Territories & Kings

Open Your Bible

Joshua 12:1-24, Nehemiah 9:22, Psalm 136:16-21, Daniel 2:19-22

A spunky child may disagree with me, but I appreciate a good time-out. Offer me a chance to pause, catch my breath, and regroup, and I’ll take it every time. Today, we’re offered a pause as we reach the midpoint of the book of Joshua. There’s been a lot of action already. So far, we’ve tracked Israel’s turbulent entrance into Canaan. And now we slow down for a retelling of Moses’s earlier victories on the east side of the Jordan River, as well as Joshua’s victories in the west. This clear summary gives us a chance to understand what was happening in the land. 

Here’s another recap: The nation of Israel consisted of twelve tribes that descended from the families of Jacob’s twelve children. This confederation of tribes was called “Israel” because that was the new name God gave to Jacob, a Hebrew patriarch (Genesis 32:28). After hundreds of years enslaved in Egypt and forty more years wandering in the desert, Israel finally got to enter the abundant land that God had promised to Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham. 

In Canaan under Joshua’s leadership, Israel was a nation on the move. We read of each king who was overthrown and each city that was conquered (Joshua 12). The conquered eastern land was divided and distributed to some of the tribes, “and Moses the LORD’s servant gave their land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh” (v.6). The conquered western land was divided among the remaining tribes, including the other half of the Manasseh tribe (Joshua 13–17).

Here we have a bird’s-eye view of Israel in the land, but now we need a close-up perspective. What about each man, woman, and child? What were their hopes and dreams? This nomadic nation had been enslaved and homeless for hundreds of years. They dreamed of settling down in freedom, safety, and peace; they longed for a place to call home. 

Sadly, it wouldn’t come easily. The unfolding of the Old Testament describes the challenges that God’s people encountered in their search for home. Abundant land wasn’t enough. Conquered cities weren’t enough. The people’s struggle with unbelief, disobedience, forgetfulness, and fear wrecked them again and again. The Israelites needed more than a place to call home; they needed a Person to be their home. And, so do we.  

What are you running to for security and peace? Or are you weary and wrecked and barely managing to crawl? What are you trying to conquer in hopes that it will define you or protect you? As God remained faithful to the Israelites, He remains faithful to us. God not only promises an eternal place to call home; He also gives us Himself. This is what we have been looking for all along. 

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66 thoughts on "Territories & Kings"

  1. Emily McGhee says:

    I’m grateful for messages like this that reign me back in. Eternity is where my energy needs to be set on. Raising my kids to truly know Him, learning and growing in the Word, having the strength to be intentional in my day to live for Him. That’s where my heart should be. Thank you Lord for the strength live each day with your Holy Spirit to guide me to live like this. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice to be able to have your spirit. Thank you Lord for giving me the understanding I have. Amen.

  2. Emily McGhee says:

    Sometimes, all the time, I catch myself getting caught up in the the things that aren’t eternal, such as stuff, experiences, my kids financial future

  3. Paula Strong says:

    Abbie I know that is hard. My son is stuck at home for his first year. Such a hard time. The good part is we have gotten closer. We had a difficult relationship in high school. Find the good is all I can say. There are ways to minister right where you are but I know it’s rough and lonely. Not the way you college life should be.

  4. Paula Strong says:

    Me too! I have a daughter with a compromised immune system and I’m so tired trying to keep her safe. Trying to block out the world. I decide to let her go to a new boyfriends house and then I get questioned how I can let her go. I’m so tired. She’s so lonely. I have got to let God take care of her.

  5. Cristy Featherston says:

    Kelly Mott-what you said really resonated with h me! Thank you for sharing this!!

  6. Cristy Featherston says:

    This really resonated with me!! Thank you for sharing this!

  7. Angelica Hay says:

    I love the SRT community so much!! I joined in January of this year and I’m just so grateful that I found y’all!

  8. Susan Crosby says:

    The passage in Psalm 136 has a repeated phrase. For his steadfast love endures forever. Such comforting words to hold onto when some days bring discouragement.❤️

  9. Stacy J says:

    “What are you running to for security and peace? What are you trying to conquer in hopes it will define you or protect you?” Wow these questions are heart and soul piercing. Lord I want to turn to you and rely on you alone. Your steadfast love endures forever!

  10. Saile Guzman says:

    All His promises are YES and Amen ♥️

  11. Amanda Bechtel says:

    I think this chapter also shows how revered Moses is to the people of Israel. Twice in one verse it refers to him as “the servant of the Lord.” Interesting that such emphasis is put on him in the chapter about defeated kings. I guess to show all the land the Israelites have taken up to this point.
    Just my thoughts. :)

  12. Cat Curl says:

    Oops that was for Abbie :)

  13. Cat Curl says:

    Praying for you. That the Lord’s purpose will prevail and you will know Him more through this unexpected season.

