Daybreak: Joshua 19:1-51
“And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.” (Joshua 19:47)
I recently read a book about a young woman whose top priority in life is to make a difference in other people’s lives. In her book, I’m Out to Change My World, Ann Kiemel tells how one day, while she was traveling in Florida, she got into a hot taxi to go to a hotel. It was so hot the driver had every window rolled down. Ann leaned forward and shouted, “What is the one word that describes your life?” The old, gnarled man said that he had two words to describe it, “Bored and unhappy.” He had a lousy job and no one in the world wanted him.
Ann sat in silence for a moment, pondering his words. Then, she asked him if she could sing him a song. He rolled up his window and listened while she sang about how God had made something beautiful out of her life. When she finished singing, she told him how Jesus had become Lord of her life, and how He was her closest friend.
“He laughs with me and cries with me . . .”
“I’m a Jew,” the man said.
But she continued, “Sir, He’ll walk with you (and) He’ll laugh with you. He’ll be your friend.”
When they arrived at her hotel, Ann fumbled in her purse for money, but suddenly noticed his coarse hand reaching over the seat. She grabbed it, almost afraid to look at him. When she lifted her eyes, she saw he was crying.
“Lady,” he said, “When I got in this old cab tonight, I was the loneliest person in the whole world. I never heard anyone talk like you talked tonight and I want your God. He and I could ride together.”
In this chapter, we read about the children of Dan. They did not have enough territory, so they simply picked up their swords and conquered more. Ann spent every moment she could conquering more territory for Christ. There is territory that we can conquer for Christ too.
In this text, the final tribes received their inheritance. The tribe of Simeon received land that had initially been given to Judah, but which Judah had not settled. To Zebulun was given a portion of Galilee midway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee. Their land included large, fertile valleys and high hills. Nazareth, Jesus’ boyhood home, was on one of these hills.
Issachar received a hilly region southwest of the Sea of Galilee. Asher was given territory along the Mediterranean coast, north of Mount Carmel, which stretched to the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon. Naphtali’s inheritance in Galilee included the Sea of Galilee and the regions west and north of it.
The last lot fell on the tribe of Dan. Dan received a narrow piece of land bordering on Judah, Ephraim, Benjamin, and the Mediterranean Sea. The land given to Dan and Benjamin formed a “belt,” connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. The region of Dan includes the modern city and suburbs of Tel Aviv.
After completing the allotment of Israel’s inherited land, Joshua took possession of his own inheritance. He spent the rest of his life in Timnath-serah, a small farming village in the mountainous region of Ephraim.
(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
c. The assignment to Simeon (19:1-9)
d. The assignment to Zebulun (19:10-16)
(1) The borders (19:10-14)
(2) The cities (19:15-16)
e. The assignment to Issachar (19:17-23)
f. The assignment to Asher(19:24-31)
(1) The borders (19:24-29)
(2) The cities (19:30-31)
g. The assignment to Naphtali (19:32-39)
(1) The borders (19:32-34)
(2) The cities (19:35-39)
h. The assignment to Dan (19:40-48)
i. The assignment to Joshua (19:49-50)
j. The conclusion (19:51)
A Closer Look
- How did the tribe of Simeon claim their inheritance differently than Dan?
- Why do you think the land was divided into individual possessions for each tribe instead of remaining one large nation?
- What territory has God offered to help you conquer? What are you doing to accomplish that?
When the children of Dan did not have enough territory, they simply went forward and conquered more. The people in our world may have little room for God, but with our love and persistence, we can also conquer more territory for Him!