Fundamentals of Economics Uncategorized

Approaching Jericho

God has given the nation Israel all they need to “be fruitful, multiple, replenish and subdue”.  To mankind the principles of production (intellect, property and labor)  and the foundation of civil authority that secures the liberty to use the principles were given.  He has given them the Law that expanded their knowledge of God and His directions.  The Law was the means to secure the liberty necessary for obedience when they entered Canaan.  His might and protection were the means they were to rely on when the entered the promised land.

Exodus 22, 23 and 24 expand on the truth given in Exodus 20. Subsequently, there is no new information given to guide the Israelites in regard to production or civil authority other than specific applications of the truth found in Exodus 20.  Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are more historical in nature.  They deal with the wanderings of the nation.

Deuteronomy does serve as a good terminal point for the study of the principles of economics.  Moses, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, uses a pattern to reinforce the truth of God’s Word.  In broad terms, in Deuteronomy Moses tells the nation what God has done in their past, recites how the Israelites responded (good and bad), what other nations have done and to obey the Law so they would not be like the other nations.

The book of Joshua opens with the Israelites about to enter Jericho.  Previously, God commanded the nation to “utterly destroy them” the Canaanites.(Deuteronomy 7:1-3). As they are about to enter the city, Joshua gives them the following command,  “And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the Lord: they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.” (Joshua 6:17-19)The import here for us is of great importance.

First, God commanded that the nations inhabiting the land of Canaan should be “utterly destroyed”.  This did not apply to the cities “which are not the cities of these nations” (Deuteronomy 20:13-15).  The particular nature of the nations in the land of Canaan demanded God’s ultimate judgment, yet Rahab found mercy.  Second, the city of Jericho was accursed because there was something in Jericho that was accursed.  Third, God is merciful.  His command was to utterly destroy everything, yet Rahab and her family were delivered because of her faith in the living God.  Likewise, God has promised judgment on all of humanity, but in His mercy, He sent Christ to redeem us (Titus 3:5).

Rahab experienced God’s mercy and grace. “And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” (Joshua 2:9-11).  What a beautiful testimony Rhab gives to God. 

God told the nation of Israel, “And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.” (Leviticus 26:6-9).   The news of God’s victories had spread to Jericho.  The Israelite’s God was a god of great might.  He “utterly destroyed” two of the Amorites kings, Sihon and Og.  The people of Jericho was scared, as any sinner should be before the living God.  But in humility of heart and with contriteness  she confessed (agreed with God), “for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above and in the earth beneath”.

A startling confession for an individual in the land of Canaan.  Remember, the land was dominated with the Babylonian error of Nimrod.  Each people group had many gods and often those gods where the “god of the city”.  Whether it was Murdoch or Baal, it did not matter.  That god was supposed to protect and provide for that specific people group, and then here come the Israelites and their God throws down all pretenders.  By confessing Jehovah and denying the false god of the Babylonian influence, “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” (Hebrews 11:31)

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