Into the Land of Promise – Studies from the book of Joshua


                                      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.




WHEN: This message was communicated at an important stage in the history of God’s people. They had evidently been situated in the land of Promise over a considerable period and when Joshua had reached the point in his life when he was very old. It was essential that they heard at this juncture words of an exhortative nature that would re-call vital factors and keep them on course in the future in their relationship with the Lord. Now was the opportune moment to address the whole nation so that it would be awake and alert to essential matters with the Lord. The passing of time can bring a state of familiarity and with it indifference, hence the need for a possible shake up. It is so easy to drift into taking things for granted and fail to keep a watchful eye on crucial factors. There are occasions when further major divine input and instruction is required for the Church of God and it must be highly sensitive to it and grasp it firmly.

WHO: The spiritual leader, Joshua, took the initiative and realized that it was imperative to call on the leadership together – v2. There was no shirking his responsibility even though he was reaching the conclusion of his days. He wanted to finish well and he desired that God’s people move on with their God and not fail to achieve all His expectations for them. This great saint and leader had not lost the vision or the will to see much more come to pass in the way of progress, success and blessing and was in a good frame of mind and spirit to stir God’s elect. The passing of the years had not eroded his spiritual fervour and flame. His body may have aged but his temper of being was high for God and His people.  He was the right person at the right time to exhort the leadership of Israel.

WHAT: What had to be said was worthy of record and to be evaluated and acted upon. There is a coming straight to the point and a clear-cut declaration of matters so that no one was left surmising, questioning or in doubt. It had to do with the past, where they had come from and what had happened, where they were, the up-to-date statement of affairs, and finally, where they were going to go in the future. The lines were being drawn in a definite, convincing and conclusive fashion. There was much to reflect on and the outcome of the considerations called for a conclusive decision and commitment.


He starts of from the right position and good base line. If this people were a people and if they were in the present state of strength and blessing it was due to the Lord and it was essential that they be reminded of the fact.

If they had land and property it was due to the fact that the Lord had driven out their enemies and caused them to be conquerors and possessors – see also v9. Israel should have needed hardly any reminder what the position was prior to moving in to possess. There had been the occasion when the previous generation had fallen foul of unbelief when they saw the giants and the impossible task. But that was now past history. The wonderful truth was that the Lord had fought for them and driven out these strong nations and they had been able to deal with all the opposition – seev10. What had been impossible was now a reality.

There had been the rightful dividing of the lands and what an inheritance was their lot in fact! –v4. There was a time when Israel had been slaves without a lot to call their own. All this had changed and they were now proud owners of a rich and prosperous possession.


The immediate prospect also looked good encouraging because the Lord affirms. There was the evident fact that all the enemies had not been dealt with and whilst they were still existent meant they could and would be a threat. The Lord affirms that this problem would be attended to and so His people could be assured of His constant presence and action. He who had already done so much was quite capable of dealing with this matter. They must not become hyped up or over concerned because He would fully effect a complete mastery through them of all potential threats.


This is the central and focal issue of the message. If the present and future was to be consolidated in a greater way then this was the most crucial point to be considered. Everything hinged on this. Joshua was not afraid to make the emphasis here because this is what had played the major role in his successful role as leader.

God’s Word must be pre-eminent amongst them and due regard should be given to knowing and doing it. There was to be no amendment of it nor deviation in the slightest decree from its precepts and commands. The only way forward was in hearing and hearkening in faith and obedience. In no way should they allow the book to be forgotten and treated in any light-hearted manner. God was in and with His Word and as they regard it they respected Him. The law was very strict and direct in the objection to ‘looking to other gods’ –v7. Polytheism was not to be their faith or procedure. They worshipped and served the only true and living God!

The great exhortation was ‘to cleave unto the Lord’ – v8. They could not do anything better or be engaged in anything more worthwhile than in grasping and holding firm a real love and commitment to the Lord. They had to make sure and certain that they possessed a genuine and fervent love of and for Him –v11. After all, was He not worthy of such affection and devotion?


The final part of the message comes in the form of a warning to make them aware of the current danger that was prevalent. They had not to fear their enemies but they did have to face the fact that the real problem lay in the matter of them embracing the way of life of their opponents. The prospect of compromise was there and must be faced. The opportunity would be before they of making a marriage union, thinking this would be okay, but in point of fact it would be an offence to the Lord and would weaken their spiritual relationship with Him. In bold truth it would amount to spiritual adultery.

Note the great emphasis- “Know for a certainty” – v13. It would turn out to be disastrous for Israel if they went down that road. The enemy would begin to rule and they would make no further progress with Jehovah or in terms of possession. It would be a backward step that would result in untold harm. Instead of enjoying greater blessings there would be a curse on them and they would become reduced –v15. There would be a terrible reversal that would be the undoing of them. They will have stirred up the ‘wrath and anger of the Lord” – v16. No longer would they be in the favoured state and relationship.

  • Joshua fires home the fact that God had not failed to fulfil His promises for good. This should cause a good reaction and inspiration in their hearts to go for Jehovah and all that he willed for the future.
  • Joshua implied that in turn if they failed in their love, faith and obedience, then the negative and destructive force of evil would be operational. This realization of what would occur if they deviated and sinned should also get things into clear perspective and make them more determined than ever to go God’s way.


Into the Promised Land – Studies in the Book of Joshua


                                      Rev. E. Anderson







LEADERSHIP COUNSEL: Joshua is seen here giving a lead to the two and a half tribes that had greatly assisted them in the conquest of the land. He was aware of His responsibility as the leader to give helpful counsel and directive to a certain section of Israel. Now that the rest of the tribes had moved into their inheritance it was time to encourage this people who had been faithful to their commitment to the cause of Israel as a whole. It was an important moment for these men who had loyally served. How wonderful to observe Joshua’s appreciation of them and what they had done – vv2,3. It was right that they should return to their possessions and enter into the fullness of their inheritance.


PEOPLE COOPERATION: It is good to read and note that they fully responded and cooperated with the directive. They sensed and knew it was the apt and appropriate time to go back to their loved ones and bring into being the fulfillment of the Lord’s will and plan. Just as they had seen through their part along with the other tribes, it was now providential in the scheduling of God to move back and set about their task of making good the Lord’s plan for heir loved ones.


What is made known in this chapter and time is the godly directive of Joshua, the godly initiative of the three tribes and the preventative action of the high priest and the rest of the tribes. It becomes apparent tot he Phinehas that the Lord was very much amongst them as the whole thing is understood.




Joshua wants to see them entering into and enjoying the special rights that had been given to them by Jehovah – v4. The immediate thing was to recognize that they had done a good job but a further task awaited them and that was to go and make good the expectations of God for greater blessing.


