Joshua 12 to 15. Rest from War. God is a personal God who never leaves us or forsakes us. As children of God, we can be confident that His hand will be with us wherever we go.
1 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess. 2 This is the land that yet remains: all the regions of the Philistines, and all those of the Geshurites 3 (from the Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron, it is counted as Canaanite; there are five rulers of the Philistines, those of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron), and those of the Avvim, 4 in the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites, 5 and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath, 6 all the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians. I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel. Only allot the land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded you. 7 Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.”
Joshua 13:1-7, ESV
13 Then Joshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. 14 Therefore Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kiriath-arba. (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim.) And the land had rest from war.
Joshua 14:13-15, ESV
In Joshua 12 to 15, we note that Joshua was getting older; though there was still much land to possess, God commanded Joshua to divide the land among the nine remaining tribes as well as the half tribe of Manasseh. In the verses shown above, I noted two simple sentences.
I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel.
And the land had rest from war.
God is a personal God who never leaves us or forsakes us. As children of God, we can be confident that His hand will be with us wherever we go.
As we read in Joshua 12 to 15, the conquest of Canaan was a huge endeavor; we can appreciate that from our own knowledge of war in our world today. God made the simple statement to Joshua, I myself will drive them out from before the people Israel.
God did not simply create the world and then walk away, allowing man to struggle through to the best of his ability. His relationship with His children is personal; He does not view us from a distance, but is involved in every aspect of our lives. Depend upon Him, lean upon Him, and trust in Him.
How often do we try to do things on our own, ignoring the help that is right there at our fingertips? We take pride in our own abilities and greatness; yet, is it really our own greatness that brings us success? How far would we really get without the hand of God?
God gave the land rest from war. What wars do we fight in our own day to day lives? Rest from our struggles only comes from God. Notice, that the land had not yet been fully conquered, and yet God gave the people rest. How can we apply this to our own lives?
As Joshua discovered in Joshua 12 to 15, are our battles done? Have we totally possessed our Canaan? As Christians, we know and understand that God truly does drive out our enemies from before us. Sometimes, however, we are left to dwell among them. Our troubles do not simply go away, but rather God gives us the grace to live with them. Like the Israelites, we are living in a land surrounded by troubles and grief, and yet we know that the day will come when we enter God's land of perfect peace, and perfect rest from war.
What if you are not a believer? Are your troubles over as well? From the time we are conceived in our mother's womb, our life is a life of trouble--a vale of tears. There is no end to that trouble for all eternity. Why is that? Because we are creatures of sin, we have no standing before a holy and righteous God. You may thing, "Wait a minute! I am not that bad. As a matter of fact, I am a very good person." Comparing yourself to other people, that may be true, however, when comparing yourself to God Who is holy, righteous, and pure, you will always come up short. God cannot even look upon sin!
What are we to do? The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, came to this earth for one purpose. Only Christ, who took our sins upon Himself on the cross of Calvary, can reconcile us to God. We are covered by His blood so that when God views us, He actually sees the righteousness of Christ.
How can that be? It is an amazing thing, is it not? Does that mean that we no longer sin? Unfortunately, that is not true. If you know some believers, you know that they still sin. However, in Christ, our life is changed. Our desires have changed as well. In the past, we only wanted the best this world can offer. As true believers, we desire to love and serve God, and to become more and more like Christ. Our future in heaven is secure--for all eternity. When we reach the gates of heaven, sin will no longer be a part of our lives. Go to Christ today--He will save you now!
As we think of this passage from Joshua 12 to 15, let us ponder that today, and may we live it to the honor and glory of God.