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Bible Pathways 03/19/2004

March 19

Read Joshua 17 -- 19

In Today's Reading:

Distribution of land to all the tribes; Manasseh fails to drive out Canaanites; Tabernacle set up at Shiloh; Joshua's inheritance

The conquest of Canaan was completed and the land was divided, not by majority vote, but by the Lord. Seven tribes remained . . . which had not yet received their inheritance (Joshua 18:2). Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the Tabernacle of the congregation. . . . the land was subdued before them. . . . And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel (18:1,10).

Although they had received some of the best territory in the promised land, the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim complained that they should have more territory given to them because of their great numbers and what they perceived as their prominent position among the tribes (17:14-18). The Ephraimites were proud of their history as descendants of Joseph. Added to that, Joshua, the victorious commander who had led in the conquest of Canaan, was also from their tribe.

When we have our priorities centered upon the Lord, we need not fear losing our share of anything. In fact, we gladly accept less to maintain peace with others.

In a striking contrast to the greed of the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, Joshua chose to be the last to lay claim to any territory (Joshua 19:49). As captain, we could expect him to be first and to take the best for himself Instead, he chose to be last. His choice was a very small area near Shiloh where the Tabernacle was erected and where he could best worship and serve the Lord. It was there, in the nearness of the Lord's presence, that Joshua built his small city. Joshua illustrates the importance of being fervent in spirit; serving the Lord. . . . Submit yourselves therefore to God Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up (Romans 12:11; James 4:7,10).

Word Studies:

17:13 tribute = forced labor; 18:1 Shiloh = the location of the Tabernacle in the tribe of Ephraim; 18:6 describe = map out, survey.

Christ Revealed:

Through Shiloh, meaning the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the Tabernacle (Joshua 18:1). Shiloh was the dwelling place of God's presence in the Tabernacle and was prophetic of Jesus. The Word (Jesus) . . . dwelt (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14).

Prayer Needs:

Country: Sudan (34 million) at the eastern end of the Sahara Desert · Major languages: Arabic and Nubian · Limited religious freedom · 74% Muslim; 15% king worship, spirit-possession cults, and ancestral spirit worship; 5% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Let your faith in the Word of God overrule all fears (Proverbs 3:6-7,25).

Optional Reading: John 10

Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:16

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