Saturday, January 13, 2024

January 13, 2024

While most of the Israelites moved into the cities they overtook, Joshua was allotted a portion that had no previously built structures. Before he could move, homes for the families within his family had to be constructed; he had to build his own city. From scripture, Joshua seemed selfless and put the needs of the other families of Israel before his own and his family's. He waited until all Israel had been given their portion before considering himself. Even though Joshua could have picked anywhere because of his position, he chose land within his tribe's allotment. Joshua was a good man; he gave the children of Israel a picture of Jesus because he was a type of Christ. Joshua was a godly leader. He's the example of how government should work, which is the exact opposite of the kind of leadership we see in our governments today. Rather than take, take, take, Joshua gave everything he had to promote the good of his people. We may not see that kind of leadership again until Jesus comes to rule and reign. Try as we may to elect good leaders; the world governments are too filthy and corrupt to allow that to happen. Our hope lies in Jesus; we can take comfort in him. 

Do not be discouraged by what you see in the press; most of what they tell are lies and do not give us a good picture of what is truly happening. Pray and trust that God has our best interest at heart; his plan is to help and not harm us. We are in good hands; trust Him.

When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein. Joshua 19:49-50

Friday, January 12, 2024

January 12, 2024

Even though God had given each tribe land, some still needed to be divided. The Levites set up the Tabernacle in Shiloh and the seven tribes that had yet to move on to their land set up around them. Joshua sent three surveyors out to bring back a description of each land the tribes were to inherit. It seems they were reluctant to leave the presence of the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle. That's why, even though we are comfortable in our surroundings, we must not linger there forever but must move into the territory that God gives us so we can testify to His goodness. I can't blame them for not wanting to move out independently; they had lived in harmony for so long that it probably seemed unnatural to part from the rest of their family. 

I can understand their hesitancy. When Richard's dad passed away two years ago, there was, and still is, much to do, but we sold our house and moved into his estate right away because thieves and robbers knew he had passed and were coming in and taking what they wanted. There was a lot that needed to be subdued! His sister also had a portion of his estate to move into, but there was an inhabitant that had to be removed so she and her husband could subdue her land of inheritance. It took some time, but we continued to move forward. It was unknown territory and beyond what we had expected, It's still challenging, but we are almost done! God gives each of us a portion, but it's up to us to take it and use it for His good.

And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you? Joshua 18:2-3

Thursday, January 11, 2024

January 11, 2024

The children of Joseph were not satisfied with the lot they were given and complained to Joshua. He was not sympathetic because what they were given was plenty of room for them. However, a portion was still inhabited by the Canaanites, Perizzites, and giants, and they would have to go to war with them to take it. It included forests, which would have taken a lot of manpower to clear, but it seems they may have wanted an easier allotment to possess. Joshua denied their request, but he encouraged them to go in and take it because they had plenty of manpower. 

Isn’t that a picture of our lives? Some people are like the tribes that were given cities that were already built and ready to move into, but others, like most people, have to work hard to earn every dime they have and have to build it for themselves. The most challenging part is conquering and controlling our minds, which may have been an issue with Joseph’s children being afraid of challenging the Canaanites and the giants. We work hard to slay the “Canaanites and giants” in our lives to possess and conquer the land, but with God, we will prevail!

And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country,and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. Joshua 17:15

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

January 10, 2024

Is there something from your past that you have failed to relinquish to Jesus? Maybe you had a painful childhood and were hurt deeply. Possibly, you've allowed negative words to penetrate your heart. Has someone you loved rejected you? A parent, family member, or friend? These are issues that, in one way or another, have inflicted each of us to a degree, but some people have an easier time letting go of the past, while some hold onto it as if it were an idol, and if they let it go, it would cut away part of them. 

Much like God telling the Israelites to drive out the Canaanites, some of the tribes allowed them to stay, forcing them to work as enslaved people, which ended up causing them issues later on. The Canaanites were idolaters, and even though they were probably forced to give up their idols, I'm sure that because of their heritage, they let it corrupt them, secretly worshipping them, thus corrupting Israel. 

