Scriptures

Joshua 13-17

Introduction

(Please Read Joshua 13-17)

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘inheritance’? You might think of money, or land, or furniture, or some valuable object that someone would leave to you. Sometimes we inherit things that are not so pleasant to us.

A new administration in the government usually inherits a few problems from the former administration. Sometimes people complain about the personality traits they feel they inherited from their ancestors. ‘Inheritance’ can mean many things.

Now it is time for the ‘real estate’ to be divided among the tribes. This was an important time for the people for this was the fulfilling of God’s promise to His people. And there are lessons for us to learn today from these texts.

We shouldn’t waste time, God reminded Joshua that he was old. Some people don’t know what to do with that word ‘old,’ some fear it some resent it, some redefine it and some overcome it.

But sometimes we make a mistake with it, anyone who is beset by infirmities of age is allowed to function when he or she shouldn’t and anyone who is strong and still capable of great service is put out to pasture. The one thing that matters in life when one comes to the time of old age is one’s faithfulness to the Lord.

My Dad turned 68 last December. In visiting with him one afternoon he said he felt like an old 68. I then made the remark that the closer I get to the 60’s age bracket, the younger it seems. But, whether you look at another birth year as young or old doesn’t matter.

God reminded Joshua that there was still much to be done, there was still land to be conquered and the land needed to be divided among the tribes, after all, this was their inheritance, this was what God was giving them.

Christians today, need to be reminded of that same thing today because we too, have an inheritance coming, 1 Peter 1:4 / Hebrews 9:15 / Colossians 1:12 / Ephesians 1:11.

The time is drawing closer for the dividing out of the inheritance, Ephesians 5:16 / John 9:4 but we get caught up in our little fusses and fights and feuds. We forget about the task at hand, I guess we really never have died to self, Luke 14:26 / Galatians 2:20. Don’t waste opportunities, the tribes received their inheritance.

The 2 ½ tribes received their portion east of Jordan, Reuben, Gad, half tribe of Manasseh, the tribe Levi received their inheritance in the Lord. The other tribes received their inheritance west of the Jordan, by lot, Joshua 14:1-5. Judah Joshua 15:1-63, Joseph Joshua 16:1-10 / Joshua 17:14-18, Manasseh Joshua 17:1-13.

Sadly, the tribes didn’t take their inheritance. Joshua 13:13 but the sons of Israel did not dispossess, Joshua 15:63 could not drive them out, Joshua 16:10 they did not drive out, Joshua 17:12+13 could not take possession; did not drive them out.

Israel suffered because they didn’t take what God had given them, Judges 1:16-2:4.

The Lord had promised to be with the people and fight for them and that He would drive the Canaanites out before them. Time and again the people failed to drive out the Canaanites even though they were able to do so. Therefore, God said he would help them no longer.

Do we as Christians waste opportunities?

Perhaps the Israelites failed for two reasons, they sought peace at any price and they wanted wealth, Joshua 17:13. Why do we fail? Luke 8:14. We get caught up in the worries of life-peace and we get caught up in the riches and pleasures of life-wealth. Because we do we lose the opportunity to receive something far greater.

Don’t waste blessings look at Caleb’s reminder in Joshua 14:6-9. Caleb comes to Joshua to remind him that land had been promised to him years earlier.

Caleb had been one of the spies and when they returned with their report, only he and Joshua had the faith that the land could be taken. He gave his report from his heart, Joshua 14:7. He

‘followed the Lord fully’ Joshua 14:8

Caleb was promised that land that he had walked on would be his and so, God rewarded his obedience, Joshua 14:9.

Look at Caleb’s request Joshua 14:10-12. Caleb explained away his age, he was forty when Moses made the promise but he was now 85. The Israelites wandered something like 38 years and so, it’s taken 7 years to do the conquering thus far. BUT, Israel WASTED 38 YEARS.

However, he’s just as strong now as 45 years ago, Caleb then requested the land that had been promised him. His reward is recorded in Joshua 14:13-15. Joshua blessed Caleb and the land was given to him and he took it, Joshua 15:13-19 / Judges 1:20.

Conclusion

Caleb chose!

Three times in this passage it is stated that God’s blessing on Caleb was based on the fact that he had ‘followed the Lord fully.’

Caleb’s obedience was in the context of a minority report. Caleb’s obedience was in the context of group rejection. Caleb’s obedience continued for 45 years. Caleb’s obedience was eventually honoured and rewarded, even though it was 45 years later.

Go To Joshua 18

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Ephesians 3:20

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