Understanding the Bible 06: Israel Enters the Promised Land

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Map of the Exodus

Route of the Exodus (red)
(click to enlarge)

Understanding the Bible requires a constant return to the covenant with Abraham (see part 3 of this series).  It is that promise of salvation that drives the rest of the biblical narrative and which guides our interpretation of scripture.  And central to Abrahamic covenant is the pledge that Israel will come to possess the land of Canaan (thus the language of “promised land”).

In this episode we examine the “conquest of Canaan,” as Israel once again passes through the water (this time the river Jordan) – bringing the exodus to a close and opening the next chapter of the story of salvation.  

The first stop on the journey:  the fortified city of Jericho, which – according to the book of Joshua – falls to Israel in a battle in which God fights definitively for the Hebrews.  It is a story that raises a good bit of angst for 21st century readers as God specifically commands Israel to “put to the sword” every man, woman and child in Jericho.  Indeed even the animals are not to be spared and the riches of Jericho confiscated for the treasury of the Lord.

How can such events be a means of salvation?  And how can we still argue that “love is the name of the game”?  There are no easy answers, but this episode offers some solid food for thought on not only understanding the Bible, but the life of faith – coming to trust in God’s goodness, even in those moments we only see a few feet ahead…

 

FROM THE EPISODE INTRO: 

Please join us for “Jesus at 7PM”  – a chance to talk and ask questions on Wed., Nov. 6, 2013.   This first event will be held at Canvas (Kirk’s church) in Irvine, CA.   For a map and directions, see the Canvas website.

Here is an Amazon link to The IVP Introduction to the Bible I mentioned in the opening – an excellent overview of the biblical story, filling in some important cultural and historic context.  

If you are brand new to the Bible, you might also take a look at 30 Days to Understanding the Bible.  It’s an easy read and offers some very helpful tips in navigating the story the first time through.    

Listening just got easier!  The podcast now available via iTunes and Stitcher Radio!

 

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