The Bible says in Joshua 18:11-28 “And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. And their border on the north side was from Jordan; and the border went up to the side of Jericho on the north side, and went up through the mountains westward; and the goings out thereof were at the wilderness of Beth-aven. And the border went over from thence toward Luz, to the side of Luz, which is Bethel, southward; and the border descended to Ataroth-adar, near the hill that lieth on the south side of the nether Beth-horon. And the border was drawn thence, and compassed the corner of the sea southward, from the hill that lieth before Beth-horon southward; and the goings out thereof were at Kirjath-baal, which is Kirjath-jearim, a city of the children of Judah: this was the west quarter. And the south quarter was from the end of Kirjath-jearim, and the border went out on the west, and went out to the well of waters of Nephtoah: And the border came down to the end of the mountain that lieth before the valley of the son of Hinnom, and which is in the valley of the giants on the north, and descended to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of Jebusi on the south, and descended to En-rogel, And was drawn from the north, and went forth to En-shemesh, and went forth toward Geliloth, which is over against the going up of Adummim, and descended to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben, And passed along toward the side over against Arabah northward, and went down unto Arabah: And the border passed along to the side of Beth-hoglah northward: and the outgoings of the border were at the north bay of the salt sea at the south end of Jordan: this was the south coast. And Jordan was the border of it on the east side. This was the inheritance of the children of Benjamin, by the coasts thereof round about, according to their families. Now the cities of the tribe of the children of Benjamin according to their families were Jericho, and Beth-hoglah, and the valley of Keziz, And Beth-arabah, and Zemaraim, and Bethel, And Avim, and Parah, and Ophrah, And Chephar-haammonai, and Ophni, and Gaba; twelve cities with their villages: Gibeon, and Ramah, and Beeroth, And Mizpeh, and Chephirah, and Mozah, And Rekem, and Irpeel, and Taralah, And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which is Jerusalem, Gibeath, and Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.” It says in the first phrase of verse eleven, “And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families.” Notice the word “lot.” Of course, we do not cast lots in order to find out God’s will in the age in which we live. We surrender to God’s will and pray, and then He opens the doors that He wants to open and closes the doors that He wants to close. He also uses His Word and speaks to us in a still small voice, and He invites us to ask Him for wisdom to make the right decisions. But the casting of the lot symbolized this great truth: God has a will for you; seek His will, and He will show it to you.
In each of these passages where the parcel of land for a given tribe of Israel is described, we notice the detail. The detailed information is one of the characteristics of God’s Word. These details were for the people living at that time. If there had been anything inaccurate, they would have known and would not have respected the Bible. Of course, the Bible is without error, and everyone can have confidence that every word of the Bible is true. Whoever contradicts the Bible is wrong. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
The Bible says in Joshua 19:1-9, “And the second lot came forth to Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families: and their inheritance was within the inheritance of the children of Judah. And they had in their inheritance Beer-sheba, or Sheba, and Moladah, And Hazar-shual, and Balah, and Azem, And Eltolad, and Bethul, and Hormah, And Ziklag, and Beth-marcaboth, and Hazar-susah, And Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen; thirteen cities and their villages: Ain, Remmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages: And all the villages that were round about these cities to Baalath-beer, Ramath of the south. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.” Notice the phrase in verse nine, “for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them.” In the original division of land to Judah, too much land was given to Judah, and so now an adjustment is being made by giving some of that land to Simeon. Once again this shows us that God allows us to take what He has given to us and make decisions about it. How can we make the best use of what we have: The best use of our resources, the best use of our opportunities, the best use of our time, the best use of our minds? Maybe some decisions need to be made about what has been placed into our hands and make it work better.