“The war being ended, and ended gloriously, Joshua, as a prudent general, disbands his army, who never designed to make war their trade, and sends them home, to enjoy what they had conquered, and to beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; and particularly the forces of these separate tribes, who had received their inheritance on the other side Jordan from Moses upon this condition, that their men of war should assist the other tribes in the conquest of Canaan, which they promised to do – Numbers 32:32, and renewed the promise to Joshua at the opening of the campaign, Joshua 1:16. And, now that they had performed their bargain, Joshua publicly and solemnly in Shiloh gives them their discharge. Whether this was done, as it was placed, not till after the land was divided, as some think, or whether after the war was ended, and before the division was made, as others think (because there was no need of their assistance in dividing the land, but only in conquering it, nor were there any of their tribes employed as commissioners in that affair, but only of the other ten, Numbers 34:18, &c., this is certain, it was not done till after Shiloh was made the head quarters – Johuas 22:2, and the land was begun to be divided before they removed from Gilgal, Joshua 14:6.”                Matthew Henry


There is wise counsel extended to them as Joshua seeks to send them away with the right vision and purpose. If they are going to be successful then it was imperative that he instructs them what to do. he is not afraid to speak the truth into their situation and show them the real way ahead.


There is the due emphasis upon knowing and living according to what the Lord had already spoken. His directive was to take full consideration of the divine directive. Diligence had to be shown in both the hearing and the doing –v5. As he looked back upon his own life, leadership and ministry, he knew it was all due to the observance of this principle and procedure – Joshua 1:7,8. It has worked specifically and effectively for him and it was still the wisest and best course of action.


There are choice statements made which needed to be embraced and carried through:


·         “To love the Lord your God


“In particular, to love the Lord our God, as the best of beings, and the best of friends; and as far as this principle rules in the heart, and is the spring of its pulses, there will be a constant care and sincere endeavour to walk in his ways, in all his ways, even those that are narrow and uphill, in every particular instance, in all manner of conversation to keep his commandments, at all times and in all conditions with purpose of heart to cleave unto him, and to serve him and his honour, and the interest of his kingdom among men, with all our heart and with all our soul.  What good counsel was here given to them is given to us all. God give us grace to take it!”                Matthew Henry


·         and to walk in His ways

·         and to keep His commandments

·         and to cleave to Him

·         and to serve Him with all your heart and soul.”


The conjunction all need underscoring and they are all joined to together and are to be total expression of faith and life.


It also worth comment that he


·         blessed them – vv6,7. It must have been a gratifying and satisfying thing to these people that this leader so respected them and was deeply committed to seeing them wonderfully blessed in every way. All that he wanted for them was their good and increase.


“Joshua not only prayed for them as a friend, but blessed them as a father in the name of the Lord, recommending them, their families, and affairs, to the grace of God. Some by the blessing Joshua gave them understand the presents he made them, in recompence of their services; but Joshua being a prophet, and having given them one part of a prophet’s reward in the instructions he gave them – Joshua 22:5, no doubt we must understand this of the other, even the prayers he made for them, as one having authority, and as God’s vicegerent.”                                                                                        Matthew Henry


·         The benediction was a most positive one. It was more than words – v8. Note the words ‘much riches’, ‘very much cattle’ ‘silver’, ‘gold’, ‘brass’ and ‘iron.’, ‘and very much raiment.’ They were not going home exhausted and empty but enriched beyond measure. They had much to be grateful for and glad about. They were encouraged to bless those at home who had looked after the situation there.


“Joshua dismisses them to the land of their possession, Joshua 22:4.  Those that were first in the assignment of their lot were last in the enjoyment of it; they got the start of their brethren in title, but their brethren were before them in full possession; so the last shall be first, and the first last, that there may be something of equality.


‘He dismisses them with their pay; for who goes a warfare at his own charge? Return with much riches unto your tents, Joshua 22:8.  Though all the land they had helped to conquer was to go to the other tribes, yet they should have their share of the plunder, and had so, and this was all the pay that any of the soldiers expected; for the wars of Canaan bore their own charges.”      Matthew Henry



2/. THE GODLY INITATIVE – vv7-10,22-29


As they returned home they decided on a good course of action and that was to build a meaningful altar – v10. It is called a ‘great altar’ so that no one would miss it. The whole thing would become obvious to all. It would be an outstanding feature on the landscape that would be most memorable and also people would be forced to inquire as to the reason for its existence. This was the purpose for its prominence.


Later context reveals that the purpose behind it was a meaningful one. The two and half tribes did not want to be forgotten by the other tribes but treated as an integral part of the whole nation of God. They could foresee a possible danger in the future because of their location that they were not a part of the Israel of God. It was not to be an ‘altar for sacrifice’ but an ‘altar’ that proclaimed their identity and unity with God’s elect race.  There was no way that this was a break away and a divisive factor, rather it was to be a stabilizing matter for the years ahead.


One admires the innovation of this people. It may have been a sudden inspiration and action but it was a holy initiative that proclaimed a healthy mind and heart Godward and to wards Israel. There was no sinister motivation behind it all, only good will.




One can consider the reaction of the tribes to this from two angles: the bad and the good side.


It was first of all ‘hear say’ that came to the major amount of tribes and they were immediately jumping to wrong conclusions. Thankfully they were driven by a godly jealousy because they did not want to see the Lord dishonoured in any way and neither did they want to bring any problems on themselves. In recalling their history a lot of damage had been experienced in their relationship with God and they were still feeling the effect of wrong actions taken. There was the will amongst them that this should not occur again.


The determination was born that this matter should be sorted out without delay and so the spiritual leadership under Phinehas gave the lead with the election of princes from the tribes – vv13, 14. The best approach was to find out what had really taken place and not move to war too quickly. Looking at the whole incident as a whole there was effort all around to prevent things going wrong. The two and half tribes didn’t want things to go wrong with regard to their union and the other tribes did not want things to go awry on the spiritual front. Through conversing together and seeing things in the open everyone became pleased and satisfied.


The comment of Phinehas states it all : v31 “This day we perceive that the Lord is amongst us.” What had happened had been providential. Both constraints and restraints of God had been abroad. On the one hand, moving the two and half tribes in establishing the altar and on the other restraining the others and turning all things out to profit.




The glorious conclusion to be drawn from this incident is this:


·         It is imperative that wise, good and sound leadership give an inspiring lead to God’s people and possess a loving, wholesome interest in the blessedness and success of the divine community.


·         It is also essential to seek the constant unity of the people of God and prevent any cause for division at all costs.


Through this, the Church of God is bound to make progress and accomplish God’s purpose.


Into the Land of Promise – Studies in the book of Joshua


                                       Rev. E. Anderson







A PROPHETIC WORD: “the Lord had spoken.” One of the main, great things about this people was the fact that the Lord had spoken in relation to its future and destiny. They had been the recipients of the divine, prophetic word that affected their prospects and blessedness. Such is the omniscience and omnipotence of the Lord that He foresees all and is able to plan successfully knowing He has the right and might to being everything to a complete and satisfactory result. This is not simply so for all mankind but especially so for those who are His chosen people. Everything is based upon what the Lord has decreed and is of an inspirational and revelational nature and it is imperative that God’s people be thoroughly versed in His fullest intentions for their good.


