Joshua 1:10-18 (ESV)
And Joshua commanded the officers of the people, “Pass through the midst of the camp and command the people, ‘Prepare your provisions, for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan to go in to take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’”
And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh Joshua said, “Remember the word that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.’ Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan, but all the men of valor among you shall pass over armed before your brothers and shall help them, until the LORD gives rest to your brothers as he has to you, and they also take possession of the land that the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall possess it, the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.” And they answered Joshua, “All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we obeyed Moses in all things, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you, as he was with Moses! Whoever rebels against your commandment and disobeys your words, whatever you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”
The Israelites after 40 years of wandering in the desert, because of the hardness of their hearts and disobedience to the Lord, the God Who brought them out of Egypt. Finally seem ready to take their inheritance. God has promised them victory over the Canaanites, and the other people of the land, who were evil. They – the people who lived in the promised land – worshiped false Gods and even sacrificed their children in the fire to the demon Molech. Therefore God told the Israelites to go in, and wipe them all out. Anyway, after 40 years of eating mostly Manna, they seemed ready to go in and take possession of the land. 2-1/2 tribes of them, were satisfied with staying on the east side of the Jordan River. Was it a lack of faith? It doesn’t seem like it. But either way, Moses allowed them to stay there. But they had to leave their families there, and cross the Jordan with the rest of the tribes and fight alongside their brothers until they had their land secured.
Are we like the 9-1/2 tribes, waiting to take our inheritance? Or are we more like the 2-1/2 tribes who settle for less than God wants to give us, but because the grass seems green enough, we stay in our comfort zone. Willing to fight for others, but staying safe and secure with what we have?
I would like to think I am like Joshua, willing to trust God, take my inheritance, fight for what is right, etcetera. Let us ask God to prepare us to be like the most dedicated Israelites who are willing to fight, but also willing to go where and do what God says. Let us be willing to cross the Jordan and take our inheritance that the Lord is giving us.
God, You have promised that You would never leave or forsake us. Help us to know Your presence. Help us sheep to hear Your voice. Let us rely upon You for our daily sustenance. Give us generous and willing hearts to share Your blessings, and love Your people.
by Virgil Stripes