[My reaction to April 19-21 readings in the One Year Bible]
While Jesus is turning over tables and publicly humiliating Pharisees, Sadduces and teachers of the law in Jerusalem–trying to get himself killed some would say–the story of Joshua is coming to a Lord of the Rings style close.
Numbers demonstrates, in tedious detail, that God fullfiled the promise to make Abraham father of a great nation. Similarly, Joshua ends by demonstrating, in tedious detail, that God fullfiled the promise to give Israel the promised land. The hugs and kisses ending is interrupted, however, when the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, the guys with the land East of the Jordan, build an alter, which some fear is to be used for sacrifices instead of the central alter. Civil war is averted when Phinehas son of Eleazar, who you’ll recall replaced Aaron as chief priest, leads a fact-finding team across the Jordan and learns that it will not be a functioning alter, but a witness proclaiming the people’s connection to God. Just to make things clear, “the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us that the LORD is God.” Full story. I cheated and read the OT passage for April 22 so I could close out Joshua today. It ends with a nice cliff notes version of the history from Terah to Joshua.