Joshua: Day 12

Judah’s Promised Inheritance

by

Today's Text: Joshua 15:1-63, Joshua 16:1-10, 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 10:7-18

Text: Joshua 15:1-63, Joshua 16:1-10, 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 10:7-18

Growing up, Judah’s prospects looked pretty dim. Dysfunction? His family had it in spades. With all that family drama, it’s no wonder Judah ran away. Nor is it surprising that his problems continued to follow him.

After marrying and having three sons of his own, the generational sin and chaos just perpetuated. Scripture tells us the first two were wicked and died young. The remaining son refused to care for his brother’s widow, Tamar; and while Judah was also responsible for her welfare, he refused to act on her behalf (Genesis 38:6-11). Eventually, Tamar used deceit to force his hand. Would Judah honor his responsibilities or run from them once again?

When we look at Judah’s background, the answer seems obvious: Judah is not one of the “good guys.” He comes from one sinful mess and jumps right into another. Isn’t his course already set?

Thank God, the answer to that question is a resounding NO. Redemption is a constant refrain in the Bible: Your past does not define you (see Rahab). Your sin does not define you (see King David). Your family does not define you (see Ruth). Because of God’s love and mercy, Jesus Christ defines you. He calls you by name, and you are His (Isaiah 43:1). He alone created us, loves us perfectly, and saves us from our sin.

Judah was not doomed by his past any more than you or me. God had great plans for himplans to open his eyes to his own sinfulness (Genesis 38:26), plans to give him a new heart that could love well (Ezekiel 36:26), and even plans to reconcile his family and turn it into a great nation (Genesis 12:2).

Tamar’s trap became the turning point in Judah’s life. After he chose to take care of her, Judah returned to his father’s household, but this time as a sacrificial leader. By the time Judah received a final word from his father, it was a prophetic blessing: the future for his descendants would be long and bright (Genesis 49:10). This is the blessing we see unfolding in Joshua 15. Judah had become a tribe numbering in the thousands, and that tribe had arrived at the promised land to receive its inheritance.

In Ephesians, Paul wrote that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Do we really believe that? Or do we think it’s too late for us? Deep down, have we believed the lie that there are places God’s redemptive grasp can’t reach?

When you feel stuck in dysfunction, or hounded by your past, remember Who defined Judah and his future. The tribe of Judah brought forth Jesus Christ, the “Lion of Judah” and the anchor of our true identity (John 1:12-13). He has an eternal inheritance for us beyond what we can imagine.

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Carolyn Denny dabbled in the Navy, politics, business, and publishing before she discovered her true calling: household management. Today she is raising three boys and a baby girl with her husband Josh in Nashville, Tennessee. In those precious moments tucked between bedtimes and carpools, Carolyn loves to teach the Bible and write about how God shows up in her messy world.

  • Can you give me the scripture where it talks about Judah running away? I’m having trouble locating it.

  • I’m so thankful God defines us and not this world!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!

  • Kasey Summers

    So thankful my identity comes from who Jesus says I am!!

  • “When you feel stuck in dysfunction, or hounded by your past, remember Who defined Judah and his future. ” Powerful. That is what I needed to remember today as I woke up feeling a little down about myself and my inability to get things done (at least that is how I felt about myself this morning). Thank you for reminding me that is not how my Father sees me and He can get me back on track each time I stray. Thank You Lord, I love you so and need You always more than I can ever put in words.

    • Lindsay Prater

      Amen. SO thankful He doesn’t see me as I see me!! I can never be reminded of that enough. I am not my failures. SO POWERFUL!

  • Amazing. I love how God redeems everything about your story, including our past. So thankful that we are defined by who we are in HIM!

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

  • Lindsay Prater

    As others have said, I am also very encouraged by this today! I have wrestled with frustration over feeling as though certain dysfunction or sin is “engrained” in us. I loose hope too easily in God’s redemptive power in my life and my family! My prayers can even become half hearted so quickly. But, God is merciful to remind me of truth and hope. In light of those reminders I MUST grab hold of Him, spend time with Him, and act on my faith and on His love. Our response to and fellowship with the Lord is essential to this battle of faith. There is no fight unless we FIGHT!

    • Aimee

      I totally understand that. One thing i will share that has transformed my prayer life is praying scripture. The Bible says His word does not return void. I have started writing out scriptures in a journal for every situation i am praying over. I just grab my journal and pray those scriptures over my family. It gives me the strength to fight because they are God’s words not mine. Stormy Omartian has a series of books where she gives you scriptures to pray. Blessings

      • Lindsay Prater

        That’s awesome! I have done that off and on through the years so this is a good reminder. It’s helpful not only in what to pray but how to pray, also. I will definitely be incorporating this idea again in my prayers. Thank you for sharing!