“We have here the conclusion of this whole matter, the foregoing history summed up, and, to make it appear the more bright, compared with the promise of which it was the full accomplishment. God’s word and his works mutually illustrate each other. The performance makes the promise appear very true and the promise makes the performance appear very kind.”   Matthew Henry


A CONCLUDING DECLARATION: “all came to pass.” This is the inevitable consequence always with regard to God and His Word. Nothing is left to chance or coincidence with Him. He jealously looks on what he has uttered and is committed to seeing every detail brought to fruition. One thing is absolutely certain concerning Him: He is no liar and neither does He amend His Word along the way. We can rest assured that if He has said it, it will surely be.


In the case of Israel here we note:




Note that it states “all the land.” The size of the task originally had looked enormous and quite frightening, but the testimony of Holy Writ affirms that the Promised Land was all theirs. Israel had spread abroad throughout the land and had seen their enemies vanquished and now they were installed as the new owners. It was now essential for them to see that they were rich possessors and inheritors.


In Egypt they had been slaves in a strange land. They did not own one square yard of that territory but now they were now in a land which they could legitimately call their own because it was the gift of the Creator of heaven and earth. He had the sole, sovereign right to do this so they could consider themselves rich through the riches of God’s grace and favour. It was now up to them not to squander the new opportunity but to use the present and future to recognize who they were, where they were and know in a greater way the rich possession of Jehovah and of His untold generosity. They not only need to dwell in the land, they needed to dwell in and with Him so that everything would be enhanced and advanced in and through Him and in their steadfast devotion to Him. It was a good place for them to be in.


“God had promised to give them victory and success in their wars, and this promise likewise was fulfilled: There stood not a man before them, Joshua 21:44. They had the better in every battle, and which way soever they turned their forces they prospered. It is true there were Canaanites now remaining in many parts of the land, and such as afterwards made head against them, and became very formidable. But,


As to the present remains of the Canaanites, they were no contradiction to the promise, for God had said he would not drive them out all at once, but by little and little, Exodus 23:30.  They had now as much in their full possession as they had occasion for and as they had hands to manage, so that the Canaanites only kept possession of some of the less cultivated parts of the country against the beasts of the field, till Israel, in process of time, should become numerous enough to replenish them.”    Matthew Henry




It must have been quite a beautiful thing to know that their warfare was over and now they could rest from conflict. They had known a season of real battle and movement and now it was to be a different era altogether. There was an end also to the wilderness wanderings of having to keep pulling up and pitching their temporary dwellings. No longer were they also under the threat of a Pharaoh and his forces. It was to be a brand new experience altogether.


There was to be a rest for the people of God – c.f. Hebrews 4. All anxiety about the present and future was over and they could live with Jehovah Shalom in the midst. The rest meant they could get on with building up in every way. They were getting to know a deeper and firmer relationship with the God who had brought them to this place. Now moving on in the development of things on a natural basis. They did not have to look over their shoulder with regards to any threatening factor but get on with building up on every front.


“God had promised to give them rest in that land, and now they had rest round about, rest from the fatigues of their travel through the wilderness (which tedious march, perhaps, was long in their bones), rest from their wars in Canaan, and the insults which their enemies there had at first offered them. They now dwelt, not only in habitations of their own, but those quiet and peaceable ones; though there were Canaanites that remained, yet none that had either strength or spirit to attack them, nor so much as give them an alarm. This rest continued till they by their own sin and folly put thorns into their own beds and their own eyes.”  Matthew Henry




The great affirmation was there had been no failure of the Lord’s part. Certainly, it had not been so with them as their history denotes. But from the Lord’s expression, He had lived up all that He had spoken in terms of His goodness. The promises that had been made in good faith had been kept in good faith.


There is a real emphasis here because in vv43,44 there is the highlighting of the fact “Which He sware unto their fathers” and in v45 “which the Lord had spoken.” A promise is a promise with God and is the real Promise Maker and Keeper – “Hath He not said and shall He not do it.” Even Elisabeth was make inspired declaration on this point – Luke 1:45.




The purpose behind all this is to engender faith in the Lord with respect to His Word and to live in the anticipation and expectation of all that He has spoken and will in sacred covenant promise.


“God had promised to give the seed of Abraham the land of Canaan for a possession, and now at last he performed this promise (Joshua 21:43): They possessed it, and dwelt therein. Though they had often forfeited the benefit of that promise, and God had long delayed the performance of it, yet at last all difficulties were conquered, and Canaan was their own. And the promise of the heavenly Canaan is as sure to all God’s spiritual Israel, for it is the promise of him that cannot lie.”  Matthew Henry


“As to the after prevalence of the Canaanites, that was purely the effect of Israel’s cowardice and slothfulness, and the punishment of their sinful inclination to the idolatries and other abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord would have cast out before them but that they harboured and indulged them. So that the foundation of God stands sure. Israel’s experience of God’s fidelity is here upon record, and is an a quittance under their hands to the honour of God, the vindication of his promise which had been so often distrusted, and the encouragement of all believers to the end of the world: There failed not any good thing, no, nor aught of any good thing (so full is it expressed), which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel, but in due time all came to pass, Joshua 21:45. Such an acknowledgment as this, here subscribed by Joshua in the name of all Israel, we afterwards find made by Solomon, and all Israel did in effect say Amen to it, 1Kings 8:56.  The inviolable truth of God’s promise, and the performance of it to the utmost, are what all the saints have been ready to bear their testimony to; and, if in any thing the performance has seemed to come short, they have been as ready to own that they themselves must bear all the blame.”       Matthew Henry



Into the Land of Promise – Studies from the book of Joshua


                                          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.








This short chapter is concerning the cities of refuge, which we often read of in the writings of Moses, but this is the last time that we find mention of them, for now that matter was thoroughly settled. Here is,


DIVINE FORESIGHT: God in His infinite wisdom and foresight knew what could and would happen in the future experience and history of His people. He was and is completely in touch with all people and with all that is to occur and He sought in His counsel and laws to make arrangements for the safety and security of those who were guilty of doing wrong in relation to killing someone unintentionally, as by accident. Even though they were now in the land of promise it did dot mean that everything would be worked out perfectly and that there would be mistakes or accidents that could prove quite drastic. Something needed to be in place that would give guidance and direction to protect anyone who did something to another that was wrought without malice and plan.


