104-1014-Joshua Chapter 13
Joshua was now advanced in years. It is said that at this time he was 95 years old. Still, God has more for him to do as all the Promised Land is not yet conquered. This is true for the Christian today. We cannot be satisfied with the measure of that we have accomplished for the Lord and His kingdom business. Until He returns there is much to be done.
For the Israelites there is still land that has not been taken and still pockets of resistance that needs to be subdued. We cannot be ever be satisfied with a partial inheritance, we have been promised the full inheritance and we must work until we have received it.
What the Promised Land was to Israel Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is to us. We must strive to possess all of Him and to keep on keeping on till we have all of Jesus, till we have grown into the image that He has set before us. There are things we must consider when we feel we are at the end of our work journey. How much of Jesus do we really have? Have we fully received the blessing of leading others to Jesus? Have we prayed fervently enough to have are prayers answered? Do we always meet the needs of our Christian brethren?
The continuance of the conquest of the Promised Land will fall upon the tribes to complete. God gives the promise to Joshua and he is to pass it down to the leaders and elders of each tribe.
Each tribe is responsible to possess the land fully that has been allotted to them. God does not do our work for us, God works with us. The Lord expects His people to take responsibility and initiative to complete the task that He has set before us. Not that this is the only way for accomplishment but that those who are involved in the work of God enjoy the blessing of their labors.
This section of Scripture describes the lands allotted to Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh. It was the land of the king of Sihon of the Amorites and the king of Og of Bashan.
The Israelites had not driven out the Geshurites and the Maachathites and they were not displaced by the Israelites and remained in the land they possessed. King David later married a princes from the Geshurites who gave birth to his son Absalom. (2 Samuel 3:3) Absalom eventually returned to Geshur and from there plotted against his father King David. (2 Samuel 13:37-38 2 Samuel 14:23 2 Samuel 14:32) It is probable that the Maachathites came from Maachah which is mentioned in (Genesis 22:24) Maachah was a nephew of Abraham. When Sheba rebelled against King David she fled and may have taken refuge in a city of the Maachathites. (2 Samuel 20:14-15)
The Levite tribe was given the priestly duties as an inheritance, therefore, they were not given any land. They were given certain cities. (Joshua 20-21) Instead of a land inheritance they were given the sacrifices of the people and this became their financial security.
Not only did the Levites receive the sacrifices of the people to God but more than that they received God as their inheritance. It is interesting to note that if there is a tribe that the Christian has a common trait towards it is the Levite tribe. As Christians we are called to be priest as well. (1 Peter 2:5) The Christian also has a special inheritance in God like the Levites. (Ephesians 1:11 Colossians 1:12 1 Peter 1:4)
Inheriting the Land
Is the material world evil? Are spirit, soul and energy the pure good which we are striving on our earthly journey? Will we only be truly spiritual and truly happy when we are finally free from the prison of this earth-bound flesh?
The Bible answers these and singular questions with an emphatic “No!” The universe, including this earth and all its bodily creatures, came perfect and holy from the skilled and expert hand of the loving Creator. (Genesis 1:31) As a result of our sin, this material world needs redeeming, and by God’s grace, it will have its share in God’s redemption at the end time.
One of the ways Scripture affirms this is by a prominent theology of land. All land belongs to God. God evicted the Canaanite peoples from the Promised Land because of their wickedness. He brought Israel into that land because of His promises to the Patriarchs and because He wants the earth to be under human stewards who are attuned to its Maker.
In Ancient Israel, this stewardship was provided through the allotment of a livable portion to each household. Strictly speaking, the allotment of the land, rather than the land itself, was the stewardship trust. The allotment passed down from fathers to son as the main part of most family inheritances. Following these principles and God’s specific instruction, Joshua divided the land among the tribes, and the tribes divided it among the clans, families, and individual households. God’s gift of stewardship over a specific portion of land was the gift of life to each household.