Joshua 17:1

 

The Bible says in Joshua 17:1-12 “There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh; for he was the firstborn of Joseph; to wit, for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war, therefore he had Gilead and Bashan.[2] There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida: these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph by their families.[3] But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters: and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, and Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.[4] And they came near before Eleazar the priest, and before Joshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brethren. Therefore according to the commandment of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brethren of their father.[5] And there fell ten portions to Manasseh, beside the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side Jordan;[6] Because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons: and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead.[7] And the coast of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethah, that lieth before Shechem; and the border went along on the right hand unto the inhabitants of En-tappuah.[8] Now Manasseh had the land of Tappuah: but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim;[9] And the coast descended unto the river Kanah, southward of the river: these cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh: the coast of Manasseh also was on the north side of the river, and the outgoings of it were at the sea:[10] Southward it was Ephraim's, and northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea is his border; and they met together in Asher on the north, and in Issachar on the east.[11] And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Beth-shean and her towns, and Ibleam and her towns, and the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Endor and her towns, and the inhabitants of Taanach and her towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns, even three countries.[12] Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.” Notice in verse one that it speaks of “Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead: because he was a man of war.” It would be great to be known as a man of war. We all haver wars to fight. Not like the ears of the Old Testament because we have spiritual wars. Some people run away from a fight. It is good to be a peacemaker, but we must when to stand our ground. The Christian life is a battle. Trust in the Lord Jesus and rely upon His grace and mercy. And say what you ought to say: the truth. Do not run away from the fight of your life. Your soul is at stake, your family is at stake, and your country is at stake.  

 

Notice that verse two says, “There was also a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh by their families.” No one was left out. Everyone had something to do for God. Christianity is like that. Once you get saved through faith in Christ, God has something for you to do for Him. If He did not, He would take you off the earth. What God gives you to do may not be noticed or important as far as the world is concerned, but it is important to God. By the way, it is a privilege to have something to do for Jesus. If you will not do it, He will give it to someone else.

 

Verse twelve makes a sad statement: “Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.” They did not finish the job. They did not do everything that God wanted them to do, and it had terrible consequences for them. By leaving wicked Canaanites in their midst, they and their children and the children’s children would learn the evil ways of the unbelievers. A little leaven leaveneth the whole bunch. Learn to separate from the world, or the world will bring you down with it.

 

The Bible says in Joshua 17:13-18 “Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.[14] And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?[15] And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.[16] And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.[17] And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only:[18] But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.” One of the things that stands out in these verses is the difference between Joshua and other people in regards to faith and having a positive spirit. In spite of all the victories that God had given to them up to this point. Notice that Joshua challenged them in verse fifteen and said to them, “If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants.” He starts with the word “if.” We also face giants. We face the giants of secularism and unbelief. We face the giants of our own weakness and failures. We face the giants of persecution and hard hearts. Joshua said, “Go take on the giants.” The people said, “They are so strong.” They said in verse sixteen, “the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron.” God is all-powerful. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 28, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” If you have faith like Joshua, you will not look at the strength of the enemy, but you will think about the power of God.  

 

The Bible says in Joshua 18:1-6, “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.[2] And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.[3] And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?[4] Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.[5] And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north.[6] Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD our God.” Notice verse three where Joshua says to the tribes who had not yet taken over their land, “How long are ye slack to go to possess the land?” Joshua did not like laziness and procrastination. If you know that the Lord wants you to do something, then do it today. If you get into the habit of waiting until tomorrow, then tomorrow might never come. That is especially true concerning salvation. Give your heart to Christ today. You do not know when you will die. Today might be your last chance. It says in Second Corinthians 6:2, “For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

 

Verse four is important to notice also. Joshua said to the remaining tribes who had not yet taken part of the land, “Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me.” This is the same commandment that was given to the children of Israel before they came into the land. Spies were sent into the Promised Land in order to get information about it. Most of the spies did not do well. They looked on the negative side of things instead of the side of faith. They failed at the will of God, but now these have another chance. God is like that. He gives us second changes, and third chances, etc. God will never give up on you as long as you are on this earth. He wants you to serve the Lord Jesus, and if you failed the last time, there will be another time. Ask for forgiveness and start over.

 

In verse six Joshua told the people, “Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me.” In other words they were allowed to make choices as they went out according to the will of God. God has given free will to men. As a believer, when you make a choice, God will validate that choice. Jesus said in Matthew 18:18, “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

The Bible says in Joshua 18:7-10, “But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the LORD is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.[8] And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.[9] And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh.[10] And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.” I think it is important to notice that in verse nine a “book” is mentioned. These men were told to explore the land and gain information about it before they went in to occupy the land. The fact that they wrote what they learned in a book tells us what we should already know: writing was already common among the children of Israel in that period. Moses had already written the first five books of the Bible. Joshua was preparing and maybe already beginning to write the book of Joshua. And so we see that God prepared the Israelites to write so that each writer of Old Testament books would be ready from a human standpoint, and then God added His Spirit so that they would write the words from God. It only makes sense that God would have given the human race a written truth. That way everyone could know for sure what God said and what God wanted. That way the truth would be preserved generation after generation. Second Peter 1:21, “Holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Second Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Since God gave His truth in written form, then of course He preserved it using scribes until the printing press was invented. And guess what was the first book printed on the printing press: the Bible.  

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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