Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Joshua 11-15
A string of successes in battle under Joshua’s leadership raised the ire of Israel’s enemies and was the catalyst of a gathering of adversaries against God’s people (Joshua 11:1-5). Having learned well the lesson of not presuming upon the LORD’s blessing or moving ahead of His leading, Joshua went to war obeying the LORD’s plan for battle (Joshua 11:6-23).
Joshua 12 is the record of the heathen kings Israel conquered and the lands the people took as their inheritance in the land God had promised.
The LORD comes to Joshua in chapter 13 and reminds the mighty leader that he is old (probably 100 years old or more) and, in spite of the victory’s that had been won under his leadership, there was still much land to be possessed (13:1). Identifying the lands yet to be taken and the enemies who dwelt in them, the LORD commanded Joshua to divide the lands among the tribes and direct the tribes to drive the inhabitants out of the land God had given them for an inheritance (13:2-33). The exception being the priestly tribe of Levi for whom God promised He would provide through the sacrifices of His people (13:14, 33).
Leaving the dividing of the land to the providence of God, the tribes were assigned their geographical lands by lot (Joshua 14:1-5). One man, Caleb, one of two spies who had faith God would give Israel the land under Moses’ leadership (Joshua being the other), reminded Joshua that 45 years earlier Moses had assured him an inheritance in the land (14:6-9). Though 85 years old, the fire of a warrior still burned in Caleb’s soul (14:10-13). What an encouragement to read the words of this great man of faith who, though chronologically old, declared his readiness to claim his inheritance with these words, “Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day” (14:12)!
Joshua 15 is the sum of the lands the tribe of Judah would have for an inheritance.
I close by inviting you to consider two failures that will inevitably haunt Israel in the future.
The first failure is, “the children of Israel expelled not the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day” (Joshua 13:13). A second failure of the same is stated in Joshua 15:63 when we read, “As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.”
Concerned for the sanctification of His people, the LORD had commanded Israel to drive the heathen nations out of the land. Israel’s failure to obey the LORD would one day have grave consequences for the nation.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith