Are we possessing our personal possessions?
Joshua 18:2 “And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.”
When the Israelites came across Jordan, they camped in Gilgal….as they did in the wilderness, around the Tabernacle.
For at least five years they warred with the main armies of the land to possess it for Israel.
They had fought fortress cities, five kings and their armies, four kings who had an army like the sand of the sea….they had fought and won….destroying their enemies which came against them, taking their cities and land.
Yet there was more land to possess….so the Lord told Joshua to divide the land between the tribes…and let them possess their own parcel…destroying the inhabitants…to cleanse the land.
Then Joshua and the high priest divided the land among the tribes which came to them to get…
….among them was the notable Caleb of Judah….”give me that mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day.” (Joshua 14:12)
Amazing man….faithful and brave. At least eighty-five years old….he declared “..as yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me….if so be the Lord will be with me, that I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.”
The whole congregation went up to Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle there. Now was everything set up for the nation of Israel….except…
But seven tribes still lingered in Gilgal. They had grown comfortable there….and they were lazy about getting their inheritance.
Perhaps they did not want to get them without the other tribes help….perhaps they just liked being there….they were safe, why rock the boat?
Yet Joshua rebukes them with the question:
“How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?”
(And may I ask each of us….are we slack concerning some promise the Lord has given us? Have we “fought” for it, wrestling in prayer….asking, seeking, and knocking….to have what the Lord has set aside for us?)
Joshua sends them out of their comfort zone, and three times Joshua tells them:
“Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me that I may here cast lots for you before the Lord…”. (Joshua 18:4, 6, 8).
This was an insistence….
“Go”…no one tribe or family, was to be without their inheritance.
“Walk through the land”….see what the Lord has for you…and your heart will want to fight for it.
“I will cast lots for you”….the Lord would choose the inheritance of each….whether fields or hills….many enemies or few….the Lord will choose and the Lord will give it you. Yes they would have to fight for it, but the promise is sure.
(Until we get up out of where we are in our experience….and “walk” into what the Lord has for us….we are not going anywhere.
Like Israel, we may have great memories of the wonderful works the Lord has done for us….but what about now? What about our personal promises? What about the calling the Lord has for each of us?)
Israel was to stay at Gilgal….until the time appointed.
But then it was time to get up and live in the circumstances the Lord appointed for each.
And Joshua was to see to it.
Joshua 18:10 “And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel…”
Now they were to conquer and live in the inheritance the Lord had given them…personally.
Although Gilgal was a wonderful place, where their foot became assured of God’s faithfulness….yet it was not their personal possession…for that, they would have to leave behind the first steps….and go on with the Lord.
And we, too, have been assured of the faithfulness of God by the wonderful blessing of the Holy Spirit….our first real steps in the life of faith…
….we are born again, and we have the Holy Spirit within us….
Ephesians 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest (downpayment) of our inheritance…”
And we certainly know that in heaven we will have an eternal inheritance, laid up for us:
1 Peter 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”
(Notice the personal “you”)
But we also have an inheritance to be possessed by us, by the power of the Holy Spirit within:
Colossians 1:10-12 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:”
This inheritance of the saints in light….is the grace, and faith, and patience, and long-suffering, and joyfulness to walk worthy of our Lord day by day in our personal good works.
God has “delivered us from the power (authority)of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: (under His authority)”
Will we sit still….content to stay as we are?
Or will we fight for our inheritance, and receive all His promises to us?