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Monday, March 28, 2016

Something for Everyone

Before his death Joshua distributes the land of Canaan among the nine and a half tribes  east of the Jordan and the two and half tribes west of the Jordan. Each territory contains enemies, challenges, and benefits. No one tribe is disadvantaged by the division of landgrace gifts based on the promise of God to Abraham. 


Each tribe is blessed beyond measure with land freely given by God; and they all face enemies and challenges in their territories so that they  remain dependent upon God. God is good and only does good!



Tribe
Benefits
Challenges
Enemies
Manasseh
Access to the Sea of Galilee and Mediterranean Sea and two trade routes
People divided by Jordan River
Arameans
Gad
Access to the Jordan River and one trade route
Mountainous and arid conditions
Ammonites
Rueben
Borders Arnon River and access to one trade route
Borders the Dead Sea
Moabites
Simeon
Rich history of Beersheba
Landlocked; isolated
Philistines, Edomites, remaining Canaanites
Judah
Borders Mediterranean Sea
Abuts the Dead Sea
Philistines, remaining Canaanites
Dan
Borders
Mediterranean Sea; 
access to major trade route
Little access to fresh water
Philistines, Edomites, remaining Canaanites
Ephraim
Abuts the Yarkon River
Landlocked
Philistines
Zebulun
Valley 
Landlocked
Philistines
Benjamin
Centrally located
No access to trade routes
Remaining Canaanites
Issachar
Valley abuts the Jordan River
No access to trade routes
Remaining Canaanites
Naphtali
Borders Sea of Galilee and Jordan River
No access to trade routes
Phoenicians
Asher
Borders Mediterranean Sea and Litani River; access to major trade route
Borders Tyre to the north
Phoenicians


Everything that you have is a gift from God. Everything that another has is a gift from God. Benefits, challenges, and enemies accompany each man gifts. Therefore, be content with what God has given you.


Older Post
Living to End Well
"I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord has promised me that day. You yourselves have heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said" (Joshua 14:11-12).

Gotta love Caleb. Eighty fives years old and going strong. Caleb expressed huge faith in the Living God forty-five years earlier when Moses sent him out along with eleven others to spy out Canaan. He saw the gaints in the land and wasn't afraid then and he isn't afraid now. His large view of God has carried him through every difficulty all of his life. He remembers how God stripped Egypt of their pride, possessions, and drowned their posse. He remembers the parting of the Red Sea, the provision of water, manna, and quail in the wilderness. His age and the passing of time have not dampened his enthusiasm nor damaged his theology.


Your view of God determines how you face aging, the enemy, and all other challenges. How does one develop a high view of God and then maintain such a view? NOT by looking at your circumstances but at God! Psalm 16:8 says "I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved."

Dive into the stories of the Bible and meditate upon the same stories that Caleb had in Genesis and the ones he himself experienced in Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy until you come away with a large and proper view of God. The book of Genesis alone has enough stories to bless your heart. To name a few:
  • God kills an innocent animal and with its skin God covers Adam and Eve's nakedness.
  • God saves the righteous (Noah and his family) when He destroys the wicked.
  • God gives an old man with a barren wife a baby (Abraham & Sarah) through which He builds a nation and brings the Messiah.
  • God cares about women who are mistreated (Leah, Rachel, Hagar, Tamar, etc.)
  • God fulfills a promise made to Abraham (Genesis 15) many years before and saves an entire people during a famine by sending a brother ahead to prepare a place for them in Egypt.
God doesn't implant Bible microchips into followers of Jesus Christ in order to guide their minds and their behavior. We have to develop a Biblical worldview by setting our minds on things above (and not below). "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:5-6). We have to discipline ourselves to entertain large thoughts about God. The Scriptures feed our faith and build a large view of God.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: Joshua 13:1-15:63
  • What does the division of Canaan's real estate do for the tribes of Israel?
  • What does this land division teach them about God?
  • How long does it take Israel to conquer Canaan in the initial stage/campaigns?
  • How does Caleb motivate his men to drive out the Anakites?
  • Describe Caleb's relationship with his daughter Acsah.
  • What does this tell you about Caleb's view of women?
Turning truth into prayer:
Ask the Lord to let you see how you are living today will affect your future perspective.