Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Peculiar Public Interest

I've been blogging here and there, on a semi-regular basis (with several month or even year gaps between posts sometimes!) since 2008.  Five years ago today, I wrote a post on this blog called "Hamstring the Horses and Burn the Chariots."  Little did I know when I wrote that post that, of the 507 published posts on my blog, it would become far and away the most popular and most viewed post that I'd write.  It's a comparatively short post, and not necessarily deep, but I suppose it is interesting - at least interesting enough to me for me to have written it.

That post has received more than 2,100 unique views since I wrote it (small potatoes for most blogs, but significant for mine).  In November alone the post was viewed 132 times.  The second most-viewed post I've written comes in at 831 total unique views, so the difference in views is significant.  How do people find this post on my blog?  It turns out that a lot of them have Googled a question about the text in Joshua that relays God's command to Joshua to hamstring the horses and burn the chariots of the opposing armies that Israel will face.  For instance, at least 129 people have clicked over to my post because they've Googled a question about those verses, with the search terms "hamstring a horse," "hamstring horses," and "hamstring horses in Bible" being the most frequently used.  Apparently people find God's commands to hamstring the horses and burn the chariots of Israel's enemies rather peculiar.

I've preached on this text before as well, and when I did I received a few comments from people at my church about how they cringe at the thought of hamstringing horses, as this seems to be a barbaric practice, at best.  Apparently a reader thought so as well, and commented on the original post: "...this method of hamstringing is nothing but torcher [sic].  If they were to take the time to hamstring these animals it would have been just as easy to kill them and put them out of their misery.  You can't even begin to realize the agony these animals endured."  I don't doubt that it was very unpleasant for the horses.  But regardless of how we feel about the animals, we need to realize the point of the command God gave: trust in me, not in horses.

Kind of neat, and a good reminder for me to continue not trusting in horses and chariots.

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