We respond to the things we hear. News of spy balloons covertly flying over the US will create a different response than the news that the Chiefs won the Super Bowl. One will require the US Military to deploy weaponized jets, the other will lead to either celebration or consternation in your household depending on what team you were rooting for.
In the Book of Joshua, the Hebrew verbs translated “hear” has special significance. In Joshua 9:3, “the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai…” In Joshua 10:1, “Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai […] as he had done to Jericho and its king […].”
Both the Gibeonites and Adoni-zedek heard similar things, but each responded differently. The Gibeonites beg for mercy and ask Israel to make peace with them (Joshua 9:3). Adoni-zedek makes an alliance with other kings and rises up against Israel (Joshua 10:1). The Gibeonites were shown abundant mercy, but the military alliance of Adoni-zedek was destroyed.
We see something similar happening in the gospel accounts of Jesus. When people hear of Jesus healing the sick, casting out demons, forgiving sin, stilling storms, and more, they either come to him looking for favor or they rise up in opposition against him (see Mark 2 for some examples).Continue reading