Daybreak: Joshua 18:1-28
“And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?” (Joshua 18:3)
An acquaintance of mine and his wife were flying with an airline company which was having a promotional campaign. On every flight, a seat number was picked. Whoever was in that seat was the lucky person to win a flight for two to any destination where this airline operated. On this particular flight, when the number was called, the man who was sitting in the lucky seat was reading a book. We might expect that he would at once run from his seat to the front to accept the reward. Instead, he just smiled and continued reading. His wife went forward and claimed his reward. She was excited!
In this chapter, we read of a person who was excited about claiming his own reward. The Children of Israel had made the long journey from Egypt and had finally reached the Promised Land. At the first opportunity, Caleb lost no time in making it clear that he wanted what was promised to him, and he took possession. There remained seven tribes, with the land subdued before them, that had not yet received their inheritance. Joshua wanted to know what they were waiting for.
Having the land available to them as promised, we wonder why they were not more eager and quick to take possession. When we stop to think about it, however, we see that there are people today who have the Gospel at their fingertips and still are not taking possession of all that God has promised them. There are numerous added promises and blessings in the Gospel that many people do not reach out in faith and claim. It is better to be like Caleb: claim what is ours and start to reap the benefits at once. He was vigorous, eager, and excited to receive what had been promised to him.
Since you have the promise of the Gospel and its benefits, claim it now. Don’t let someone else claim your reward. Take what is yours!
As the congregation of Israel assembled at Shiloh, in the territory of Ephraim, Joshua moved the camp of Israel and set up the Tabernacle of the congregation there. It had been at Gilgal for the previous seven years. By this time, the Israelites had possession of the land on all sides. The Canaanites were completely subdued. There was no longer any general resistance to the Israelite army.
The Israelites had experienced many miracles, but we find an unaccountable backwardness of seven tribes to claim the inheritances that God had given them. They did not have the faith and spiritual zeal of Caleb and the daughters of Zelophehad (Joshua 14:12; 17:3-4). They were faithful in helping fight battles and defeating the enemy, but they hesitated to claim their inheritances.
To help those seven tribes, Joshua and the leaders inaugurated a new system for allocating the land. Each tribe appointed three men who went through the remaining territories, and listed the cities and the landmarks to describe each part of the land. This information was brought back to Joshua, who then assigned the various portions to the remaining seven tribes by casting lots before the Lord. The tribe of Levi, being inheritors of the priesthood, was not included. The Lord was their portion and they had the sacrifices, oblations, tithes, firstfruits, redemption money of the firstborn, etc. for their provision. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh received their inheritances on the east side of Jordan.
The first lot fell to Benjamin, giving that tribe a narrow band of land. Since Benjamin was a full brother to Joseph, his territory was assigned adjacent to Ephraim and the other half-tribe of Manasseh.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The land divided
C. The apportionment of Canaan
5. The assignments to the remaining tribes
a. The division of the land (18:1-10)
b. The assignment to Benjamin (18:11-28)
(1) The borders (18:11-20)
(2) The cities (18:21-28)
A Closer Look
- In what way did Joshua help the seven tribes to obtain their inheritances?
- Why do you think the seven tribes hesitated to claim their inheritances?
- If you recognize that you have been slow to claim some of God’s promises to you, what actions should you take?
Many have been saved for years but have not yet received their sanctification and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, or some other promise from the Lord. Are you one of those who have been faithful in supporting others, while you have not claimed what is yours? Don’t allow yourself to procrastinate when it comes to taking new spiritual ground! Step out by faith and claim God’s promises to you!