Day 11

Israel’s Promised Inheritance

from the Joshua reading plan

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

BY Amanda Bible Williams

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.

Post Comments (37)

37 thoughts on "Israel’s Promised Inheritance"

  1. Tina says:

    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…


  2. Misce says:

    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! :) :) :)

    1. Tina says:

      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

  3. Taime' says:

    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.

    1. Naomi says:

      Amen Taime’!

  4. Sarah D. says:

    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.

    1. anne j says:

      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.

  5. caroline says:

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

  6. Alexis says:

    I love this song about victory…gets my heart pumping!

  7. Christine says:

    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.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *