References to the exit from Egypt show that a period in the history of salvation has been completed: the story of the exodus has had its effect, and the people are now in the Promised Land. But, at the same time, they are made to understand that the same God is still present and active among His people, from whom He expects a fidelity not less than that required from the previous generation. The experience of those who had preceded them had to construct, for them, an instruction not to commit themselves to those errors that had caused the downfall of the two Israelite kingdoms and the exile of their inhabitants in a foreign land. More than a history book, Joshua is therefore a book of “religious propaganda”, with which the Deuteronomistic narrators have wanted to give a historical basis to their religious conceptions.
Jer 3,24: But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our fathers since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters
Eb 6,6: they crucify the Son of God and expose Him to contempt.
The terms “to reconcile” and “reconciliation” dominate the entire text. The real agent of reconciliation is Christ Himself, as God has acted “through Christ” (v.18). The apostles are “ambassadors for Christ”, and are “in the name of Christ” that they plead those who are sent: “Be reconciled to God”. The profound sense of all the apostolic testimony is gathered in the pleading exhortation: “Be reconciled to God” (v.20). Such reconciliation is accomplished with the humble and complete acceptance of God’s Word that works for everyone’s salvation and plunges humanity into the saving power of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Sir 44,17: Noah was found perfect and righteous; in the time of wrath he kept the race alive
Rom 5,11: But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Always we feel in ourselves the trouble in acknowledging God as Father, the one about whom the psalm says: “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”. Sooner or later, God’s will is seen as colliding with our own, a presence that sets before us a limit. To this reluctance, often added is a bad transmission of the paternal image of God. He loves us if we are good, otherwise – as it was said in my days – punishes us. Our substances, our gifts that God has given us, are squandered. The man is the mountain that God can no longer climb. God wanted a real son who can accept or reject him as he grows up. The son leaving home is our history of sin.
Eccl 7,11: Wisdom is as good as an inheritance, an advantage to those who see the sun.
Lk 15,13: the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country
For personal or group reflections:
– Do you let yourself be guided by the history of the events?
– In what manner do you feel invited or stimulated to reconciliation?
– Does God love us while we are sinners?