If you have allowed your past to become an idol because you feel sorry for yourself, are you fully worshipping God as the one and only true God? Picture Jesus there during those painful moments because he was there! He allowed it to happen because he expected you to use it as a stepping stone to show his healing power, yet here you are still nursing your wounds. Ask him to heal you and take over so you can use it to testify to his goodness rather than giving the enemy an advantage. It's time to drive out the Canaanites and give up your idol.

And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute. Joshua 16:10

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

January 9, 2024

Most of Chapter 15 of Joshua is about dividing the land. However, it includes the story of Caleb clearing his portion of the land of three sons of Anak, who were giants before he took possession of his land. Then, it seems Caleb was getting tired of fighting or maybe as a way to marry off his daughter, Achsah, but he offered her hand in marriage to the warrior who would take out the inhabitants of Debir who dwelled in a portion of his land. It turned out that his nephew, Othniel, was the winner. He must have already been smitten with her; otherwise, he wouldn't have bothered. Maybe they were kissing cousins. Caleb gave them a portion of land, but it didn't have a water source, so Achsah asked her daddy for another portion so they would have water. Girls always seem to get what they want from their daddies; it was no different back then. 

We have a good Father who wants his children to succeed; whether you are a son or a daughter, he wants to give you good things, especially when it comes to food and shelter. The newlywed couple would have had a rough beginning without a water source for their animals, crops, and drinking water, so Caleb gave them what they needed. 

Side note: Achsah asked her daddy reverently by getting off her donkey. She asked for a blessing, and he gave her the upper and lower springs. Notice that he gave her more than she asked because he loved her. Don't forget to go to God when you are in need, but don't act like a spoiled child; be reverent because he is royalty.

And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs. Joshua 15:18-19

Monday, January 8, 2024

January 8, 2023

Caleb told Joshua that he wanted Hebron. Moses had determined to give it to him when the time came, but now, as the rest of the land was being divided by lot, he spoke up and told Joshua that it was supposed to be his. They had already conquered a portion of Hebron, the city, but Caleb wanted the mountain. He probably wanted it because it was where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had lived and where they were buried. Joshua agreed, and eventually, Caleb gave the land to the Levites, and it became a royal city. 

The lesson is that if God gives you a promise, you must be vocal about it. God will make it happen as he intended if it's determined to be accurate. 

Side note: If you cannot seem to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit that lives within you, you must hear him through his Word. Read your Bible systematically. Start in the New Testament and read it daily. He will answer you or speak to you through it. I cannot tell you how many times his voice came right off the page and responded to my prayers or gave me the guidance I needed for the moment. You won't be sorry. Give up 10-15 minutes of scrolling through social media and read God's Word. You will receive more life in those few minutes than you would an entire week of scrolling. 

And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. Joshua 14:9

Sunday, January 7, 2024

January 7, 2024

We’re not done; there are still lands to be conquered! Joshua was getting old, so God wanted him to go ahead and divide out the rest of the promised land that needed conquering. It was decided to go by casting lots, which I guess was a type of gambling, except God controls the outcome. Joshua was a man of war, and it’s probably not easy to turn that off, even when old, so God reminded him of his waning age. God still trusted him but seems to be changing his duties to administration rather than going off to war, which reminds us that when our days of labor come to a close, we are still valuable in God’s kingdom, but in a different way. 

Remember the Levites? They were still not allowed to have their own documented land. They were God’s chosen tribe and were to remain scattered throughout the other tribes, where they were given a portion of land to reside. As Christians, we are that tribe. We have our portion in Jesus and are sent to educate others about his goodness and sacrifice for our lives. Let go of your concern for the worldly that prosper beyond you; we have an eternity to live in the pleasure of God’s kingdom. 

Only unto the tribe of Levi he gave none inheritance; the sacrifices of the LORD God of Israel made by fire are their inheritance, as he said unto them. Joshua 13:14

Thank you, Savannah, for the picture.