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Joshua: Day 11

Israel’s Promised Inheritance

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Today's Text: Joshua 13:1-33, Joshua 14:1-15, 2 Peter 3:13, Romans 4:13-17

Text: Joshua 13:1-33, Joshua 14:1-15, 2 Peter 3:13, Romans 4:13-17

I grew up on old church hymns. I have vivid memories of me as a child and then a teenager, turning a purple hardcover hymnal to the page number specified in the bulletin. Sunday mornings and Sunday nights, donning a dress or jeans, I’d stand up straight in the pew and sing loud the songs that would become the sounds of my faith—my confession in a melody of sharps and flats (sung mostly on key).

When I read the conquest and land allotment passages in Joshua, I find myself humming “Victory in Jesus” and remembering the pages of that hymnal. It’s a boisterous hymn—at least, our rendition was. The combination of the pounding piano chords and reverberating notes from the pipe organ made me lift my head a little higher and belt out Eugene Bartlett’s chorus a little louder.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

It felt, well, victorious. The irony is that the actions expressed in these lyrics sound less like conquest and more like surrender. Being “sought” and “bought” and “plunged” into a flood is not congruent with my idea of winning. But in the gospel of Jesus, that’s exactly what it is. To be conquered by the grace of God is to be victorious.

The list of land divisions in Joshua 13 is more than just a test of our Old Testament pronunciation skills (a test I would fail with flying colors); it is a testimony to the precise, complete, and gracious fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel. Like every other promise God makes to His children, the boundaries described for each tribe were both fixed and fulfilled by God.  

But there’s even more to see here than the staggering detail with which the book describes the physical, promised land God gave Israel. Notice the phrasing used throughout chapters 13 and 14 for each portion of land. This land is their inheritance. It is a gift from the Lord, not based on merit but on identity.

The Israelites gained the land through conquest, but only with the one true God at the helm. Joshua’s people took the land, but only with the Lord of lords supplying the strength. This promised land was fulfilled because God secured it long ago as an inheritance for His children. The same is true of our eternal inheritance—our salvation.

Clifford in Shakespeare’s Henry VI declares, “God on our side, doubt not of victory!” And he was right. But this victory does not always look like we think it should. To be victorious in the Lord is to surrender what little might we have to the almighty One. To “win for Jesus” means losing ourselves in the flood of His forgiveness and grace.  

We are His children, His people, and He has granted us His very identity, sealed for us in Christ (Galatians 3:29). The new heavens and new earth are not yet ours to inhabit, but according to 2 Peter 3:13, the promise is ours now. The victory has been secured and the allotment has been assigned.

You and I don’t yet dwell in the new heavens with Christ. This fallen world we’re living in will never have the permanent “rest from war” we’ll enjoy in the new earth (Joshua 14:15). But Jesus dwells here with us—through the already-fulfilled promise of His Holy Spirit (John 14:26). “He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14).

Thanks be to the Almighty God.

SRT-Joshua-Instagram11s

  • He is the down payment of our inheritance, for the redemption of the possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14)…
    What truth…and I shall carry these with me…He is the down payment of our/my inheritance…
    Wow…

    PRAISE BE TO THE LORD ALMIGHTY.

  • Day 11 Book of Joshua Study #TakeAway:

    When God promises something to you, have the boldness and the confidence to claim it!

    “Hebron still belongs to the family of Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite because he had FAITH and OBEYED the Lord , the God of Israel.” – Joshua 14:14

    Good Morning! :) :) :)

    • Tina

      Good morning you!
      Lovely to see you here…
      How is your ‘bundle’ of promised victory?
      Hope all is well with you and yours and that Joy is yours…
      Every Blessing Misce…xxx

  • I was trying to visualize (find on a map) all the land that wasn’t theirs yet. Pretty disheartening when we look around us (social media) and see what isn’t ours. But God, has given us what he promised. We can look forward to the day when what/who surround us will be “trending” with one prize alone…Christ’s presence for eternity.

  • Dealing with temptation again. Dealing with sin. The amazing this is, each time I fall, Christ picks me back up again. Like a baby learning to walk, the only way is to keep getting back up and to try try again. Lord you know me. You clean my heart full of sin. Help me keep running to you, no matter how many times I fall. My identity is not in my mistakes. It is in YOU. You never fail me. Thank you Lord.

    • anne j

      amen thank you Sarah for honesty, the closer I grow to Jesus the more I am convicted by Him of how far I am from being like Him. Thank you Lord that you forgive us and continue to love us no matter.

  • Lord thank you for the inheritance that you have given us and will give us!!!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • I love this song about victory…gets my heart pumping!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4q5l9FQSIQ

  • Christine

    Oh Lord, let it be said of me as it was of Abraham, “She believed in God, who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that did not exist.”

  • Keri McCue

    I love this line, “it is a testimony to the precise, complete, and gracious fulfillment of God’s promise to Israel.” It’s such a good reminder that God knows every detail. I love that His plan and fulfillment is precise. I love that word used here. It gives me such a visual of God caring about the small mundane details. This thought comforts me heart today!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Diane Huntsman

    To be victorious in the Lord is to surrender what little might we have to the almighty One. To “win for Jesus” means losing ourselves in the flood of His forgiveness and grace.

  • bethany jensen

    To be conquered by the grace of God is to be victorious.
    This line struck me this morning. Sill digging’ in to it.

  • Christina

    I love the reminder that God gives, orchestrates, determines the victory…. and what true “victory” really looks like. I also love the reminder from Romans that He calls what is not as though it is. Nothing is impossible for Him. But for some reason, the verse that struck me most today is Joshua 13:13. “Yet the people of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maacathites, but Geshur and Maacath dwell in the midst of Israel to this day.” How much fuller would their inheritance have been if they had completely wiped out the sin from their midst instead of allowing it to dwell among them? I just think about how I allow certain “harmless” sins to keep their place on the little shelves of my heart. What truths of God’s goodness, mercy, grace, and beauty am I missing out on by not completely cleaning house?

