The study of Joshua two, is a panorama of Israel’s national history. It takes the reader from the end of Joshua’s life all the way past the elders and leaders, and to what could be described as modern day.
The theme of the chapter asked the question, “why does evil loom upon us?” This is a question for every person that has ever lived on planet Earth. It is a question that we sometimes ask ourselves and God why a certain bad experience is occurring. Look to this chapter for possible answers!
God specifically said that his people should not make an alliance with those outside of the covenant he made. It says that his people would experience natural consequences if they do not obey. Historically they disobeyed and then cried out to the Lord. It has been demonstrated that those obedient to the Lord would have his blessing. It has also been demonstrated that those who were not obedient provoked the Lord to anger. In their case the consequence was very severe.
Instead of God being for them, he was against them. Even in his anger God showed mercy to his people. He created a group that he called judges. These judges did lead the people to victory. However, as soon as the judge died the people corrupted themselves with false gods. Again, and again God’s anger was demonstrated against the people. As a result, those who supposedly were God’s people lived under the distress of others who would vex them. This is the same issue today. Disobedience to God brings negative consequences and problems into our lives. Their joy and our joy quickly become temporary outside of God’s leadership.
This is not a case in which God’s people were ignorant about their relationship with God. They knew better to disobey. They knew better what would be the consequence for disobedience. They even had warnings from God! Yet, they persisted in their sinful ways. They could not blame God for the evil that came upon. They brought that evil about themselves. And they cannot blame anybody else but themselves.
It is understandable why God became angry with his own people for their disobedience. While he was angry yet was he merciful as demonstrated by verse 16 in which he created the position of the judge who would deliver the people and lead them in a righteous way. Neither God’s anger nor his mercy seemed to be of any affect. They refused to learn from their past and what they were currently experiencing. They refused to be obedient as demonstrated in verse 17. They were stubborn and preferred it over God and his blessings
Verses 21 and 22 are powerful words. The people were the cause of their own problems. Besides his anger and mercy, he allowed the unbelievers to remain in the area to test and provoke his people to walk in the way of the Lord. These verses clearly say that when we ask why we have problems it very likely could be that we brought those problems on ourselves by disobedience and unbelief. Especially is this true when we feel we are surrounded by the enemy and those that would challenge our position with God.
The theme of this chapter is clear. We all have personal choices in our relationship with other people and especially our relationship with God. Our choices are often polluted by our sin and determination to walk the path that we have chosen which is not in obedience to God’s voice. When we ask ourselves, “why did this happen?” It might be best to ask a better question which is how close am I walking to God. A close walk with God puts us in a place of peace and satisfaction. Disobedience puts us in a position in which we have thorns in our side, according to verse three.