Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

The Struggles We Need

that we try to avoid.

Joshua 17:14–18

Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit, since we are a great people, inasmuch as the LORD has blessed us until now?”

So Joshua answered them, “If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you.”

But the children of Joseph said, “The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel.”

And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.”

Seriously? Take a look at the allotment that Ephraim and Manasseh are complaining about.

No other tribe gets as much land. Judah is the only one that even comes close. Their pathetic whining is a great example of the many ways that the tribes “could not” do what they actually “could” do if they were serious.

Joshua does a beautiful job of not catering to this nonsense. He doesn’t hint that the task before them is easy. He even emphasizes how hard it will be when he says, “you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.

But this isn’t simply a lack of faith. They don’t even understand the promise.

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. — Joshua 1:5

The LORD never said this would be easy.

We’re not all that different. Jesus warned us that following Him wouldn’t be easy. Yet we act like the going should never get tough. We forget that challenges are an essential part of our walk.

“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” — Matthew 5:11–12

We actually need this.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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