The Gospel of of the Wall of Jericho (Joshua Revisited)

One thing you will not likely ever find on my blog is original poetry. One of my worst memories in school were those times when teachers demanded that we write original poetry.  Equally bad was art, which other students begged for, but which I dreaded. Give me more math homework. I could not do and still have no ability in poetry or any of the graphic arts.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate poetry and art. I love biblical poetry. Almost all of our hymns and songs are poetry put to music. And the creativity of the poet can bring a concept to life in ways that prose cannot.

Reflect on this poem from John Piper on the incident of the destruction of ancient Jericho.

Your wall, O wicked Jericho, your ancient, mighty wall,
Your shame, where you have made your infants’ blood renowned,
Your boast, your monument, your Babel, tall
And endless on its side, bent ’round
Into a ring, a thrust,
Betrothing you
To dust;

Your wall, your peace, your life you thought would ever thrive,
Now hollowed with four centuries of pride
Into a labyrinthine hive
Of honeyed lust inside,
With brothels all
Will fall;

But for one slender segment, with it’s rooms
And beds and washing bowls and creams
And ointments and perfumes,
Enflaming dreams,
Now screams;

Where Rahab and her kindred hide,
All hanging by a thread
The spies supplied
And said

Would save, if they obeyed.
They ’wait the blade
In dread;

But there, instead
Of sword,

The cord.

©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

Now just listen as the author reads the poem to you.  The Gospel of the Wall of Jericho

For context, Read Joshua, chapters 2, 5,6.  Reflect on the Gospel image of he scarlet cord as noted in Joshua 2:15-21; 6:24-26.  Then note the New Testament references to Rahab – a mother in the lineage of Jesus in Matthew 1:5; listed among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:30-32; and the evidence of saving faith in James 2:24-26, In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction.

The Gospel of Judges

As a 25 year old rookie pastor in 1976, I started with the conviction that I should preach the whole counsel of God, (Acts 20:27 ESV). Practically, that meant I would preach from all parts of the Bible, not just the sayings of Jesus or specialize in the letters of Paul, or be limited to prophecy, but preach it all, not just my favorites or what seemed easier. Continue reading “The Gospel of Judges”

The Gospel of Joshua

This should be the easiest post in my series, The Gospel of …  identifying the Good News in each Old Testament book.  After all, Joshua is simply the Hebrew word we know as Jesus.

But actually, my task becomes more challenging.  Joshua is one of the most maligned books of the Bible as it describes Israel conquering Canaan, the Promised land, killing virtually everyone in their path.  And when they fail to make a clean sweep, they are confronted by God for failed obedience. Who is this God of such vengeance? Are we embarrassed by this God and his servant, Joshua? Continue reading “The Gospel of Joshua”

The Gospel of Deuteronomy

What Gospel (Good News) can be found in Deuteronomy? The Gospel in Deuteronomy is the same as the Good News in Exodus, but is the retelling of the Good News of God’s rescue of Israel from Egyptian slavery, passing it on to the next generation.

…The Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, putting us to hard labor.  Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our Fathers….the LORD heard our voice…saw our misery…brought us out of Egypt…brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey… Deuteronomy 26:6-9 NIV Continue reading “The Gospel of Deuteronomy”

The Gospel of Leviticus

I suggested a couple of weeks ago that “Exodus is arguably the most Gospel laden book in the Old Testament.”  No, I’m not retracting that. Israel’s salvation story that is a foretaste of the deliverance provided by Jesus through his death and resurrection, is detailed in the Passover deliverance from Egypt – told in Exodus.  But Leviticus, next in line, shows an even more stark explanation of the need for a perfect sacrifice for sin. Continue reading “The Gospel of Leviticus”

The Gospel of Genesis

(revised January 27, 2015)

The Bible was read to me by my parents from infancy well into my teen years when I began to take personal responsibility for reading God’s Word. As an adult, I’ve had a fairly consistent pattern of reading through the Bible every year or two so that I suppose I’ve been exposed to all of it 30 or 40 times in my 62 years. Continue reading “The Gospel of Genesis”