Rev. E. Anderson
The book of Joshua is a good bible book for Christians to study for it gives illustration of, we, too, like Israel should learn to possess their inheritance that God has promised in Christ. There are lessons to learn for all. May you discovered much from the following notes.
INTO THE LAND OF PROMISE – THE BOOK OF JOSHUA
A FIVE-FOLD FACTOR CONCERNING POSSESSION
WORTHY INHERITORS: This chapter focuses attention on two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, the two descendants of Joseph. He had proved in his time to a tremendously blessed man who learned, in spite of major difficulties, to become a genuine possessor through Jehovah. Jacob, in prophecy spoke well of him and his offspring forecasting a fantastic future – Genesis 49. The offspring were to reflect and project in style the spirit and attitude of their famous ancestor. He had left a wonderful legacy for them to emulate and here in this record there are tokens of their going for that which belonged them through Jehovah.
PRESENT EXAMPLE: In Joshua their leader they had an up-to-date example of a person that knew what it was all about. He had led them into the land and was responsible in God to its fair distribution. He was of their lineage, being of the tribe of Ephraim. He was the one who had the legitimate right to sort out any problems and give them the right lead to their inheritance.
VITAL CHARACTERISTICS: There are at least five things of note made manifest in the narrative that deals with possessing their inheritance. All are worthy of note and reproduction. It shows them seeing things in right perspective and entertaining those qualities that ensure progress and success. There was no settling down to a sub-standard factor but a choice inspiration and incentive to have that which they were entitled to through their God.
1/. BEING DETERMINED – vv3-5
Unfortunately Zelophead had no sons but he did have five choice daughters. This seem to present a major difficulty with regard to possession land. Possession on this score was rightly left and bestowed on the sons. It was the procedure of the times that the real heirs were the sons. So this man had a genuine problem that required sorting out. From the context he was not prepared to allow this thing rule his situation.
He could well have been stirred and spurred by the five women plus his wife. He was certainly outnumbered in the home and the pressure was on him to do something about what looked a travesty of law and justice.
It is further noticeable that the five daughter’s names all finished up with ‘ah’’ Their names bore a identification with the Lord – ‘Jehovah.’ That is a significant factor and would suggest he was a man with godly bent and commitment. The Lord had influence upon his life and home. Somehow he sensed that right was on his side and so expressed a will to get his portion for these choice females. And he succeeded! It is a case of not giving up.
2/. BECOMING STRONGER – vv12,13
The tribe of Manasseh also faced a difficulty at the outset because they had not the personnel to effect total mastery over the Canaanites. They had a very large tract of territory to lay hold of and they were not in a position at the start to fully effect the utter routing of their foes. It looks as if they commence from a weak point but they did not settle for that and allow themselves to be influenced negatively. It states “when the children of Israel were waxen strong.” An honest and earnest mind –set prevailed that they would not rest until they had secured a greater advantage. It was imperative that they develop mental, spiritual, moral and natural strength so that this problematic factor would be resolved. They must not become victims in the ensuing days.
3/. DESIRING MORE – vv14-16
The children of Joseph showed no complacency at this time of distribution. Although a great deal of territory had been allocated to them they were not contented. There was a wholesome dissatisfaction abroad in their beings because they wanted much more. There was no prevalent wish to settle for less when they were capable through God of a much larger lot.
There was some evident realization of who they were in and through God and the blessing of the Lord that had been much in evidence in their history and experience. A mindfulness was existent that affirmed the truth that they were not a mean, despicable company but rich tokens of God’s favour had been their delight and so why should not this proceed on a greater, bigger front at this time ? The reasoning and the desiring was absolutely right.
Joshua had no desire to pour cold water on this and frustrate but must have welcomed this kind of expression and exercise. It was worth nurturing. encouraging and expanding.
4/. REALIZING POTENTIAL – v12
Joshua does not minimize but seeks to maximize on what is taking place amongst those who are close to him of tribal relationship. Near at home he wants to see total development in every way and so as the leader affirms that this thing is not beyond their capacity or capabilities. He makes a threefold declaration in v17: First, ‘you are a great people’ – keep in mind before you your outstanding position in and through God. Do not pace any limits on God or yourselves. True and real greatness is discovered in and through an approximate relationship with Jehovah. Secondly, ‘and you have great power.’ Greatness not only in name but in the matter of able to do and perform. The strength to accomplish is theirs. Thirdly, ‘you shall not have one lot only.’ The prophecy and promise is of untold expansion and growth. The potential will be released and be seen in possessing a vast territory.
5/. EXPERIENCING MASTERY – v18
The final factor is that they will be in a situation where they will be victors and masters in every way. The impossible and the formidable will be overcome and they will have their mind’s vision and heart’s desire. The impossible mountainous terrain will be subdued by them. All the forest of trees etc., will be effectively dealt with and made to serve their interests and growth. Further, the enemy, with their chariots of iron though strong will be overcome. The children of Joseph will stand tall and strong at the end of the day.
These are the things that call for expression and domination within the ranks of Christendom. They are all worthy and noble qualities that make God’s people what they should be and enable them to accomplish all that the Lord wills. When such is in evidence there will be the manifestation of divine potential and success on a large scale.