  14. Mari V says:

    Welcome Shayy. So glad your joining us. You’re going to love this!

  15. Carolee M says:

    “What are you trying to conquer in hopes that it will define you or protect you?” Wow. Read that a few times. That hits home a bit too much. Jesus, please help me to feel this and see this in a way that profoundly shifts my perception and guide me to see more clearly who you want me to be.

    1. Gwendolyn Vincent says:

      Amen. I pray this prayer along with you❤

  16. Shayy M. says:

    I am a new to the She Reads Truth Community. Today was my first day reading the plan. This blessed me so much! God is good and His Word is truth! A place to call home, gives us a sense of security, rest, relaxation, and peace. However, that can only truly be found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He is the Prince of Peace and the name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). I am thankful to have a permanent home that I can always go to, to find rest, security, relaxation, and peace. It’s found in Jesus Christ.

  17. Jennifer Corkern says:

    Manasseh’s inheritance was divided into “east” and “west” Manasseh. See Joshua 13:29-30 and Joshua 17:1-18. Eastern Manasseh received their portion when it was distributed to them by Moses before the Jordan river crossing (See Joshua 12:6 & Joshua 13:8 & Joshua 13:29-30). Then after the Jordan river crossing (with Joshua-after Moses’ death), the other half tribe of Manasseh (West Manasseh) received their portion (Joshua 17:1-18). Interesting that the daughters of Zelophehad were also remember by God and He instructed Moses to give them a portion with their father’s brothers’ sons. God is certainly faithful in all thing! All praise be to Him forever!

  18. Kelly says:

    It is so easy to get dragged into this world and wanting a physical home or relationships or a job/career to give security and help us feel safe when in all truth nothing here lasts. God continues to give us Himself as our peace, security, and home if only we accept and run to Him for it above all else. I need to remember this truth daily.

  19. Nancy Hoffman says:

    Jesus is my home and security! Thank you Lord

  20. Melody Bates says:

    Let “a Person” be your home. Absolutely beautiful words.

  21. Taylor says:

    The last 3 weekends in a row I have been working as a field hockey ref and boy am I EXHAUSTED. Last night, I also began dog sitting/house sitting for this whole week. Today my body, mind, and soul truly needed a rest. Outside of caring for the dog, caring for my own basic needs, and this devotion, I have slept on and off all day. So important to rest our bodies, and rest in the Lord.

    Also I love little God-winks: my young adult group began studying Nehemiah yesterday and I felt like I had so much to contribute about the history of the Isrealites from my SRT studies in Esther and now Joshua. Also todays’ devotion included a verse from Nehemiah. I’m excited to see what the Lord has to teach me through these studies!

    Lastly, I feel like I find a large part of my security is found in my ability to make money. I’m so thankful that God has provided many opportunities to ref throughout the last months so I feel financially secure as I search for a job, but after this week I won’t have any opportunities to ref for an entire month. I am claiming the Lord’s faithfulness over my job search situation. I trust He will provide in His timing. Long comment but happy Monday sisters!

  22. Mercy says:

    Amen. Let “a Person” be your home. I will let this soak in day after day. This One Person is everlasting, this One Person can provide all things that I need for He knows me better than I know myself, who can heal all of my wounds and sickness, who can cleanse me of all guilt and wrongs. This One Person covers me with His tender mercies and loving kindness daily and makes me complete. This One Person loves me and shows it by dying for me. To Him I belong. Let Him be my home. Let Him be where my heart is. He is my keeper, forever my keeper for He is so good to me. Glory be to this One Person from whom all blessings flow.

    I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
    2 My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

    3 He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
    4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

    5 The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
    6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

    7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
    8 The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121)

  23. Susan says:

    I am thankful for the Faithfulness of G-d! I do have a technical call out on the devotion. The half tribe of Manasseh didn’t have another half. There were two half tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. These were the son’s of Joseph. Their two clans together were considered one tribe. This doesn’t change anything, but it is important we understand the history.

  24. Lori Haubrick says:

    Praying for a good report and for you to see God’s hand and generous love in whatever the report may be. God bless you sister ♥️

  25. Mari V says:

    @Maura. Thank you for your kind words and prayer.

  26. Mari V says:

    @Patti Bryce. Thank you for for your kind words and wisdom.

  27. Abbie says:

    Today I’ve been struggling with how much the pandemic has ruined by university experience, and struggling with the university trying to ask for and being rejected permission to return. Whatever happens I pray that I would be content with what the Lord has for me in potentially more time at home in my final few months.

    1. Meera Valliath says:

      Praying for you, Abbie! My sister is in a similar boat, it’s so disappointing.

