The Story - Week 7
As you read through these stories of plagues and conquests it's almost as if you are reading some mythical account - like the tales of King Arthur or the adventures of Harry Potter. You may even think that some of these stories belong in the latest edition of Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Some of these events seem almost too far-fetched to be actually true. There's the temptation to question the historicity of these events. And certainly some have.
But whoever wrote the book of Joshua leaves little notes that seem to serve as witnesses that these are real events. Names and events have not been changed. These things really happened and you can verify the events yourself. Consider these little clues:
Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day. - Joshua 4:9
But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day. - Joshua 6:25
He hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening. At sunset, Joshua ordered them to take his body from the tree and throw it down at the entrance of the city gate. And they raised a large pile of rocks over it, which remains to this day. - Joshua 8:29
That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the community and for the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day. - Joshua 9:27
At sunset Joshua gave the order and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had been hiding. At the mouth of the cave they placed large rocks, which are there to this day. - Joshua 10:27
• If you question whether or not the Jordan River was parted, go there and look at the stones set up that day. They're still there!
• Want to know about what happened to Jericho? You can just ask Rahab. She's still around.
• Doubt if the sun really stood still? Ask a Gibeonite on his way to deliver water.
• That victory over the confederacy of kings, there's proof. Go to the cave where they were hiding out. The rocks used to trap them are still there.
The book of Joshua represents itself as a historical record of real events that can be verified!
The same question of fact or fiction has also been raised against the events of the New Testament as well. Can the gospels be trusted? Are all those stories just myths created over time?
Peter responds to that accusation with these words:
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. - 2 Peter 1:16
John has something to say about this as well:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it. - 1 John 1:1–2
These events really took place. God has acted. Heaven has broken through to earth. Believe it or not!