Read Joshua 17 -- 19
In Today's Reading:
Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh receive their territory. As Chapter 18 opens, all Israel gathers to set up the Tabernacle because worship of the Heavenly Father should always be our starting point. The "Good News" is that the last seven tribes receive their inheritance. The "Bad News" is that they have to fight the present inhabitants for it. Joshua confronts them: How long are you slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3).
Verse for Today:
The children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land (Joshua 17:12).
Distribution of land to all the tribes completed; Manasseh fails to drive out Canaanites; Tabernacle set up at Shiloh; inheritance of Joshua.
After the Israelites had gained control of Canaan, they temporarily ceased fighting, and the land had rest from war (Joshua 14:15). They preferred to have a peaceful coexistence with the idol worshipping Canaanites which had not yet been driven out (see chapters 13 -- 14).
For Joshua and Caleb, the two great old men of faith, the "rest from war" was the result of their defeating all the Canaanite kings and claiming their personal territories by faith. But, for most of the tribes, this "rest" became a failure to fulfill the command of God to defeat the Canaanites, destroy their idols, and possess the land. This foolish choice would cost them dearly for centuries to come (see 15:63; 16:10; 17:13). Like many people today, the Israelites presumed that it was easier to compromise and make peace agreements with the world than to obey the Lord.
The blessings of God are withdrawn from the compromiser, and the sad consequence is that spiritual realization of the Lord's promises will not be experienced.
The prophet Elijah would later provide the key to overcoming such vacillation when he said: How long halt you between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him (1 Kings 18:21). Christians are called to Come out from among them (the world and their goals), and be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). The Apostle James said: The friendship of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). The Apostle John warned: Love not the world. . . . For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:15-16).
Our Lord Jesus Christ made the chilling declaration to the Laodicean Church: Because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:16).
A Thought from Proverbs: Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counselors of peace is joy (12:20).
Through the Tabernacle at Shiloh, the dwelling place of God's presence on earth. The Most High dwells not in Temples made with hand (Acts 7:48), but in the hearts of His people. Jesus promised that His disciples would one day dwell with Him in His Father's heavenly home. In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (John 14:2).
17:13 tribute = forced labor; 18:6 describe = map out; survey; give a written description.
Pray for your Pastor · Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Begin every day with prayer (Psalms 88:13).
Optional Reading: John 10
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:15