      • Naomi

        Aimee, I have started to do this, too. I will share one scripture that I specifically pray over my children and unsaved loved ones. It is Acts 20:32
        And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

  • Keri McCue

    One of my favorite passages in the Bible is that of Tamar and Judah! I love Tamar’s story. It’s so amazing how Judah ends up saying “She is more holy than I” when everyone else is saying she was wrong. Even though her method may not have been the best, God knew her heart was to honor her first husband and carry on him name (as was done in that culture and time). Christ ended up being born from her lineage. I just love that!!!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze me, it is God’s love and mercy. To think that he could take a wretch like me is something that causes tears of thankfulness to well in my eyes. Father, I pray this morning that we would be women who believe that you are capable of doing abundantly more than we can imagine. I pray this for our marriages, would they be joyful examples of your love; I pray this for our children, would they choose you in all aspects of their lives, in every situation, everyday; and I pray this for ourselves, would we believe that we are beloved daughters of the most high King. Thank you, Lord, for seeing beauty in our ashes. I ask that we would be refreshed today with this idea that no amount of “junk” is too much for the One who gave his life for us. I pray for hope, peace, and JOY, unspeakable joy in each of our lives. Thank you, Jesus. ❤️

  • So needed this today….. Thanks SRT!!

  • Cristy Newlin

    I am thankful for God’s redemption and that my sin-filled past doesn’t have to define the generations after me. Lord, I pray for my little family now and the ones to come. Please tender their hearts to be sensitive to your Holy Spirit.

    • Robin W.

      Yes, Lord. I stand with Cristy and pray this for her family, and ask the same for mine. Would the generational sins of addiction, dysfunction, divorce and any other “junk” that clings to our pasts end now. Would our marriages be examples of your love, kindness, and mercy and would our children always believe in the power of your spirit to guide their lives. Lord, bless Cristy’s family, bless them indeed.

    • Alexis

      I stand with Cristy as well (btw, we have the same last name; I rarely meet other Newlins <3).
      Father, I pray that the sins of addiction, abuse, divorce or any other junk that clings to my family be ended now. May our new relationships be a testimony of your love, grace and mercy. May our future children follow you endlessly! Amen :)

  • I love this so much! “…Redemption is a constant refrain in the Bible: Your past does not define you (see Rahab). Your sin does not define you (see King David). Your family does not define you (see Ruth). Because of God’s love and mercy, Jesus Christ defines you. He calls you by name, and you are His (Isaiah 43:1). He alone created us, loves us perfectly, and saves us from our sin.”
    This surely makes my steps and heart a little lighter this morning, as I head out into the day!

  • It’s not that I don’t believe that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” it’s that I don’t necessarily believe that He is doing that right now. Lord, help me through believe in Your action, Your movement, Your power at work in me and my family, even when I am unsure. I believe that we see the past better than we can see the present and the future, and that when I look back I can see and will continue to see Your “abundantly more.”

  • I so needed this today. Thank you, Jesus ❤️

  • churchmouse

    Tamar was Judah’s wake up call. Judah realized how far he had fallen. It takes humility and courage to change course. Sometimes it’s hardest to be a Godly witness in your family of origin, to be seen as the changed person you are because you came to know Christ. They know all the stories of your past and can recount them in vivid color. They have trouble reconciling the old you with the new. Let’s be honest. It’s an uphill battle to prove them wrong, to live the Truth in front of disbelieving and discounting eyes. And, to be honest again, you may never win them over or convince them. They hold on to the past too tightly, too their definition of you. Their reluctance doesn’t change the fact that you are indeed a new creature in Christ. I speak from personal experience. Like Judah, we change course and keep moving forward to our promised land. Others are welcome to come along but if they do not, we keep walking. We follow Him who first called us. He has great plans. Let us not believe otherwise.

    • Cecilia

      Yes! Thank you.

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      this just hits home so very incredibly for me…thank you!!! Prayers that your day be blessed!!!

    • Robin W.

      Truth!

    • TinaW

      This was my thoughts also though I no longer live in my past, there are some who can’t leave the past behind. I now just have to trust God to turn my mess into His message and that the ones who have seen and witnessed the change will trust and obey God… ISO want to drag them kicking and screaming along with me to the Promised Land, but God has other plans, and each person has their own decision, whether I like it or not, I am to walk forward in the paths of Righteousness that God provides through theBlood of Jesus Christ…. lead me to my home across the way Lord, I am coming home.

    • Lindsay Prater

      Amen!

  • I so needed to be reminded of the beyond imagination redemptive ability of our Mighty God today. I am thankful for how God opened my eyes once again to see that NO ONE is beyond his reach or without a hope. thank you, once again, SRT, for bringing to light massive life changing truth from even a dry geography description! God is so so good! BTW. thanks for praying for my neck surgery last week. all went well and I’m healing well! thankful tonight.

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