  • churchmouse

    The Philistines and all the other “- ites” mentioned in Joshua 13 were fierce, formidable foes. Surely Joshua, “now old, getting on in years,” was concerned with how this rabble of people he led would fare against them in the years to come. How comforted he must have been when he heard the Lord tell him that He would “drive them out before the Israelites .” In God’s eyes it was a done deal. Go ahead, Joshua, distribute the land, land yet to be conquered, for the land is already yours. (Imagine the look on Joshua’s face!) It is the promised inheritance. I love the graciousness of God. His reassurance that He will deliver on His Word. Oh there are battles yet to be fought but He will accomplish what He has promised. Compels me to want to know His Word more, to, yes, read Truth more so that I might walk confidently in my inheritance here and to the inheritance of heaven in my future. Thank you, Lord.

    • Brandi

      ❤️️

    • Aimee

      And along with that i just ❤❤❤❤ the words in Ephesians that God calls things into existence that do not exist! I am asking God to call into existence the hearts of my teenagers that they WILL be fully devoted followers of Christ – Godly men who lead their families in the way of the Lord! He is faithful.

    • She Reads Truth

      Yes yes yes! Thankful for this reminder, churchmouse!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Tina

      . Thank you for this churchmouse!
      …I love the graciousness of God. His reassurance that He will deliver on His Word. Oh there are battles yet to be fought but He will accomplish what He has promised. Compels me to want to know His Word more, to, yes, read Truth more so that I might walk confidently in my inheritance here and to the inheritance of heaven in my future. Thank you, Lord…
      With you there dearest…xxx

  • As God’s children, each day we have victory. We rise in the morning and hit the pillows at night and we are one in the same, Victourious, given life through Grace. Not by anything we’ve done or anything we’ve perfected, simply because God is our Father.

    When I was a young adult my Mom and Dad had a beautiful garden. Their backyard filled to the brim with flowering plants, Rose trees, and trickling water fountain. When I would spend days with them, we would gravitate to the backyard and my young daughter would be found running amuck in that beautiful place. And each time, my father, a horticulturist, was found pruning, rearranging, potting or planting. It already looked perfect to me but to him, there was always more to do. And it brought him peace, those potted trees and flowers were more than just pretty to him, they were life and respite. When he died suddenly, and my Mom forced to move, I was gifted all of those towering potted trees. We had a tiny porch in our California condo but it was overflowing with my Dad’s handiwork and while I enjoyed his garden before, when I walked through our living room every day, I noticed something in bloom, like little love notes from my sweet Dad. I had all of this emotional, beauty at my fingertips and I did absolutely nothing to deserve it, I hadn’t toiled in the dirt, pruned a single rose, or lovingly watered them … my father did it all and only because I was his daugther did I receive that incredible gift. They were more than just plants, they had become peace for me as well. In a season I desperately missed my Dad, I had a place to go, to feel near him. I just had to step outside and I was amidst beauty, I was amidst peace and I was amidst my father. He didn’t know when he was perfecting his garden that it would come to serve me in his own death. I smile everytime I think of that garden.

    God is so good that He is always gifting us. He knew when He sent His son what it would do for us and yet He didn’t hold back. Like my father loving his garden, God doesn’t lack at providing. He showers grace upon us in big and small ways daily and the biggest of them is our salvation. He claims us as His own and simply because He does, we gain greatly. Daily, we must know WHO we are and we must know our inheritance. Victory is ours!

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Claiming Victory!!!

    • Robin W.

      Beautiful story! Amen!

    • Merissa R.

      Thank you for sharing this piece of you. It it beautiful

    • Katie

      That is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Naomi

      That IS an absolutely beautiful story ~B~. Thank you for sharing it with us!

    • Tina

      This is beautiful ~B~..

      Your words…my father did it all and only because I was his daugther did I receive that incredible gift, they touch me to the core…because what I read was…
      My Father (God) did it all, and only because I was His Daughter did I receive that incredible gift (of Jesus and the victory that is mine)..
      Amen..
      Sending love and hugs your way dearest…kisses for the little ones..xxx

    • Kelsey

      Thank you for your story. I especially like your reminder that daily we must know WHO we are-lovely, comforting thought that we are God’s children. Need to keep remembering that.

  • Victory in Jesus! I haven’t heard that hymn in a long time! I came to Christ as a teen, from a family of unbelievers going to church on my own. It was a small country church, not known for over enthusiastic music. But, that hymn was always my favorite. It just struck my heart so, as I stepped out in faith to my Savior despite my family. Any time they took requests for what song to sing on a special evening worship night, I’d raise my hand and every time it would be this one. A lot of days it was lonely in this new found faith, but Victory was always mine! Thanks for the reminder Amanda!

  • What hit me, were the very first words of Joshua 13, where God tells old Joshua: “… there remains yet very much land to possess.” Isn´t this just our situation? We try to do the work that God has put in front of our feet, but often we won´t manage to finish it. Try as we might – there still keeps much to be done. How good to have his promise (v.6): “I myself will (drive them out) …” No need to be discouraged – God himself will finish what we can´t. :)

    • Hope

      Thank you for this! It’s 4am and I was up trying to organize in my mind what I might finish for God’S current assignment. I was overwhelmed until I read your comment. I feel encouraged.

    • Karen

      Yes! Love this!

    • Naomi

      Ah thank you so much for pointing that out Marianne!

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