Today is Friday. Last night we went to help a church get started in McMinnville, OR. It was a long evening and tiring, but well worth it. We started taking Fridays off and I have enjoyed leisurely reading and typing this morning. I read in Joshua and finished up the book of Joshua. Here are a few thoughts to share:
1) TOO LITTLE, TOO MUCH- In Chapters 17, 18, &19, Joshua is dividing up the land. In chapter 17:14, it reads: "And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?" They were complaining that they had TOO LITTLE land for their two tribes, and so Joshua gave them the hill country and the valley around it. Now they said that the hill country is not enough and that the valley is filled with the Canaanites that have chariots of iron. But Joshua said in verse 18, "for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though thy have iron chariots, and though they be strong." So, Joshua said if you have "Too Little" land, I will give you more but you will have to go fight for it. Then in chapter 19:9 we see that the tribe of Judah had TOO MUCH land given to them. "Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them." They had Too Much land, so they shared their land with another tribe. Joshua had to deal with tribes having too little and too much land. God gave him wisdom to deal with it and he did!
2) GOD KEPT HIS WORD- Joshua 21:45 "There failed not aught of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass."
God keeps His word! We read again in Joshua 23:14, "And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof." God kept His word with them, and God keeps His word with us! You can rely upon the Lord and you can trust His word. Even when you don't know how God will keep His word.... He will keep it!!
3) THEY KEPT GOD'S WORD- Not only did God keep His word, but we also see that the children of Israel kept God's Word under the leadership of Joshua. What a blessing to realize. We see this in Joshua 22:2 "And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you:" Here Joshua is speaking the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. These took land on the east side of Jordan, but came to fight with their brethren on the west side of Jordan. Now the land is conquered and divided and these men have been there the whole time fighting for the land of their brethren. So, after is all settled, Joshua commends them for obey His command and says now they can go back to their families and flocks. So they do; and there they rear up an altar to remind them that their children are a part of Israel. Not an altar to sacrifice upon, but to see as a visual reminder of whose people they are. It gets them in hot water, but later it is all worked out as they explain the altar's purpose is not for sacrifice but to remind them. They call the altar: ED. It means it is a witness that they are the people of God. They did what they said... and so should we!
Hope you have a blessed day! Pastor Mike Mutchler