“Many things were by the law of Moses ordered to be done when they came to Canaan and this among the rest, the appointing of sanctuaries for the protecting of those that were guilty of casual murder, which was a privilege to all Israel, since no man could be sure but some time or other it might be his own case; and it was for the interest of the land that the blood of an innocent person, whose hand only was guilty but not his heart, should not be shed, no, not by the avenger of blood: of this law, which was so much for their advantage, God here reminds them, that they might remind themselves of the other laws he had given them, which concerned his honour. “  Matthew Henry


HUMAN WEAKNESS: It does expose the factor of human nature and weakness. The Lord was taking on board the real fact that this people were capable not only of sin but of making mistakes and those mistakes could have serious consequences especially when it meant the loss of life. Relatives would be annoyed and upset and not always be in a place to act wisely and graciously. Judgment could be immediately asserted by them that was not right and so the need to establish in the institution of the nation in the land a law that could truly help the cause of the innocent and justice.


“It is supposed that a man might possibly kill a person, it might be his own child or dearest friend, unawares and unwittingly Jos 20:3, not only whom he hated not, but whom he truly loved beforetime (Jos 20:5); for the way of man is not in himself. What reason have we to thank God who has kept us both from slaying and from being slain by accident! In this case, it is supposed that the relations of the person slain would demand the life of the slayer, as a satisfaction to that ancient law that whoso sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.”      Matthew Henry


“Thus we have here the divine recognition  of the difference between sins and mistakes. The holiest of men are fallible, and can make mistakes; but mistakes are not sins and they therefore do not disqualify us for the faith-life or deprive us of our inheritance in Christ.”       Sidlow Baxter


Illustration: The little girl who lovingly but ruinously put her mother’s shoes in the oven to warm on a wintry night had make a mistake, but had not committed a sin! A man may have a perfect heart without having a perfect head. Sanctification can dwell with a defective memory. Let us be quick to perceive such distinctions and compatibilities.




The fact that they are called cities of refuge implies that they were a merciful provision to people who were placed in a desperate and vulnerable situation because of mistake and accident. They knew they stood in jeopardy of life and limb and so required somewhere where they could go and present the genuineness and validity of their case.  There would be those on their trail and track who seemingly had the right to wreak vengeance. The Lord appointed the means and measures by which grace, mercy and justice should be in exercise. No one would be able to complain because of the sense and righteousness in this procedure.


Their purpose is clearly explained in Numbers 35 and in this present chapter. They were a merciful provision to protect those who had committed certain wrongs unintentionally or by mistake. Many a man of sincere intent and godly faith might have perished but for the horns of the altars in those cities of refuge.


Verse 2.  “Cities of refuge.” An institution of this kind was essentially necessary wherever the patriarchal law relative to the right of redemption and the avenging of blood was in force; we have already seen that the nearest of kin to a deceased person had not only the right of redeeming an inheritance that had been forfeited or alienated, but had also authority to slay on the spot the person who had slain his relative. Now, as a man might casually kill another against whom he had no ill-will, and with whom he had no quarrel, and might have his life taken away by him who was called the avenger of blood, though he had not forfeited his life to the law; therefore these privileged cities were appointed, where the person might have protection till the cause had been fully heard by the magistrates, who certainly had authority to deliver him up to the avenger, if they found, on examination, that he was not entitled to this protection. On this subject see the notes on Numbers 35:11 to the end.  Adam Clarke




It was to obtain throughout the whole nation and the cities were to be suitable placed thus providing immediate access to all of its inhabitants. The places of refuge were to be conveniently situated thus making sure of their close amenity to everyone.


“These cities were upon hills to be seen afar off, for a city on a hill cannot be hid; and this would both direct and encourage the poor distressed man that was making that way; and, though therefore his way at last was uphill, yet this would comfort him, that he would be in his place of safety quickly, and if he could but get into the suburbs of the city he was well enough off. “                        Matthew Henry


The Levites were the ones called to teach, safeguard and uphold the law and to see that it was properly executed. All the six cities named were possessed by the priestly tribe so anyone involved with falling foul of accidental killing could be ensured of their situation being understood.


“It is probable that it was not done till after the Levites had their portion assigned them in the next chapter, because the cities of refuge were all to be Levites’ cities. As soon as ever God had given them cities of rest, he bade them appoint cities of refuge, to which none of them knew but they might be glad to escape.  Thus God provided, not only for their ease at all times, but for their safety in times of danger, and such times we must expect and prepare for in this world.”                         Matthew Henry




“It is provided that if upon trial it appeared that the murder was done purely by accident, and not by design, either upon an old grudge or a sudden passion, then the slayer should be sheltered from the avenger of blood in any one of these cities, Jos 20:4-6.  By this law he was entitled to a dwelling in that city, was taken into the care of the government of it, but was confined to it, as prisoner at large; only, if he survived the high priest, then, and not till then, he might return to his own city.” Matthew Henry


If he was proved innocent and right then to really safeguard his present and future, he had to live and dwell under the covering of that city with its priesthood.  Only when the High Priest died could he return home and take up residence. He had to come under the direct protection of God’s appointed rule. Outside the walls he would be placed in a vulnerable state.


They were all Levites’ cities, which put an honour upon God’s tribe, making them judges in those cases wherein divine Providence was so nearly concerned, and protectors to oppressed innocence.  It was also a kindness to the poor refugee, that when he might not go up to the house of the Lord, nor tread his courts, yet he had the servants of God’s house with him, to instruct him, and pray for him, and help to make up the want of public ordinances. If he must be confined, it shall be to a Levite city, where he may, if he will, improve his time.


“If he died before the high priest in the city of his refuge and exile, and was buried there, yet, at the death of the high priest, his bones should be removed with respect to the place of his fathers ‘sepulchers.’ “




There is a symbolism and hidden meaning to be discovered in the contents of this legislation for the Christian community. There is a parallel to be drawn from what is revealed here. Even though we make mistakes and accidents occur, we can be preserved within the nationhood and in our inheritance.


“The people’s designation of the particular cities for that use Joshua 20:7-9.  And this remedial law was a figure of good things to come.


They are said to sanctify these cities, that is the original word for appointed, Joshua 20:7. Not that any ceremony was used to signify the consecration of them, only they did by a public act of court solemnly declare them cities of refuge, and as such sacred to the honour of God, as the protector of exposed innocency. If they were sanctuaries, it was proper to say they were sanctified. Christ, our refuge, was sanctified by his Father; nay, for our sakes he sanctified himself, John 17:19.