  28. Bridgette says:

    Heather O’Malley, the last part of your post made me think of Habakkuk 3:4: His radiance was like the sunlight; rays flashed from His hand, where His power is hidden.
    Yes, you were feeling the hand of God on you yesterday and His hand remains there today. I am praying with you for a good report concerning your breast and lymph node biopsy.

  29. Emily F says:

    “The people’s struggle with unbelief, disobedience, forgetfulness, and fear wrecked them again and again. The Israelites needed more than a place to call home; they needed a person to BE their home. AND SO DO WE.”

    I needed that line today. How often do I struggle (especially lately) with unbelief, disobedience, forgetfulness, and fear. I am so quick to looks for things to ‘conquer’ in hopes it will define, protect, and satisfy me. How often do I forget God hoping to get what only He can give. Lord help me with my unbelief and help me cling so tightly to you knowing only YOU can be my true home and only YOU can satisfy. Help me keep my eyes fixed on you in a world with so many other things fighting for my attention. Help me to give you everyone and everything each day so that I can trust that you truly have the whole world in your hands and that is where I can rest as well.

  30. Kelly Mott says:

    What “kings” in my life need to be struck down and slaughtered, in order to establish boundaries, so that I may take possession of my inheritance? God knows what is in the darkness. He reveals the deep and hidden things of my heart. Shine your light, Lord, on those things. I must confess them, so you can deal with them. Give me courage to confess. I long to settle down in freedom and peace, to be at home in Jesus. Your faithful love endures forever!

  31. Melissa Mcronney says:


  32. Traci Gendron says:

    Yesterday I had the opportunity to just rest. It felt so good. What a great reminder to rest in Him.

  33. Linda Gilbow says:

    Today I was overwhelmed with the fact that God keeps His promises. He is faithful and I can TRUST Him.

  34. Heather O’Malley says:

    @angie beautifully written. Our pastor is teaching a series on spiritual warfare. Every time we say out loud, “God is good”, we raise our sword to the lie of the enemy. From that day in the garden of Eden, the devil’s primary goal is to get us to believe that God is not for us, but God shows us over and over again how good and faithful He is. I like the idea of making a list…I just might do that!

    Prayer request update – today will hopefully be the day I get the report back from my breast and lymph node biopsy. The weekend was long, but the sun was shining yesterday (in the PNW that’s a reason to be joyful!), and it’s warmth felt like God’s hand on me.

  35. Maura says:

    Lovely words Churchmouse and Angie. Today reminded me of Psalm 91 For as I dwell in the shelter of the Most Hisgh, I have my rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He is my refuge, my rampart, my fortress, my God in whom I trust. He covers me with His feathers and my refuge is under His wings. I love this image of protection of our Father. For that reminds me of right where my heart is at home safe, loved, cared for, cherished. This home made eternal for me, for us by Jesus. Oh what a Savior, oh what joy when we join Him in glory. Our message this Sunday was what God said about Jesus, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5. God tells us who Jesus is again and to Listen to Him. My thought/focus for staying in my true Home this week, in the warmth of Jesus love. Listen to Him Sisters. His joy and peace to you all! ❤️

  36. Lisa C says:

    Thank you❤️

  37. Stephanie W says:

    I know it compares nothing to the hundreds of years in captivity and wandering around a desert, but I feel a small sense of connection to the Israelites finally getting to their promised land. My husband and I are finally buying our first home after 11 years of marriage. We have moved all over the country multiple times in those years and we are finally ready to have a home where we can raise our kids and impact our community and put down roots.
    But I recognize that a house is just a house. My real and forever home is with the Lord and this too is just a new temporary home. Lord, protect my heart and mind from discontentment and keep my focus on you.

  38. Stephanie W says:

    @angie – so good. Thank you for reminding us that the battles may physically be over but the battle for my heart and mind are ongoing. The battles belong to the Lord!

  39. Maura says:

    Praying God’s provision for your son Mari. He holds it all, that He would provide for your son to be able to return to campus. But also, that while he is still online he sees God’s blessings. Hugs dear Sister!

  40. Mari V says:

    I have no other place to run to but to God my Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve tried other ways and did not work. Jesus is the only way. And just like Patti ended our devotion this morning, He gives us Himself. And that’s all we really need. Sisters, pray with me for my son. He is feeling like a failure now that he is exclusively online for college. He’s so much wanted to go back to on campus his Christian University, Biola but just can’t afford it. So he’s exclusively online now. I am sad with him. So I have brought this before the Lord and you my sisters.

  41. Connie Beers says:

    Love this

  42. Jordyn Cristiano says:

    Angie this is so true. I have gone through dark seasons and having a written list of all the times the Lord has fought for me written out was so helpful during that time. Now, I am thankful to be in a season of rest and it is nice to be able to add and refine that list from a calm place.

