Songs and Praise



Joshua 14:6-15; 19:49, 50; 21:43-45; 23:1-16;

Lesson 177 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you" (Joshua 23:10).

I Caleb's Inheritance

Caleb asked for the portion of land that the Lord had promised, Joshua 14:6-9; Numbers 14:24, 30; Deuteronomy 1:36; Isaiah 1:19 God had kept Caleb alive and had preserved his physical condition, Joshua 14:10, 11; Deuteronomy 30:20; 34:7; Psalm 103:4, 5; Proverbs 3:1,2 Caleb knew that he would face the Anakims, but his trust was in God, Joshua 14:12-15; Philippians 4:13; Hebrews 11:33,34

II God's Word Fulfilled

Joshua was the last of the Children of Israel to receive an inheritance, Joshua 19:49; Philippians 2:3,4 His lot was selected from among his brethren, the Ephraimites, Joshua 19:50; Numbers 13:6, 16  All the good things that God had promised had come to pass, Joshua 21:43-45; I Kings 8:56; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 10:23

III The Esteemed Soldier and Statesman

Joshua, the aged, called the heads of the tribes, the elders, judges, and officers together to exhort them, Joshua 23:1,2; Acts 20:17-35 The land had been divided, but some of the heathen still remained, Joshua 23:3-5; Deuteronomy 7:22, 23; Judges 1:1-4; Psalm 44:1-3 Joshua solemnly warned Israel to serve God, to shun idols and idolaters, Joshua 23:6-13; Psalm 1:1,2; Proverbs 4:26,27; I Corinthians 16:13; II Corinthians 6:15, 16 God's goodness had been secured, but evil was inevitable if Israel failed to keep the commandments, Joshua 23:14-16; Judges 2:11- 15; Luke 21:33-36


The Land Occupied

Joshua was an old man and stricken in years by the time the important battles of Canaan were fought and won. God had prospered Joshua and the men of Israel in all the wars they had undertaken, yet there was much land still to be occupied (Joshua 13:1-6). The main resistance of the enemy had been broken, through God's power and Joshua's army, but the actual occupation of all the land would still take a great number of years. The Lord, therefore, instructed Joshua to divide the land among the nine and a half tribes on the west side of Jordan, that each tribe might take up its possession and dispossess the enemy that remained in its inheritance. The promise of God was that He would drive out the enemy 'by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee' (Deuteronomy 7:22).

Christian Soldiers

In many respects, the Christian warfare is similar to winning the land of Canaan by the Israelites. Many battles are fought side by side with comrades in the Gospel, while other battles must be worked out individually. When a Christian sees his brother struggling beneath the load of sickness, persecution, or destitution, it is his duty to put his shoulder under the burden and help his brother. 'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ' (Galatians 6'2)

There are other battles that a Christian goes through which cannot be seen by men. 'Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you' (I Peter 4:12). God will have a tried and tested people. Many of these trials cannot be analyzed by the finite mind; therefore they cannot be told to anyone. The object for which God is striving must be brought to fruition in the Christian soldier's life by God's help alone. These are the battles that must be waged and won individually. Paul spoke of these battles when he said: 'For every man shall bear his own burden' (Galatians 6:5).

Dividing the Land

Naturally speaking, it would not be an easy task to divide this land among the nine and a half tribes of Israel. Joshua was a very wise statesman, and he was loved by all Israel; but had he attempted to divide this land between the tribes by his own wisdom, he would have run into trouble quickly. Somebody would soon be dissatisfied with his portion, for it is impossible to please everyone. However, the plan had long ago been spoken by the Lord as to how the land should be allotted. 'Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit. According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few' (Numbers 26:55, 56). 'The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD' (Proverbs 16:33). God Himself had marked the portion for each tribe; consequently any dissatisfaction would actually be a quarrel with God.

Caleb's Request

Before the lots were cast, the children of Judah came with Caleb to Joshua and requested that he fulfill God's promise to Caleb (Numbers 34: 19). Caleb rehearsed the stormy scene of Kadesh-barnea before Joshua who also remembered it well. God had promised Caleb at that time 'the land whereinto he went,' and that his seed should possess it (Numbers 14:24). God promised this blessing to Caleb because 'he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully' (Numbers 14:24). Now Caleb asked for the land of his possession, and 'another spirit' manifested itself again. Caleb did not ask for some broad, level plain, as Lot did; he asked for the mountain of Hebron, wherein the children of Anak dwelt. That was the country that he had spied out; that was the land whereof he brought his report to Moses: 'I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.'

The passing years had treated Caleb kindly. 'I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in' (Joshua 14:11).

Caleb had longed for this Promised Land; and his desire years before had been: 'Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it' (Numbers 13:30). He told the Children of Israel at that time not to fear the people of the land, 'for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them' (Numbers 14:9).