“Some observe a significance in the names of these cities with application to Christ our refuge. I delight not in quibbling upon names, yet am willing to take notice of these.  Kedesh signifies holy, and our refuge is the holy Jesus.  Shechem, a shoulder, and the government is upon his shoulder. Hebron, fellowship, and believers are called into the fellowship of Christ Jesus our Lord.  Bezer, a fortification, for he is a stronghold to all those that trust in him. Ramoth, high or exalted, for him hath God exalted with his own right hand. Golan, joy or exultation, for in him all the saints are justified, and shall glory. Lastly, Besides all these, the horns of the altar, wherever it was, were a refuge to those who took hold of them, if the crime were such as that sanctuary allowed. This is implied in that law – Exodus 21:14, that a wilful murderer shall be taken from God’s altar to be put to death. And we find the altar used for this purpose. 1 Kings 1:50; 2:28.  Christ is our altar, who not only sanctifies the gift, but protects the giver. “                Matthew Henry


They were designed to typify the relief which the gospel provides for poor penitent sinners, and their protection from the curse of the law and the wrath of God, in our Lord Jesus, to whom believers flee for refuge – Hebrews 6:18, and in whom they are found Philippians 3:9 as in a sanctuary, where they are privileged from arrests, and there is now no condemnation to them, Romans 8:1.


“Even when we are “in the land” we may do many things that are wrong without realising they are wrong. In strict justice the law of God cannot but pursue us as guilty. Yet there is provision made for this in the blood of Christ. Mistakes, inadvertences, ‘sins of ignorance,’ ‘unintentional wrongs,’ are provided for in the Atonement. Christ Himself is our “City of Refuge”; and by holding to Him we are protected and covered, so that the maintaining of the faith-life in our spiritual Canaan is made possible. See in this the protection of faith.”                                                                          Sidlow Baxter




Where shall I flee for refuge?

Hiding when storms are near?

Where find a place of safety, Dwelling without a fear ?


Jesus alone can save me,

All of my joys increase;

From every storm He’ll shield me, Giving my soul sweet peace



Into the Land of Promise – Studies in the book of Joshua


                                        Rev. E. Anderson





JOSHUA 18 & 19


DIVINE ASSEMBLING: The opening disclosure is that of the setting up of the Tabernacle at Shiloh. Here there is the honouring of the Lord amongst all Israel. That Tent of Meeting as it was erected was an acknowledging of the Divine Presence that dwelt amongst them and He was an integral and essential part of their life and proceedings. It was recognition of Him and that through Him there had been this major accomplishment. The land had been brought amazingly into subjection before them. It was a beautiful thing to do at such a time.


UNFULFILLED FACTOR: But there was something that had not come to completion: seven tribes had not received their inheritance. They were in the land and had known tremendous victories but they fell short of knowing their particular lot and possession. There is still a negative state amidst some very positive factors that had occurred. There was still some unfinished business that called out for immediate attention. There was still evidence of failure even at the time of success.


AN INDOLENT STATE: The language used by the leader Joshua would intimate that there was attitude of indolence with regard to what should have or should be occurring. It was still essential for him to goad and incite them to this important matter of becoming possessors in their own right. It was not enough to be living in the general but the special.


“This reproof conveys an impression that the 7 tribes were dilatory to a criminal extent.” JFB


“How long are ye slack to go to possess the land?” We find an unaccountable backwardness in this people to enter on the inheritance that God had given them! They had so long been supported by miracle, without any exertions of their own, that they found it difficult to shake themselves from their inactivity. When it was necessary that all the people should go out to battle, they went with a measure of confidence, expecting miraculous help from God, and confiding in their numbers, but when each tribe found it necessary to fight for itself, in order to its establishment and the extension of its borders, it was discouraged, and chose rather a life of inglorious ease than the possession of an inheritance which would cost it much labour to conquer”  Adam Clarke


“Men often long remain destitute of many things which is the will of God that they should enjoy, and which with the right use of means they might enjoy.”  FBN


See also Judges 18:19; Proverbs 10:4; 13:4; Ecclesiastes. 9:10; Zephaniah 3:16; Matthew 20:6.


AN IMMEDIATE DIRECTION: Joshua is not prepared to allow this slackness to continue but takes a right course of action. This must be immediately dealt with and sorted out. The land was surveyed with the object of making a division into parts/lots and each tribe allotted a section. It was time to not simply divide the territory but to unite the tribe as to its total possession and for all to fulfill their obligations. The two strong tribes of Judah and Joseph were to act not only as possessors but protectors – v5.


A WISE PROCEDURE: To avoid conflict and controversy Joshua adopted the procedure of the ‘casting of lots before the Lord. ‘ It was a sensible action and indicated they were leaving it to God to effect the final decision as to allocation.


“It has been supposed that there were two urns or vessels, from which the lots were drawn: one containing the names of the tribes, the other containing those of the seven portions; and that the two were drawn out simultaneously.”


In the dividing of the land and the possession there are some choice factors to be discerned in certain instances.




The Benjamites are first mentioned and they are to be placed between Judah and Joseph and provide a vital link between the two. This tribe was quite a formidable community and as history reveals had capable warlike ability in their manpower. They could sling a stone at an hairsbreadth. As a tribe they were closely in affinity to Joseph, Benjamin being his brother. This people would no doubt welcome the prospect of being in accord with those on the northern flank.


Likewise, being in juxtaposition with Judah was helpful because this people were destined to play an important role in the future destiny of the nation.


“the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph” –Thus the prophecy of Moses respecting the inheritance of Benjamin was remarkably accomplished.


Here is,

The blessing of Benjamin, De 33:12. Benjamin is put next to Levi, because the temple, where the priests’ work lay, was just upon the edge of the lot of this tribe; and it is put before Joseph because of the dignity of Jerusalem (part of which was in this tribe) above Samaria, which was in the tribe of Ephraim, and because Benjamin adhered to the house of David, and to the temple of the Lord, when the rest of the tribes deserted both with Jeroboam.


1. Benjamin is here called the beloved of the Lord, as the father of this tribe was Jacob’s beloved son, the son of his right hand. Note, Those are blessed indeed that are beloved of the Lord. Saul the first king, and Paul the great apostle, were both of this tribe.


2. He is here assured of the divine protection: he shall dwell safely. Note, Those are safe whom God loves, Ps 91:1.


3. It is here intimated that the temple in which God would dwell should be built in the borders of this tribe.  Jerusalem the holy city was in the lot of this tribe (Joshua 18:28); and though Zion, the city of David, is supposed to belong to Judah, yet Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built, was in Benjamin’s lot. God is therefore said to dwell between his shoulders, because the temple stood on that mount, as the head of a man upon his shoulders.  And by this means Benjamin was covered all the day long under the protection of the sanctuary (Ps 125:2,) which is often spoken of as a place of refuge, Ps 27:4,5; Ne 6:10.  Benjamin, dwelling by the temple of God, dwelt in safety by him. Note, It is a happy thing to be in the neighbourhood of the temple. This situation of Benjamin, it is likely, was the only thing that kept that tribe in adherence with Judah to the divine institutions, when the other ten tribes apostatized. Those have corrupt and wicked hearts indeed who, the nearer they are to the church, are so much the further from God. “     Matthew Henry


“Between his shoulders; as a father bears a child upon his shoulders.  God would be near him and protect him.”


