Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rest from War

March 26: Joshua 12-15

1 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess. 2 This is the land that yet remains: all the regions of the Philistines, and all those of the Geshurites 3 (from the Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron, it is counted as Canaanite; there are five rulers of the Philistines, those of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron), and those of the Avvim, 4 in the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites, 5 and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath, 6 all the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians. I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel. Only allot the land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded you. 7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.”
Joshua 13:1-7

13 Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba. (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) And the land had rest from war.
Joshua 14:13-15

Joshua is getting older; though there is still much land to possess, God commands Joshua to divide the land among the nine remaining tribes as well as the half tribe of Manasseh. In the verses shown above, I noted two simple sentences.

I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel.
Joshua 13:6b

And the land had rest from war.
Joshua 14:15b

God is a personal God who never leaves us or forsakes us. As children of God, we can be confident that His hand will be with us wherever we go.

The conquest of Canaan was a huge endeavor; we can appreciate that from our own knowledge of war in our world today. God made the simple statement to Joshua, I myself will drive them out from before the people Israel.

God did not simply create the world and then walk away, allowing man to struggle through to the best of his ability. His relationship with His children is personal; He does not view us from a distance, but is involved in every aspect of our lives. Depend on Him, lean upon Him, and trust in Him.

How often do we try to do things on our own, ignoring the help that is right there at our fingertips? We take pride in our own abilities and greatness; yet, is it really our own greatness that brings us success? How far would we really get without the hand of God?

God gave the land rest from war. What wars do we fight in our own day to day lives? Rest from our struggles only comes from God. Notice, that the land had not yet been fully conquered, and yet God gave the people rest. How can we apply this to our own lives?

Are our battles done? Have we totally possessed our Canaan? As Christians, we know and understand that God truly does drive out our enemies from before us. Sometimes, however, we are left to dwell among them. Our troubles do not simply go away, but rather God gives us the grace to live with them. Like the Israelites, we are living in a land surrounded by troubles and grief, and yet we know that the day will come when we enter God's land of perfect peace, and perfect rest from war.

Ponder that today as you live this day to the honor and glory of God.

God Bless You,

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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