Day 15

Territories & Kings

from the Joshua reading plan

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

BY Patti Sauls

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. 

Post Comments (66)

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.❤️

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