“The entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh where it set up the tent of meeting there; the land had been subdued by them. Seven tribes among the Israelites were left who had not divided up their inheritance. So Joshua said to the Israelites, “How long will you delay going to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers gave you?’” Joshua 18:1-3 (HCSB)
Let’s pause for a moment and consider all that has happened to Israel in such a short amount of time. Under Moses’ leadership, they defeated major kingdoms east of the Jordan. Moses passed away, and Joshua led Israel across the Jordan, where they defeated all the major kingdoms inside Canaan. Then, Israel began to spread out across the land as individual tribes.
After all the Lord had done in their midst, seven tribes had still not taken possession of their allotted land. Joshua decided to call a meeting of all Israel at Shiloh, a land where the enemy had been completely driven out. The Tent of Meeting was set up there. It was the perfect setting in which to encourage the remaining seven tribes. It communicated: 1) God destroyed the inhabitants of this land when we took courage and fought so that He will do the same for you. 2) The direction you receive today is from God, Himself, straight from His tent of meeting.
Joshua’s message was, in effect, “God has led you this far; why would He not enable you to finish well?”
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
It is almost the same scenario we find in the New Testament book of The Revelation, chapters 2-3. There are seven churches, all of which started well, yet everyone lacks something that keeps them from receiving the fullness of their blessing. Seven tribes and seven churches, each having experienced the Lord’s deliverance, struggled with the urge to “settle” for less.
This is a message we can all identify with. Today, let’s remember all that the Lord has done for us. Now, in contrast, consider where you’ve “settled” for less than God desires for you. Your “enemies” seek to deceive you by leading you to believe they are too strong to overcome or so weak that they are hardly worth your time and effort to drive out. Nevertheless, the Lord has commanded us to completely destroy them!
In the words of Joshua, “How long will you delay in going out to take possession of all the Lord has promised?
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