It is a great blessing to enjoy religious privileges, and dwell near the house of the Lord; and those who delight in worshipping him on earth are preparing for the worship of heaven.




It was to be something different for the tribe of Simeon. This people were to take their lot out of the tribe of Judah. They had such a mammoth piece of territory and they would not be able to rightly possess it all with any complete success. This great tribe would have to reveal a spirit of grace and generosity and allow the taking over of a large tract of their inheritance. It wasn’t to be a threat but a sensible harmonization for the good and benefit of all. It was imperative they develop the fact of brotherhood and unity so that together they could fulfill Jehovah’s desire and design.




It was to be something different for the Danites. Whilst they were grateful for what had been given they realized it was in adequate. Something further would have to be done to accommodate their dreams and destiny. There is definite indication that the place kind of put limits on them and they were not of that mind and spirit.


4/. A WORTHY EXAMPLE – 19:49-50


Before this account of the dividing of the land is solemnly closed up, in the last verse, which intimates that the thing was done to the satisfaction of all, here is an account of the particular inheritance assigned to Joshua.


This is a very sacred record of what happened to the man who had served the Lord so well and the people of God. It is apparent that he did not rest until all the others had gained their possessions and then he felt entitled to go for his own inheritance. From this it is gathered he set the example and tone for all his compatriots.


1. He was last served, though the eldest and greatest man of all Israel, and who, having commanded in the conquest of Canaan, might have demanded the first settlement in it for himself and his family. But he would make it to appear that in all he did he sought the good of his country, and not any private interest of his own. He was content to be unfixed till he saw them all settled; and herein is a great example to all in public places to prefer the common welfare before their particular satisfaction. Let the public be first served.


2. He had his lot according to the word of the Lord. It is probable that, when God by Moses told Caleb what inheritance he should have – Joshua 14:9, he gave the like promise to Joshua, which he had an eye to in making his election: this made his portion doubly pleasant, that he had it, not as the rest by common providence, but by special promise.


3. He chose it in Mount Ephraim, which belonged to his own tribe, with which he thereby put himself in common, when he might by prerogative have chosen his inheritance in some other tribe, as suppose that of Judah, and thereby have distinguished himself from them. Let no man’s preferment or honour make him ashamed of his family or country, or estrange him from it. The tabernacle was set up in the lot of Ephraim, and Joshua would forecast not to be far from that.


4. The children of Israel are said to give it to him – Johua 19:49, which bespeaks his humility, that he would not take it to himself without the people’s consent and approbation, as if he would thereby own himself, though major singular–greater than any one, yet minor universally than the whole assemblage, and would hold even the estate of his family, under God, by the grant of the people.


5. It was a city that must be built before it was fit to be dwelt in. While others dwelt in houses which they built not, Joshua must erect for himself (that he might be a pattern of industry and contentment with mean things) such buildings as he could hastily run up, without curiosity or magnificence. Our Lord Jesus thus came and dwelt among us, not in pomp but poverty, providing rest for us, yet himself not having where to lay his head. Even Christ pleased not himself.




A completed task: –v52. Note that the whole matter was voiced at the door of the Tabernacle and was drawn to a satisfactory conclusion there. The whole matter was enacted with the eye and superintendence of the Lord. It was essential to have His approval and sanction. It was now up to each tribe and each family within each tribe to possesses and function within their given heritage.


Into the Land of Promise – studies from the book of Joshua


                                    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.








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.




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.




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.




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.




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.



Into the Land of Promise – studies in the book of Joshua


                                        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.








ATTAINMENT: It is good to read that Israel had made it not only to the Promised Land but were now actually in it as conquerors and possessors. As Joshua was to point out there “had not failed any of God’s promise.” What had been assured centuries passes had come into being. It was no wild fantasy or vain imagination: the thing had happened in spite of all the difficulties. The faithfulness and goodness of Jehovah had been very much in evidence and they had every reason to show their appreciation to Him for bringing all into effect.


PROBLEM: From v10 it becomes apparent that there is a failure to accomplish all the divine design. The enemy had not been completely dealt with. There was an element still around and abroad and so it is gathered from this fact that there was a falling short of their mission. They had certainly achieved a magnificent front in dealing with the majority but there were the remains of a minority. The Israelites had come to a place of seeming invincibility but then stopped short at this point of carrying out a full execution of the opposition.


PROGRAM: it looks as if the program was altered to accommodate the minority – Judges 1:28, 30, 34, 35. The enemy was made to serve in a tributary role. They became, for a time, serfs and made to live in bondage to the new ruler, Israel. It seems that God’s People came to the point of limitation and accepted this status quo of affairs. What lessons are to be deduced from this?




The first thing that seems to come through is that God’s People had lost sight of the Lord’s intention and program and also of His omnipotence. He who had shown His almightiness in Egypt, the Wilderness and even in their entrance into Canaan was surely with them to see the whole issue through. The fact that they had dealt with the majority ought to have inspired them to deal with the minority. No one and nothing should stand against them. All should fall. The land needed to be purged of all the idolaters and false worshippers. What had happened at Jericho should have continued unabated so that the land was utterly free from enemies. But it seems that Israel changed in their attitude and thinking. The will to fight and see the thing right through was absent.




There is no doubt this was a mistake as history was to prove. Settling for this kind of situation was not in their ultimate interest and good. It may have seemed okay for the time but the sign was that it was a major blunder. Whilst they were in a possessing mind and mood it would have been better to finish the job. There is no indication that they sought the Lord about this issue, if they had done so they would have obtained his mind and favour. Stopping short is always a mistake and has to be guarded against.




Whilst being in a strong condition they express a token of weakness. Never could their spirits been so strong and yet, there is the manifestation of giving way to the opposition. There is certainly a paramount lesson to be learned here because it is oft repeated throughout the history of Christendom. When apparently in an invulnerable state there appears cracks. So many at their strongest hour have suddenly exposed a weakness that one never thought would be. At the time of conquest there has to be a spiritual watchfulness abroad.


Illustration: David at the strength of his power and victories is suddenly brought down morally and an awful price had to be paid.




This is always a present and prevailing factor when involved with God and His purposes and it was evident then. They decided to let a certain amount of their enemies to exist by their side and cause them to pour into their immediate revenue. Surely there could be no harm in permitting them to contribute to their well being and prosperity. The plan and procedure looked wise, sensible and profitable. After all, hadn’t they been similarly placed in Egypt. They had worked and slaved to the advantage of the Egyptians so why shouldn’t they benefit from a like working.


But what they did was to give way to that which was not in the perfect plan of God for their life, faith and worship. Toleration may seem to be okay at times but there must be awareness that it is not compromising the divine will. It is easy to conform and take the easy way out at times because the other route makes more demands and is more costly. Of course, there was the need to get settled down and be truly established, but could this really take place with enemies still around. They may pay their tribute but inwardly they would be grieve and be determined if opportunity was forthcoming in the future to reverse the scene.



