Joshua and Judges: Failure to understand the reason for God's will in life will result in procrastination; Jos 18.
length: 61:43 - taught on Nov, 8 2016
Title: Joshua and Judges: Failure to understand the reason for God's will in life will result in procrastination; Jos 18.
Announcements / opening prayer:
JOS 18:1 Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them.
JOS 18:2 And there remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance.
JOS 18:3 So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, "How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?
We have to understand that for the past few months these people have settled peacefully in the land around Gilgal and Shiloh and without war and plenty of fertile land and water they became quite content with their present locale. They are used to a nomad life and would have preferred it to settling down in their allotted land. Plus, going into these lands would have meant the resumption of war.
Their love of ease made them indifferent to their possession of the inheritance. Every believer has an inheritance. Don't let the love of ease make you indifferent to it.
They fail to see the importance for the reason that God has so graciously given them this land. Many believers in the church have failed to see the importance for why they are here. They do not understand the angelic conflict in that angels have rebelled against God and that God is revealing His glory through His Son and now through the invisible church. I call it invisible because the spiritual power of the believer is invisible, but its effects are visible as the manifestation of the person of Christ. So many of the "visible" churches do not teach or live this invisible spiritual life, being conformed to the image of Christ. In a world filled with fallen creatures who have all been atoned for by Christ, the glory of God can truly be seen, understood, and lived by the free-will choice of man. Yet it is free-will that is precisely the reason that it is so often not seen. Men must choose to follow Christ and so reflect Him in the world. The lily of the field is forced to project God's glory, but man must choose to project it.
The flower doesn't choose to reflect the beauty of God but the man must. Take hold of your inheritance in Christ. "Run in such a way that you may win."
Don't we look back at them and scream, "Get with it!"? We should remind ourselves to say that to ourselves from time to time.
Since the glory and integrity of God can be seen in this world, the propaganda of Satan attacks it and discredits it with lies. Christ and the free-will of man combine on the stage that is the world to make for the most important of all things. Each of God's people have a part to play in the unfolding of that great story and the tribes of Israel in the Promised Land also have a part, and we would conclude here that almost all of them still do not yet understand the importance of that part.
We see the vast difference between these seven remaining tribes and Caleb, Judah, and Joseph.
Caleb went right to Joshua, itching to take his land and knowing that he would have to fight the people who remained there after Joshua's campaign. He showed his faith in Jehovah to give him victory.
JOS 14:12 "Now then, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out as the Lord has spoken."
Judah came right after him in order to attain their land, which God selected to be around Caleb so the tribe would not be split, and they directly headed out to take it.
The sons of Joseph also approach Joshua, but this is where their faith fades away. Perhaps they saw the courage of Caleb and Judah and wanted to mimic it. (Evidence for this conjectured theory is that about 500 years later Ephraim would show great jealousy and vindictiveness towards Judah and start a civil war.) The phenomena occurred in the very early church when Barnabas gave all of the price of his sold land to the church and Ananias and Sapphira claimed to do the same when they in fact just wanted to appear to have the faith of Barnabas and kept some for themselves.
The sons of Joseph complain about their allotment of land and show that they lack the faith that Caleb and Judah possessed. And now we have the remaining seven who have delayed and procrastinated even the lottery. Joshua, great leader that he is, will have none of it and he forces the issue.
Joshua calls for three surveyors for each tribe for a total of twenty-one to go out and roughly divide up the land into seven portions.
JOS 18:4 "Provide for yourselves three men from each tribe that I may send them, and that they may arise and walk through the land and write a description of it according to their inheritance; then they shall return to me.
JOS 18:5 And they shall divide it into seven portions; Judah shall stay in its territory on the south, and the house of Joseph shall stay in their territory on the north.
JOS 18:6 And you shall describe the land in seven divisions, and bring the description here to me. And I will cast lots for you here before the Lord our God.
JOS 18:7 For the Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance. Gad and Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh also have received their inheritance eastward beyond the Jordan, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them."
This was not a formal survey with formal measuring. They were to describe the land by towns. The borders were to be flexible so that land could be graciously given if needed.
We know that the Egyptians were capable of formal surveying and the Jews would have learned it from them. They could have surveyed the land in detail and drawn borders, but that was not the plan. They were to describe the land divisions by towns so that the borders would be flexible according to the needs of each tribe. If a neighboring tribe needed more land for survival then it was to be given. By not drawing specific lines the Lord was giving them an opportunity to be gracious and to fulfill the law in loving their neighbor as they love themselves.
So the surveyors divided that land by towns and described the towns in a book.
JOS 18:8 Then the men arose and went, and Joshua commanded those who went to describe the land, saying, "Go and walk through the land and describe it, and return to me; then I will cast lots for you here before the Lord in Shiloh."
JOS 18:9 So the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities in seven divisions in a book; and they came to Joshua to the camp at Shiloh.
JOS 18:10 And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord, and there Joshua divided the land to the sons of Israel according to their divisions.
The list of towns would have likely been accompanied by soil conditions, fertility, types of crops, water saturation, mountains, valleys, etc.
Hence Joshua forced the issue when he shouldn't have had to. The tribes show immediately why they will fail as a people in such a short time in the future.
The seven tribes don't seem understand the importance of what they are doing in taking this land. God is delivering His people so that salvation will come to all mankind.
God is revealing His faithfulness to Abraham in spite of the many obstacles that seemed to obscure the fulfillment of the promise. Their fathers were slaves in Egypt and now they are in possession of the Promised Land as the covenant people of God and they sort of yawn at this.
Israel is a warning for every CA believer. Search out the value of what you have in Christ.
Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction.
Don't gobble up verses. Ponder and meditate on them. See the richness of the truth that is within them. Pray about them, talk to God about them, ask for deeper insight into them.
Discuss scripture and doctrines with God in prayer and in His marvelous way, He will instruct you.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Search out the value of what you have in Christ.