Joshua 18-21 (3)
Read Joshua 19.1-48.
1. We note an adjustment made to the inheritance assigned to Judah. This should not trouble us. Why not?
2. This can be tedious reading, but why was it important to record these allotments? How can you read them with profit to your soul?
Think about it.
While these sections dutifully record the allotments of land and cities to the tribes of Israel, and they were very important as a permanent record for the nation, they can be difficult reading. We can’t see in our mind’s eye where these cities are, or even how the various tribal groups relate to one another (having a map handy can help).
But more than just records of cities and lands, these are detailed accounts of the faithfulness of God to all His people. In a sense, the writer is counting the blessings of God to Israel, and thus tallying up the record of God’s faithfulness to His Word and promises. These passages encourage us to be just as detailed in tallying up the daily blessings of God and in giving Him thanks and praise. Here is a way to extend your communion with the Lord throughout the day, by making note and giving thanks for each blessing, great or small.
In the lands of these six tribes we see no mention of Canaanites remaining. That doesn’t mean they didn’t. As the book of Judges shows, the struggle against paganism continued for many generations throughout all Israel. Indeed, victory over the Canaanites would only come during David’s reign, only to be squandered by his son and grandson.
Count your blessings. Seek more of the promises of God. Don’t leave anything for the ways of the world. These are the lessons of this section of the book of Joshua.
Meditate and discuss.
1. Why is it a good idea to count our blessings every day? How can doing so help to improve our relationship with the Lord?
2. We notice that these accounts give specific names, places, and even numbers. Is there any guidance here for us, as we work at being more faithful in actually counting our blessings?
3. We are called to seek and advance the Kingdom and glory of God in our lives and our Personal Mission Fields. What can hinder us from doing this? Should we ever give up on this objective?
“And indeed we said above that even our Lord Jesus Christ asks us for a place he may build and in which he may live and that we ought to become so clean of heart, and so sincere of mind, so holy in body and spirit, that he may both deign to accept this place in our soul and to build it and dwell in it. And who do you think among all the people are so acceptable to God that they are worthy to be chosen for this? Or perhaps no individuals can be capable of this, but can the whole people and all the church together barely be capable of receiving the Lord Jesus in themselves so that he may dwell in them?” Origen of Alexandria(185-254 AD)
Make me alert to all Your blessings, Lord, that I may recount them to You with thanks and praise, and that…
Pray Psalm 111.
This psalm presents the large backdrop of God’s promises – His works of creation, sovereignty, redemption, and His covenant. Meditate on each of these as you pray, and thank God for how these large blessings redound to your benefit each day.
Psalm 111 (Manoah: When All Your Mercies, O My God)
Praise the Lord! O let my heart give thanks here amid His chosen race!
Your works are great, O Lord, and sought by all who know their grace.
For Your work is full of splendor, Lord, and of majesty most pure;
Your righteousness, O glorious God, forever will endure!
You have caused Your many wondrous works to remain before our face.
For You are full of mercy, Lord, and abounding all in grace.
For all who fear You, You provide; Your covenant endures.
Your pow’r You show Your people, Lord, and make the nations theirs.
The works of Your all-sovereign hands are faithful, Lord, and just.
Your precepts ever more are true and worthy of our trust.
You have sent redemption, to us, Lord, in Christ of cov’nant fame,
And we in wonder, grace, and awe adore Your holy Name.
All they who would true wisdom know must learn to fear You, Lord,
And in that wisdom daily live and praise You evermore.
T. M. Moore
Where does the book of Joshua fit in the ongoing story of God’s covenant? Our workbook, God’s Covenant, can help you discover the place in God’s work of redemption not only of Joshua but of all the books of the Bible. God’s Covenant is a valuable resource to guide you in all your studies in God’s Word. To order your copy, click here. And when you order, we’ll send you a free copy of Bricks and Rungs: Poems on Calling.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).