The Bible says in Joshua 19:10-46, “And the third lot came up for the children of Zebulun according to their families: and the border of their inheritance was unto Sarid: And their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam; And turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chisloth-tabor, and then goeth out to daberath, and goeth up to Japhia, And from thence passeth on along on the east to Gittah-hepher, to Ittah-kazin, and goeth out to Remmon-methoar to Neah; And the border compasseth it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthah-el: And Kattath, and Nahallal, and Shimron, and Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar according to their families. And their border was toward Jezreel, and Chesulloth, and Shunem, And Hapharaim, and Shion, and Anaharath, And Rabbith, and Kishion, and Abez, And Remeth, and En-gannim, and En-haddah, and Beth-pazzez; And the coast reacheth to Tabor, and Shahazimah, and Beth-shemesh; and the outgoings of their border were at Jordan: sixteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Issachar according to their families, the cities and their villages. And the fifth lot came out for the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families. And their border was Helkath, and Hali, and Beten, and Achshaph, And Alammelech, and Amad, and Misheal; and reacheth to Carmel westward, and to Shihor-libnath; And turneth toward the sunrising to Beth-dagon, and reacheth to Zebulun, and to the valley of Jiphthah-el toward the north side of Beth-emek, and Neiel, and goeth out to Cabul on the left hand, And Hebron, and Rehob, and Hammon, and Kanah, even unto great Zidon; And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib: Ummah also, and Aphek, and Rehob: twenty and two cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages. The sixth lot came out to the children of Naphtali, even for the children of Naphtali according to their families. And their coast was from Heleph, from Allon to Zaanannim, and Adami, Nekeb, and Jabneel, unto Lakum; and the outgoings thereof were at Jordan: And then the coast turneth westward to Aznoth-tabor, and goeth out from thence to Hukkok, and reacheth to Zebulun on the south side, and reacheth to Asher on the west side, and to Judah upon Jordan toward the sunrising. And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth, And Adamah, and Ramah, and Hazor, And Kedesh, and Edrei, and En-hazor, And Iron, and Migdal-el, Horem, and Beth-anath, and Beth-shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Naphtali according to their families, the cities and their villages. And the seventh lot came out for the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families. And the coast of their inheritance was Zorah, and Eshtaol, and Ir-shemesh, And Shaalabbin, and Ajalon, and Jethlah, And Elon, and Thimnathah, and Ekron, And Eltekeh, and Gibbethon, and Baalath, And Jehud, and Bene-berak, and Gath-rimmon, And Me-jarkon, and Rakkon, with the border before Japho.” Geographically Israel is a very small country, but there are a tremendous number of places mentioned in these past verses about all the divisions of the land that were made. Nothing was left out. God was interested in every square inch. The same is true today. God wants the gospel of Christ to reach every part of the world. Every community and every neighborhood need witnesses for Christ. They need to see hard workers who are honest and who obey the laws of the land, and who treat others with love. That is why it is important that each believer follows the leading of the Lord and goes to the place where the LORD Jesus leads him or her.
The Bible says in Joshua 19:47-51, “And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Dan according to their families, these cities with their villages. When they had made an end of dividing the land for inheritance by their coasts, the children of Israel gave an inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun among them: According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnath-serah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein. These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.” It says in verse forty-seven, “the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them.” We can make an application for this in regards to the Christian life. What are you doing for the Lord? How are you using your time? How are you filling your mind. Maybe you need to expand your borders and break out from your limitations in order to do more for the Lord with your life.
Concerning Joshua and the city which he received, notice verse fifty. It says at the start of verse fifty, “According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked…” Three things came together at the same time: God’s will, Joshua’s request, and the people acceptance of it. That is important for people to accomplish something together. Of course, God has a will concerning all the details of our lives. Someone prays and finds the will of God in a particular matter. But when everyone else involved also surrenders, then the best results will follow. We live in an age of rebellion and independence. Do Christians still understand the importance of following the leadership of the pastor? It is the only way to accomplish more for the glory of Christ. Separately, we can each do a little; but united as a congregation we can do a lot more. Jesus made a great promise when only two are united. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven.”
Copyright; 2019 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
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