Having conquered the “whole land,” according to Joshua 11:23 (“So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD said unto Moses; and Joshua gave it for an inheritance unto Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. And the land rested from war.”) … we now learn (in a very sad Passage) that numerous “hot spots” remained! In spite of all Joshua had done!
“Now Joshua was old and stricken in years; and the LORD said unto him, Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed.” Joshua 13:1, Israel’s military “General” being now 95 years of age, approximately.
“Much land” to be possessed?
Little pockets of resistance, it seems.
Wow … I might could stop here and write a while. No matter how much we have accomplished (or feel we have accomplished) in our Christian lives … there is always more growth to be attained! More spiritual enemies to defeat, overcome! Little areas of opposition (from the devil) we have “missed!”
But (by chapter 13) it was time for Joshua to “divide” the Land to the Tribes of Israel. (Remember, 2 1/2 Tribes elected to live on the other side of the Jordan River. Where they for the most part had already settled.) So God commanded Joshua …
“Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance unto the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,” the remaining people will now be assigned their allotments! Joshua 13:7
With little pockets of “enemy aggression” embedded within the Tribes?
Yes, it clearly seems so!
Apparently God was going to now help each Tribe “clear” his respective Territory of Canaanite influence, deadly heathen culture. Or at least that was the ideal!
But, illustrating the (so often) incomplete obedience of humanity (you and me included) … “Nevertheless 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, illustrating from the geography of the 2 1/2 Tribes now, east of Jordan. (The “Geshurites” have a name grammatically meaning “proud!” And the “Maachathites,” literally “oppressors!” Interesting!)
A good bit of the remaining content of the Book of Joshua entails the proper dividing of the Land to its Jewish inhabitants, Land promised them by God Almighty hundreds of years before, around five centuries earlier! Remember … “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward.” 2 Peter 3:9, God never forgets a promise!
Probably tomorrow morning I need to write a Lesson on Joshua 13:22. But that will bring on other “surprising” acts of judgment on the part of God, some executed by His (at times) obedient people.
Folks, though it had not yet been written, Israel then needed to hear Solomon’s counsel from years later … “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Song of Solomon 2:15
“Little sins” often destroy great Christians!
Or those sins start “little,” anyway!
What do I mean?
Re-read verse 13. You’ll “get it”immediately. “Nevertheless the children of Israel EXPELLED NOT the Geshurites, nor the Maachathites: but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.”
Better battle those little “inconsistencies” now … those “easily besetting sins” … because every single day they become more deeply “entrenched” in one’s life!
That’s enough for today.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell