I hope you never put me in a group of doomsday thinkers for long. I’m just not wired anymore to see failure as anything but something to learn from. What we see happening in this passage is just the opposite of what we saw in the last one. You’ll recall how God’s victory continued beyond the life of Joshua. Now what happened?
We see Israel’s failure to remove the remaining Canaanites. As I mentioned before, the problem was not the fear of the Canaanite’s military might but their religious beliefs which ran contrary to God’s will. It wasn’t just one tribe affected either. We see nearly half of the tribes being unsuccessful in ridding their lands of these people. I can’t say “foreigners” because they were there before the Israelites.
This is good advice from a loving mother to her son, the king. She wants for him to succeed, and her message is meant to help him. Even though we’re not kings, we can glean some wisdom from this as well. Verse 8 spoke to my core, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” There are so many less fortunate people in this world, but my thoughts also go to the children whose voice is often muffled and overlooked.
We shouldn’t just focus on serving the rich and successful. Everyone
deserves justice. God’s mercy is extended to all. Why do we think we should handle
things differently? Think about this — who is depending on you?
Let’s unpack verse 17 today. It says, “As iron
sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” I know how to sharpen a
pencil, but how in the world do I sharpen a friend? Have you ever seen iron
sharpening iron? A good example would be a knife sharpener. We have men that go
door to door here in Mexico to sharpen the household knives. These men sing and/or
whistle a little tune. I think it’s the “Mexican Knife Song.” I thought maybe
it was just our area, but then I saw the same thing on a show we were watching,
and the setting was Puerto Rico.
I remember the first time we had our knives sharpened here.
I found joy in cooking just like it was my first time. There’s nothing like a
sharp knife to help with meal prep! I didn’t even realize how dull the dull
ones I had been using had become. Watching the sharpening process is