Dividing the Inheritance

Wendy Blight

Day: 13 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today’s Reading: Joshua 13

Joshua 13:7 (NIV) “And divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”

It was finally time for Israel to lay claim to the Promised Land. After centuries of slavery, four decades of wandering in the wilderness and battling enemy nations, the time had come for the Israelites to receive the covenant promise. (Genesis 12:1-3) They could finally settle down, build homes, raise families, cultivate soil, build roots and live in peace.

Israel had uncontestable title to this land. God had promised it as an inheritance to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Genesis 35:11-12) But, some decisions had to be made before they could move in, and God gave Joshua the responsibility of dividing the land.

Joshua 13 can read like a real estate deed with its tedious land descriptions and boundary lines. But these narratives were necessary to affirm each tribe’s God-given right to its plot of land, to ensure no partiality on Joshua’s part and to protect against disputes.

Each tribe didn’t receive immediate possession of their land, because some of the land had yet to be conquered. Each tribe had to conquer its allotted area. However, they did not fight alone. Joshua reminded the people that God would be with them. They could go forth in confidence, trusting God would be with them in battle.

But Joshua also reminded them that God conditioned full possession of the land on their faithfulness to Him. If they proved unfaithful, if they failed to walk in obedience to His commands, they would not fully possess the land.

What does this lesson on land allotment teach us today? We too have an inheritance, abundant blessings awaiting us in Christ Jesus. Like the Israelites, our blessings are conditioned on faith and obedience. It’s our faith and obedience that usher in the abundance of God’s blessings.

Some of Israel’s tribes never fully conquered their land because they didn’t fully trust and obey God. God still calls us to walk with hearts of humility and obedience. Although there is no magic formula to receive God’s blessings, if we want to see more fruit, more blessings, more abundance, more of Jesus, humbling our hearts and walking in obedience will make a way for God to open that door. And sometimes those blessings may come amid the most difficult of trials. Our God is trustworthy and will be faithful to reveal, forgive, restore, bless and bless abundantly!

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are a covenant-keeping God. The promises You made to Abraham You brought to fruition through Joshua. Thank You that we too are beneficiaries of Your promised and abundant blessings. Lord, help us to walk in step with Your Spirit, with humble and obedient hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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