The Seine River running through Paris

The Seine River running through Paris

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Daily Bread for Mar 14, Jos 12-15

Today's readings are Jos 12-15.

Starting with Jos 11:16 and going through Jos 12 we find the historical record of the kings defeated by Moses and Joshua. The record is a startling display of what faith and trust in God can do. God has used the aggression, opposition, and fear of the Canaanite kings to refine His people and to give them the land of promise. It is also a stern rebuke to those who were fearful of entering the land. Ironically, the giants who struck such terror in Israel’s army forty years prior are among the defeated.

Josh 13-15 begins to describe how the conquered lands will be distributed among the tribes. Note, not all of the lands promised are yet under the Hebrews' control (Jos 13:1-7). Some of them will not be part of the kingdom of Israel until David's and Solomon's time. God instructs the still-to-be-occupied areas to be allotted in anticipation of Him giving the victory there as well. God’s plan for giving His children the Promised Land covers an extended period of time! One wonders if Joshua and his people understood this.

Like Israel, we may sometimes wonder if God’s promises in our lives will ever be fulfilled. It’s easy to get impatient and doubtful about them. Yet, Scripture repeatedly shows us that He is true to His word, perhaps not according to our timeline but certainly according to His. Joshua is about to learn this lesson.

The allotment of the lands is revealing and prophetic. The tribes of Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh get the Transjordan region. They get the land they asked for, east of the Jordan River. God will bless them, but these areas are outside of Canaan which was the land promised and whose eastern border was the Jordan River (Num 34:10-12). This will prove problematic for them in the future. They haven’t done anything overtly wrong, but they have decided to settle for something less than what God promised them. The fullness of God’s blessing was on the other side of the Jordan. How many times do we make similar decisions, accepting what is good in exchange for what is best?

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