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Late Assignment

Read Joshua 18:1-10

Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle. But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land.

Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe.”
(Joshua 18:1-6)

Reflect

Seven of the tribes had not yet been assigned their land. They gathered at Shiloh, where Joshua cast lots to determine which areas would be given to them. Using the sacred lottery, God would make the choice, not Joshua or any other human leader.

By this time, the Canaanites were, in most places, so weak that they no longer threatened the remaining tribes. However, instead of fulfilling God’s command to destroy the remaining Canaanites, these seven tribes often chose to take the path of least resistance. As nomadic people, they may have been reluctant to settle down, preferring to depend economically on the people they were supposed to eliminate. Others may have feared the high cost of continued warfare. It was easier and more profitable to trade for goods than to destroy the suppliers and have to provide for themselves.

Joshua asked why some of the tribes were putting off the job of possessing the land. Often we delay doing jobs that seem large, difficult, boring, or disagreeable. But to continue putting them off can exhibit a lack of discipline, poor stewardship of time, and, in some cases, disobedience to God.

Respond

God has not called you to the easy life. Jesus promised hardship for those who followed him (Luke 8:18-20; John 16:33). Life with God is not always simple, easy, or fun, but it’s worth it. What has God told you to do that you have been putting off? Are you afraid? Lazy? Remember that God will be with you as you go. And the life that comes from him truly is life, even if it’s not “the good life.”

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