Scripture Nugget 1.24.2017
Scripture Read – Joshua 16-20
Nugget Joshua 17:14 - 18:3
“The tribe of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, ‘Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, since we are a numerous people, whom all along the LORD has blessed?’ And Joshua said to them, ‘If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest, and clear the ground there for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.’ The tribe of Joseph said, ‘The hill country is not enough for us; yet all the Canaanites who live in the plain have chariots of iron, both of those in Bethshean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.’ Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, ‘You are indeed a numerous people, and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.’ Then the whole congregation of the Israelites assembles at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them. There remained among the Israelites seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned. So Joshua said to the Israelites, ‘How long will you be slack about going in and taking possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?’”
Devotional thought: “long will you be slack about going in and taking possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” God gives the land, God gives the ability to occupy and possess the land, the Israelites must move in faith and do the work necessary to occupy and possess. The tribe of Joseph balks at the prospect, as do the remaining tribes who haven’t competed the task – occupy and possess. Fear of the challenges, reveals a lack of faith. No different than the previous generation who feared the giants who occupied the Promised Land. Before we judge, let’s hear God ask us, “How long will you be slack about going out and taking possession of the communities and neighborhoods I have given you?” Who among us knows a family within 5 houses of our own that does not attend church? Who among us has not invited them to attend with us? At the beginning of the current appointment I am serving, I inquired about who lived in the farm house directly out the front door of the church. Was told we invited them repeatedly years ago, but they told us no, so we gave up. Our youth (all 4 of them) decided to host a hot dog cookout lunch at the beginning of the school year. They made flyers and distributed them. The lady who lived in that house came to church, 6 weeks later she was baptized and has become an active membership of the fellowship. ‘“How long will you be slack about going out and taking possession of the communities and neighborhoods I have given you?” O God forgive me for not doing my part!