After the death of Joshua, the Israelites inquired of the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” The Lord said, “Judah shall go up. I hereby give the land into his hand.” Judah said to his brother Simeon, “Come up with me into the territory allotted to me, that we may fight against the Canaanites; then I, too, will go with you into the territory allotted to you.” So Simeon went with him.
Reflection. Whatever we think of conflict and of God giving the Promised Land into the hands of the Israelites over the peoples already there, we cannot avoid its inclusion in Scripture. Sometimes folk avoid passages because they don't like them, or because they are uncomfortable to modern ears and sensibilities, or simply because they are difficult to understand. A better approach is to ask God to speak to us through them.
Today is the beginning of the book of Judges. There are some astonishing stories in the book. I invite you to have a read. You might notice that the book begins with failure and disobedience and unfaithfulness towards God rather than a totally victorious campaign. You might also notice that God does not abandon his chosen ones. Something for us to grasp and hold on to, perhaps.
Prayer. Oh Lord, hold me close this day. Amen