March 27: Joshua 16-18
14 Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the Lord has blessed me?” 15 And Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” 17 Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”
Joshua 17:14-18, English Standard Version
The Israelites arrived at their beloved Canaan land and the land is being divided among the tribes, and everyone lived happily ever after! Right? Not exactly! Before the land was even totally divided complaints began to arrise. I love this little interchange between representatives from the house of Joseph and Joshua.
What complaints did the people from the house of Joseph express?
*We are too numerous a people; the land is not enough.
*The hill country is not enough because the Canaanites live in the plains and they are too strong for us--they have chariots of iron.
Joshua must have been extremely exasperated. The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness with God at the head. After entering the promised land they have witnessed example after example of God's hand in all of their victories against the inhabitants of the land. Yet, here is a tribe (and a half--Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh) who believes there is no possible way they can drive out the Canaanites from their alloted land. How did Joshua respond?
Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”
Is God's arm now too short to deliver the house of Joseph? Before we become too critical, however, we should take a closer look at our own lives. How often do we doubt God? How often do we believe that our circumstances are so extreme that there is no way out? How often do we view things from our own lack of strength instead of turning to our all powerful God.
Pray, today, that you will not think like those from the house of Joseph, "It is not enough." Pray that God will give you the abilty to look beyond your circumstances, and see God standing right beside you guiding each step you take.
God Bless You,