Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2019.01.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Joshua 14:1-5

Questions for Littles: Who were inheriting the areas in this passage (v1)? In what land were the areas? Who distributed this inheritance to them? How were specific areas selected (v2)? Who had commanded this? By whose hand? For whom? Who had given inheritance to the other two and a half tribes (v3)? What tribe received no inheritance at all? How were there still twelve tribe areas, since the Levites didn’t have one (v4)? How was it decided how to divide the land (v5)?
In the passage for this week’s Old Testament reading, we again have a summary of the giving of the lands. This time, the emphasis is really on gift and inheritance. Of course, inheritance is a kind of gift. It is received not as earnings or wages or even deservings, but rather by virtue of a relationship and the generosity of another.

So v1a reminds us that the children of Israel inherited. And v1b reminds us that the land was distributed to them, and that this was given as an inheritance. Again, v2 begins by calling it an inheritance.

And the fact that it was by lot cannot mean “random chance” in the Bible but rather “selected by God’s providence alone.” Again in v3a, “Moses had given the inheritance…” And in v3b, “to the Levites he had given no inheritance…”

So the emphasis here is not that the land had been taken. Rather, the emphasis is upon the fact that the land was being given.

And though Eleazar and Joshua are named, it is really Moses who, humanly speaking, looms large over this passage, being named in three of the five verses. Of course, this is because Moses was the great representative of God—the prophet like whom One would some day arise as the Messiah.

But Moses is only at the center “humanly speaking.” It is Yahweh Himself who is the great Giver in this Scripture. And it’s not just a gift. It’s a commandment. There is not just generosity here. There is authority.

I wonder if you have learned to take comfort in that, dear Christian. Do you recognize that what you receive from the Lord comes not only from His tender, fatherly affection, but also from His almighty, kingly power and authority?

We are moved to great love and gratitude by His generosity. But let us also be moved to great peace and confidence by the authority with which He commands our inheritance!
What claim do you have upon an inheritance from God? How? Who is your representative?
Suggested songs: ARP180 “Christ Shall Have Dominion” or TPH89B “My Song Forever Shall Record”

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