  43. Omorinsola Ajayi says:

    This was a really good one!

  44. Churchmouse says:

    At our house, our granddaughters spend hours playing with doll houses and building castles with blocks. When it’s time for them to leave, and they want me to leave their things as is, they will say “Mimi, press pause.” That means I am to leave the doll houses and the castles alone so they can restart their play where they left off the next time they come. So too God commands me to press pause, most notably on Sunday but at other times as well. I’m to press pause before daily chores. I’m to sit in His presence and meditate on His Word. I’m to press pause and pray whenever the Holy Spirit brings someone or some issue to mind. This pausing is not an interruption. It is a sacred necessity. It is a holy gift. May we all press pause and press in to our Lord today and every day.

  45. Bridget Vaschak says:

    Beautiful words, Angie.
    His faithful love endures forever! He knows what is in the darkness and light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)

  46. Amber Myers says:

    Love this, Angela ♥️

  47. Lauren Moore says:

    switchfoot has a song called This is Home. Reminds me of the home we have in Christ where there is rest, peace, and joy. ❤️

  48. Ruby S says:


  49. Nicole VazquezNorcross says:


  50. Brooke Parker says:


  51. Vera Patrick says:

    Thank God for relationship of listening and repenting and following instead of the Mosaic Law of sacrifices for sin. My prayer is confession and putting Jesus first with people second to share His gospel with others. God bless dear sisters in God.

  52. Sarah says:

    Beautiful. Love this meditation on home and comparison of us to the Israelites. “Unbelief, disobedience, forgetfulness, and fear”: guilty. So grateful to Jesus, my home.

  53. Angela Sutherland says:

    Some days lately, I definitely feel like I’m just barely able to crawl, and I wonder why I’m so tired. And the things I normally “run to”, like putting on worship music or listening to a good teaching podcast or whatever, make me feel tired too. I know God has been calling me to a season of rest and literally, just sitting quietly, knowing He’s with me, asking Him to quiet me and speak to me, has been all I’ve needed. He is showing me that He is my refuge. He is my home. He is where I find my rest.

  54. Gail McPherson says:

    In Nehemiah it shows the generosity of God. He takes care of His people and does not skimp. We are His people.

  55. Jeannie Wilson says:

    I love this that Patti wrote today: “ As God remained faithful to the Israelites, He remains faithful to us. God not only promises an eternal place to call home; He also gives us Himself.”

  56. Lucy Goodwin says:

    Beautiful and needed summary!

  57. Ann V says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you.

  58. Nads says:

    ? “…the remaining tribes, including the other half of the Manasseh tribe.” – I actually thought all Manasseh was together on the east side and it was Ephraim (the other half of tribe from Joseph) that ended up in the western land.

    AMEN that Christ Himself needs to be my home, at all times…the place I remain and constantly stay anchored to. God, please help me to live this daily.

    Wishing my sisters a blessed Monday and March ❤️

  59. Kate Condran says:

    Loved the last few questions. What am I running to for security and peace? Will be meditating in that today. And that verse from Daniel!

  60. Angie says:

    The book of Ecclesiastes talks about there being a “time” for everything. The Israelites are coming out of years of wandering and battling to a time of peace and prosperity. The battles are won, the “time” is to enjoy the gift of the promised land. Yet, instead of resting in the Lord and the glow of the many blessings He provided them, instead of recounting His faithfulness, goodness, and strength…we will see that their wandering hearts start looking around instead. They think the battles are over and physically they are, mentally and spiritually they continue.
    I do not fight physical wars, but I battle daily. My heart and mind are covered with the armor of God and His true Word that strengthens our core. I do not raise my sword to cut through the evil around me as often as I cut it out of, and away from my own heart as I start to wander. I do not rise up as often as I need to kneel down. My feet step forward when my Commander and Chief, Jesus Christ, commands it, in peace that surpasses understanding, as His shield covers me.
    I do not list the battles won or “kings” in my life, defeated yesterday or today, but maybe I should. For those victories shine bright the faithfulness of my Father, my God, the One True King. Those victories, small and large, defeated what tried to put a wedge between my Savior and me. Remembering, counting them, might just keep this weary warrior’s armor shining, and vision clearly upon the One and only victor of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit who guides us. The battle is the Lord’s. He is victorious. I would do well to remember that, offering Him all praise.

  61. ERB says:

    What a great reminder… GOD is my home. And my identity & comfort space should be found only in Him ❤️

  62. Danielle Smith says:

    So often I look forward to heaven as my home, yet I forget that God already is my home!

  63. Kimberly FowlerWillett says:

    He is faithful even when we are not. This has been a wonderful study.

  64. Maiya K says:

    I am do thankful that our God is faithful; that He keeps his promises, and that He ALWAYS comes through. What a mighty God we serve!!