Finally, the time had come!
What initially could have been an “eleven day” journey … from Egypt to Canaan … became (due to the unbelief of Israel) a multi-year trek! See Deuteronomy 1:2 … “There are eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.”
But Joshua 1:10-11 informs us: “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals (provisions, food); for WITHIN THREE DAYS ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.”
And therein lies the sheer excitement of the Book of Joshua … claiming (conquering) the Land that God had given (promised) Israel!
In fact, that’s what I’d like to highlight this morning, in today’s Lesson.
For so long the Jews had lived “below” their privilege. They had lived in the wilderness when they could have (by means of obedience to God’s commands) lived in that Land “flowing with milk and honey!”
Really, Joshua chapter 1 subsequently mentions the 2 1/2 Tribes who did not (even in Joshua’s day) enter fully into Canaan! They stopped (and lived the rest of their lives) “short” of the Land they could have enjoyed. They lived east of Jordan! (Might be as bad as “east of Eden,” where wicked Cain lived.)
Incidentally, the Book of Joshua closes with a chapter about those same 2 1/2 tribes (Reuben, Ephraim and half of Manasseh) and a “mess” they nearly made for all Israel! That would be Joshua chapter 22. One could say Joshua begins and ends with a look at these “shirkers,” although they did have to supply soldiers for the battles across the Jordan! Inclusio … Joshua 1 and Joshua 22 … people who did NOT live up to their full potential! To God’s perfect Will for their lives!
Exit pre-Monarchy Israel.
Enter post-Pentecost Christianity, even America.
We still too (often) live “below” our calling!
Remember … the blessings of the Old Testament tend to be “material” … while the blessings of the New Testament tend to be “spiritual.” Wow! That fact alone is worth the whole Lesson!
Friends, how many of us live “below” the prayer life we could enjoy? (James 4:2 … “Yet ye have not, because ye ask not.” Subnormal Christianity)
How many of us live “without” the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives? Lacking the Spirit’s “Fruit?” (Galatians 5:22-23 … “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.” Amazing!)
How many of us live “ignorantly” (needlessly so) of the Word of God? (2 Timothy 2:15 … “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Bible is Truth!)
May I tell you something?
We could all (in less than three days) move into our Land of Canaan!
And start enjoying the “milk and honey” of the victorious Christian life!
Folks, let’s move “west!”
Cross the Jordan.
Stake a claim.
And enjoy the “abundant life,” as Jesus promised long ago.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
That’s called Revival, spiritual maturity, “living in Canaan Land!”