Whether the Israelites realized it or not, these people would become thorns in their sides and a threat to their peace and prosperity. The fact that they did not drive them out gave intimation that in the days ahead they would become a problem. It wasn’t good that they should be there because of their pagan practices and the possibility of resorting to their ways. This is what precisely happened as the book of Judges revealed – chapter 3:1-8. They began to fall foul of the deceptive tactics of evil and so suffered.




It is imperative to know the full extent of God’s will on the subject of possession. The indications are that the Lord’s will is that the enemy should be completely driven out – Mark 5.


The enemy having been driven out then the Lord must occupy the life and be in full control – Matthew 12: 43-45.






Into the Promised Land – studies in the book of Joshua


                                           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.








IMPORTANT MINISTRY: One of the vital things in life is to have the capacity to inspire others in a positive fashion and to effect good through it. All, at some time or other, must have been both stirred and spurred by the character and feats of others and as a consequence been able to become a better person and achieved more in certain areas. This is a role that must be fulfilled so that we are not only blessed and fulfilled ourselves but we leave a legacy that gets other people quickened and moving in the right direction and accomplishing great things.


Illustration:  Hebrews 11 is a chapter that reveals people who were inspired in their day and succeeded and so now act as a goad to others in a helpful manner.         


NUMEROUS MEANS: There a varied ways and means by which others can be moved and motivated to do things not normally done. There is little doubt that if God is in the life of a person and He is allowed full sway then inspiration will flow and much will be brought to pass of a wonderful nature and order. This chapter throws up both a tribe and three people from that tribe who contributed greatly in various ways to beget this mind and heart flow of power and success.


ULTIMATE EFFECT: The conclusion of inspiration is noted in some growth and extension in some matter and issue. There is never any stalemate when it is present and permitted its action. There is no limit to what can be when divine inspiration gets inside and begins to rule.




It is observed what occurs when a body of people become imbued by a great spirit and commitment. It seems that she became the leading tribe in Israel especially in the matter of possession. Her territory looks to be quite considerable and the Lord must have believed she was capable of taking it. The forecast by Jacob in Genesis 49 appears to indicate that this tribe would excel and become notable amongst Israel. It is always a fantastic thing when prophecy comes to fulfillment. When they placed in their respective camps after their deliverance, it is Judah that is to head the march – Numbers 2:3,9. They were a real fighting force and served to give nerve, courage and strength to the rest of God’s people.




He became the one who took on a tremendous task of conquering the giants. The three sons of Anak were monsters of humanity but he was in no way intimidated by their presence and size. This colossal trio was a test of his faith and stamina and he did not wilt by their sight and strength. He would go down in the record book as victor in spite of what stood in the way. He was a man who was always on the march, giving an impressive lead to his immediate family and kinsfolk. This type of person is required today, the individual who is ready to take on the impossible and see it through to a satisfactory conclusion.

Illustration:  Winston Churchill, General Montgomery




It is always a gratifying thing to see the up and coming ones beginning to catch the vision and inspiration. There was at least one person around who had been affected by the sight and success of Caleb. The older man comes to Kir-jath-se-pher but does not go in and take it but issues a challenge. He is desirous of seeing others rise up and become valiant and victorious. His spirit needs to be born in others so that there are successors who are not afraid to get on with the job of possession. It was not as though he had had enough but the time had come for more conquerors. He offers a very interesting prize to the one that would take the lead and conquer this place. His nephew, Othniel, hears it and without delay moves in and follows the example that had been set. He wanted to obtain his bride in this fashion and it would be an unforgettable moment for them both. Father and son-in-law would become uniquely bonded together as a result of this success.




Caleb’s spirit appears to rise within his daughter. She senses that there is something more than she needs to possess for good and prosperity. Achsah goes to her father with her desire and makes an intense plea for a rich blessing at his hand. She was not only satisfied with her husband and land: she required springs of water. Her father reacts in positive fashion and bestows on her a double portion. The woman was first filled with the inspired thought of being a possessor and then had the pleasure of seeing these two springs of water from the lower and higher regions becoming her rights. Everything was theirs so that they could become fruitful and prosperous within the land. They were going to make a go of their new acquisition and so be able to pass on the divine inspiration to the next generation. What a testimony they would be able to pass on to their successors as they recited how the territory had become theirs.




There were some great people that were associated with the tribe of Judah that followed in the wake of divine inspiration: Boaz, Ruth, David and above all Jesus Christ. He is referred to as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And what life and inspiration He has birthed through His advent, life and work! There is no one better than He qualified to give such a dynamic lead to life in everything. No wonder the writer to the Hebrews 12:2 calls everyone to “Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith.” He rises above that have ever proceeded from Judah’s line to quicken the faith, vision and dynamic for character and exploits.



Time ought to be spent in profitable musing on those that have left an inspired witness behind. Much good is inwardly wrought as thought is given over to this type of exercise. It helps in clarifying one’s own life and position, putting things in true perspective and then in engendering wholesome inspiration and motivation.


The will should be present to do something that is not only memorable but to awaken in others that are following on to succeed in similar fashion. Opportunity must be seized in this connection. Others must rise and thank the Lord for your contribution to their achievement for good and God’s glory.



Into the Promised Land – studies in the book of Joshua


                                           Rev. E. Anderson







EXAMPLE: It seemed inevitable that Caleb should be singled out from Israel’s ranks with regard to being a possessor. He is the only one around Joshua’s age that finds it into the Promised Land, so he must have stood out amongst the people of his day and generation. This older guy, by the sheer weight of his life, accomplishment and testimony is in the sacred record as being a pattern of what being a possessor is all about. What is stated serves as an inspiration to Christendom today.


EXPERIENCE: He went through many varied crises and difficulties like the rest of the Israelites but he comes out on top. Instead of suffering defeat, as many did in his day, he turned out to be a choice winner and a real success story. He was not afraid to put his faith and life down on the line at a vital time, and through such, became a man to be considered and emulated. It would quite easy to have been squeezed into the general attitude and spirit of those around, but Caleb was of a different kind of person and knew what he wanted to be and where he wanted to go. He had vision, passion and determination within his being to face up to the God-given opportunity of the hour and make it count for God’s glory and his own blessedness.


EXCELLENCE: All that is recorded about him is of an excellent order and character. One could write excellence over his life and endeavours. There was nothing demeaning at all concerning him. A quality man with a quality of desire and will to succeed in fulfilling the Lord’s expectations. Permeating and pulsating at all times within his being was this will to make good and to do it in excellent style. The passage of time, and the circumstances that he passed through of an adverse nature, in no way lessened his objective.


