God Behaving Badly? (part 5)

In response to questions about violence in the OT, here is a continuing series of several thoughts I have compiled.  The title of the posts is taken from Evangelical Bible professor Dr. David Lamb's, God Behaving Badly.  Here is part 1part 2, part 3, and part 4

8.  Christ died for the Amorite.  Not long after Joshua’s covenant with the Gibeonites, five Canaanite kings conspired to join forces and fight against Gibeon, perhaps to dissuade other tribes from covenanting with Israel or to test Israel’s solidarity with their new found allies.  

Gibeon, under attack and facing certain destruction, calls out to Joshua for salvation.  Joshua rallies his men to defend the defenseless and uphold covenant he made Gibeon.  Like the battles before, Joshua engages the enemy, and the God of Israel works wonders to extend the battle, defeating the armies of the five kings.  In the midst of battle, the kings fled into a cave for safety till the battle was over.  The warriors of Israel discovered their hiding place, sealed the cave by rolling a stone over the mouth, guarding this unintended prison until a decision could be made as to their fate.    

After the battle had waned and victory was assured, Joshua removed the kings, hung them on a tree, and before sunset lowered their bodies, entombing them in the caves where they had sought refuge.  

1400 years later and 20 miles north of that burial cave, the tables have turned.  A carpenter’s son turned prophet, preacher, miracle worker, has been hunted down, betrayed, and taken into custody, sequestered away to be beaten, mocked, he awaits his fate.  The decision is made, he is to be hung on tree, not like those 5 kings of old, but in the new Roman style, nailed to a tree with his arms outstretched, enduring humiliation from his accusers and suffering an agonizing death.  Slowly he dies, and before sunset friends lower his body, entombing him in a cave where another had planned his own final resting place.  

In this story all mankind is the enemy, pouring out anger, hate, and sin upon the Creator of all things.  Rather than turn upon Creation in wrath, He becomes the fugitive king, hung on tree, taking all the violence of mankind upon Himself.  The burial cave becomes his doorway to a different battle with Death, an ancient enemy, who has been lurking behind every enemy since Paradise was closed.  Dispensing wrath to defeat this slavemaster of mankind, he bound Death, releasing the captives and bringing true freedom to all mankind.  

Christ died not only for Israel but for those Amorite kings, for every Canaanite, and Hittite, and Jebusite.

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