Rewards of Faith

Caleb now desired to show the people that his faith in God was justified. 'If so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said' (Joshua 14:12). God honored His Word and Caleb's faith, for we read: 'Caleb drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak' (Joshua 15:14).

If you desire to see God manifest Himself in your behalf, take an un¬compromising stand upon any of His promises and hold on with unwavering faith. Caleb had to hold on to God's promise for 45 years, had to go through the dry, burning wilderness because his brethren failed; yet God fulfilled the promise. When you take hold of God's promises, uncontrollable circumstances may surround you; but keep holding on to God, keep your faith and eyes on Him, for He will surely bring you through.

The Conqueror's Share

Joshua, the leader of Israel, was the last of the Children of Israel to receive his inheritance. This seems a remarkable thing and truly shows the wonderful spirit in that man of God. Joshua was the oldest and greatest of all the men of Israel at this time. He was commander of the armies that had conquered Canaan, and thus had the right to first choice in the land for himself and his family; but this act of waiting proved that he thought first of his country and people, rather than of any private interest of his own. Joshua thought not of himself until he saw all Israel settled in their possessions. This world would be a happier place in which to live if every man, and especially those who are in positions of authority, would follow Joshua's code of conduct.

Joshua received his inheritance among his brethren 'according to the word of the LORD.' It is probable that God gave Joshua a promise of his inheritance similar to the promise given Caleb. Joshua chose Timnathserah in Mount Ephraim and 'built the city.' While many among the Chil¬dren of Israel received cities that they built not, and vineyards and olive yards already planted, Joshua's inheritance had to be improved. Thus Christ, of whom Joshua is a type, dwelt humbly among men — not in pomp, but in poverty. He who came to give rest to His people had not so much as a place to lay His head (Luke 9 : 58) .

Joshua's Solicitude

The closing records of the history of Joshua show a solemn pause and crisis in the career of Israel. They had attained success in Canaan through their faithfulness to God, and that faithfulness was due primarily to the outstanding leadership of Joshua. Now that leader was approaching the close of his life's span, with much work yet to be done. The conqueror of Canaan naturally felt a great solicitude for his people. The land had been divided and the people were happily settled in their possessions, but many of the heathen still remained.

In conquering the land, Israel had dealt a crushing blow to the Canaanites from which they would not quickly recover. However, Israel had been in possession of this land a number of years by this time and had made no further efforts to remove these people who remained in strong¬holds and fortifications among them.

Joshua therefore called a meeting of Israel, their elders, heads, judges, and officers. He had observed wherein Israel's danger lay: namely, in their associations with the Canaanites that remained. As long as these heathen remained in the land, Israel was in danger of idolatrous infection from the false gods these people worshiped. Joshua's burden was to set clearly before the people their true position and bind them to a renewed covenant with God, if possible.

Duty to God

Jacob had blessed his sons before his death, and in like manner Moses had blessed the twelve tribes of Israel. Joshua and the men of Israel had seen the fulfillment of these blessings in the greater part. God could have inspired Joshua to prophesy more of Israel's future, but that was not needful. There was one great need of the day, and that was the impressing upon posterity a sense of the obligation of worship and of a knowledge of their duty to God. If Israel would serve God, Joshua knew that the future would be secure.

Joshua could point to the successes of the past campaigns. In every battle God had given them the victory; in every siege God had given them - the city. The God of the past was the God of the future, if Israel would only trust Him. Possibly much of the national army had been disbanded, but little did that matter. 'One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you' (Joshua 23:10).

'Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you' (Joshua 23:14). Fidelity to God had brought generous dividends, and it always will. God kept His word because Israel at this time kept His covenant. Joshua pointed out that as good had resulted from faithfulness to God, so evil was the inevitable result of indifference to God. Failure to keep God's Word would result in the certain removal of Israel from his good land that God had given them. Joshua's words were fulfilled in the Babylonish captivity and more fully in the world-wide dispersion of the Jewish people since their crucifixion of Christ.

But the words of Joshua to Israel cannot be read and assigned to Israel alone. They were inspired by God and have a meaning to all people everywhere. What was true in Israel's day is true in our day. As a man is faithful to God in all things, God's blessing and good and eternal life are graciously given; but as a man is indifferent and rebellious against God and His Word, evil and eternal death are the unalterable results 'except ye repent.'


1 How was the land of Canaan divided?
2 Were all the Canaanites conquered when the land was divided?
3 Who was Caleb, and what request did he make to Joshua? Did he receive his request?
4 When and where did Joshua receive his inheritance?
5 How did Joshua feel about Israel's future?
6 What action did Joshua take in an attempt to secure Israel's future?
7 How many things had failed of God's good promises to Israel?
8 How long did Israel follow Joshua's advice?

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