does any part of today’s key verse seem vaguely familiar? More than seven times in Exodus and Deuteronomy, God mentions “the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.” Additionally, each mention is a promise that God will drive them out or utterly destroy these pagans who inhabited the land God was promising to His chosen people.

Joshua 12 isn’t just a list of defeated kings. It’s a record of the unwavering faithfulness of God. Israel’s history is a story of God’s faithfulness. And your story and my story are too. Our stories show God’s glory, if we will look for it. Sure it might take some digging. It might take some reflection, but our stories can tell us a lot about God—His faithfulness, His promise keeping and protection.

What passages of Scripture have we skipped and missed the thread of God’s faithfulness stitched within? What part of your story deserves revisiting, this time looking for a glimpse of Who He is?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, every word of this magnificent book is living and active, even these books of history. Forgive me for being bored by Your Word. Help it come alive to me. I want to look for You on each page and in every passage. I don’t want to miss any part that teaches me more about You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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