It is possible to trace the factors that caused him to become this well-known character who rose to true spiritual fame. It was




Here he is speaking to his colleague and friend, Joshua, making known to him what the man of God had stated in sacred promise over forty years previously. He had not forgotten, for one moment, what had been assured and as he believed it then it was not only still existent in his mind and heart, it was stronger than ever. Moses had spoken the Lord’s intention into his life and now was the time for realization




He is also conscious of an event and experience that had occurred a generation ago. He, along with Joshua, had brought back a positive report that he wholly believed in his heart and this had not died within him. Right from the start he knew the Land of Promise was for possession, and this conviction became stronger the older he became.




The major statement made on three occasions is that “he wholly followed the Lord.”  There had been no deviation from this. What filled his vision and dominated his procedure of life was his personal awareness and devotion to the Lord. All the other came into focus and fulfillment because of this vital pursuit.




The 45 years that had gone by saw no deterioration in his faith and steadfastness even though he witnessed the decease of so many. All kinds of things happened in the wilderness era but nothing and no one could frustrate what the Lord had in mind for him.




He maintained a vigorousness of spirit that enabled him to say at 85 that he was ready for major enterprise. For him, there was no retirement only greater involvement and engagement to secure the possession the Lord had in mind. The challenge and contest before him were the Anakims, the giants. He was not afraid of them and saw the principal place, Kirjatharba taken. The place had to be renamed Hebron.




There were no pretensions about this man. He knew all the way through that the Lord had been with him and even now claimed and stood in this assurance. The future could be faced with another great undertaking  that would mean triumph because Jehovah was still around and in charge to effect victory.




One of the concluding factors is to see Joshua the anointed leader imparting further blessing on him – v13. This act must have thrilled him and made him realize more than ever that there would be success to the further mission. He was ready to receive all that the Lord would give him in order to advance the purpose of God in a greater move forward.


Caleb’s kinfolk and people would see what the Lord could do with one who was imbued and inspired by and with the Lord. His example should serve Christendom today in its attitudes and exploits.


Into the Promised Land – studies in the book of Joshua


                                         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.









SPEAKER: It is good to note that the Lord was still on the scene after they had entered the land and conquered so much. In no way was He going to leave Joshua or the people but still seek to impact their lives and future in a definite way. He could see what they couldn’t see and had hopes for them beyond any considerations they may have had. This expresses His mind and heart and total commitment to their progress and blessedness and affirms He wanted this nation to reach its maximum in and through Himself. As far as He was concerned, there was to be no standing still or stopping short. He is a very enterprising God and longs that His people ever be full of enterprise.


HEARER: The Lord is speaking to Joshua at a late stage in his life and ministry. This shows that he had not been dispatched with because of years but expresses the truth of the honour that this man had with Him and with the people.  He was still in the position where he was tuned into Jehovah and was ready to communicate what He had to say. This trusty leader and servant of Jehovah had not settled down and felt his job was accomplished. There was this openness to heaven because he was sensitive to the spiritual and natural fact that things had not been fully concluded. Spiritual deafness was not his lot but a quickness to hear, note and respond to what was being said.


SUBJECT: The subject matter on the Lord’s agenda was more progress and success. No matter how far they had come, in spite of all that had been wrought and brought to pass, the realization had to be present that there was much more to be done and the inheritance fully possessed – v1. It was He that was calling the leader and people to attention to this factor. They must not get used to the present situation and settle for second best. Such could be dangerous and unfulfilling.




It is good that the Lord is speaking on such an issue because it needed to be said. He wanted this people to know clearly and surely that His mind and heart was set on them being lord over all the land of Canaan and not in bits and pieces. It was ever in His eternal counsel and purpose that His people should have no rivals in the land, those that would continually be thorns in their side and make their situation untenable at times. How imperative it was that they get it as a firm conviction from him that they were made to be possessors of the whole and not just a part or parts of the Promised Land. Somehow and someway they must grasp His total purpose and gain His objective by His means. The danger, as ever, is compromise.




Through Joshua He was sowing and planting His vision in them. It was essential to possess His focus so on this occasion, late in Joshua’s ministry, He is endeavouring to open their eyes to see what has yet to be realized. The mission as it stood then was incomplete. God’s people needed both to be a visionary and missionary community. To behold all that God has in view and then to bring to pass all that is in focus. It is the principle and procedure of the Lord. It is the way He operates. The vision must not become dimmed or dull through the lack of interest and desire but should be sustained through close association with Him. If they kept up a true worship of Him and allowed His sovereign rule then this would come to fruition at the right time. There would not have been the long history of the judges if they had caught this vision and acted accordingly.




On this occasion the Lord was seeking to promote and provoke in them the will to effect this overall purpose. The problem that can often exist is that His people can see what it ought to be brought into ultimate being but become taken up with the immediate all around them. The focus centres on what is actually happening now and they do not see beyond the present state nor want to go beyond it. The failure is in the will. The demand is for mind, heart and will to respond to the full intention. The Lord points out the people and places that ought to be mastered and conquered so that they are not left in any doubt as to their rights. If this was His will, it should be their will and they should have the will to see His will done. Amen! The vital thing for Israel as for Christendom is to bring to pass His sovereign will and purpose. For the Church of Christ it is to the see God’s kingdom established on earth through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.




God wanted a real intolerance on the part of His people. All their enemies must be dealt with. They had known and tasted immeasurable success on this front and they must not become soft in the centre all allow the other evil forces and factors to exist alongside of them. It would not be long before these people with their wicked ideas and influence would secrete their way into His elect and they would become like them. The Lord had sought to get Egypt’s ways out of them over a long period, He did not want to have to again work on His own to get the Canaanitish ways out of them. If they took an easy-going attitude, it would not be long before there would be no difference between the peoples. Israel would become swamped with the idolatrous practices of the heathen. In point of fact, they would be vanquished by the heathen. This must be avoided at all costs, hence the directive and forewarning.




Uppermost and chief in the sentiments of the Lord is to see His people enjoying to the full the complete inheritance. It would give Him no satisfaction to behold His elect in on only a bit of the whole portion. After all, He had promised the patriarch and their progenitor, Abraham, all the land, and how could He be thrilled with less than the whole being entered into and enjoyed. To see a happy, holy people knowing to the greatest measure the blessing of the Promised Land was the ultimate, hence no less than this should be entertained.


The Lord has not simply come to birth the Church into the kingdom of God but that all the kingdom life and blessing should be entered into and wholly realized. The sad testimony of the Church is that it has failed to move into its complete possession. The challenge to the Christian Church in these days is to see what God has lined up and go for it and satisfy His mind and will.




The Christian body must be not thwarted by the size of the task but welcome the opportunity of presenting the kingdom of God in all of its life and power to this generation. It must realize that the enemies of God, namely demonic forces must be conquered and the enemies of Christ as seen in mankind be won to Christ.


The inheritance of spiritual life and blessing is able to resource the Church to accomplish its mission of enlargement. It must hear the voice of the Lord, know His mind and will and secure it at all cost.



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