Photo by Amol Tyagi
The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-Shean and its village and those in the valley of Jezreel.” Joshua 17:16
The Josephites had received their inheritance but hadn’t fully possessed what Joshua had allocated to them. Years later, they increased until it was too small for them. They go to Joshua and ask him to give them more land. Joshua tells them to go get it for themselves. Their response is, “We cannot the people who have our inheritance are too strong for us.”
We can learn a few things from the Josephites:
We want blessings that will cost us nothing.
The Israelites had received a promise from God, “I will give you a land flowing with milk and honey.” Exodus 3:17 A land that was full of strong enemies that they needed to fight and dispossess. But What the Israelites heard was, “All you have to do is just sit pretty and wait for me to go get it for you.” What God really meant was, “ I will strengthen you to be able to drive out and dispossess all these enemies that have your inheritance.
We will not value anything that we did not have to work for. We will treat with contempt anything we receive without our input, so God calls us to co-labor because if we’ll work for it, we will value and protect it. The Josephites’ idea was for someone else to go do the hard work of getting it for them and bring it to them to enjoy.
We do this with the blessings of God. We want God to just bring us the stuff without working for it. We don’t want to pray for them. We don’t want to fight the enemy for it. We don’t want to believe God and wait on Him for it. We want someone else to pay the price for our inheritance.
Do we have excuses or solutions?
The Josephites had a solid excuse. We cannot drive them out because they are strong and have chariots of iron. If we can find a solid excuse for why we can’t have what God has given us, then we will feel better about not having it.
We will either find solutions and a way around our obstacles or we’ll find excuses. We will find excuses why we cannot get a better-paying job instead of finding one. We’ll find excuses of why we can’t have a great marriage instead of putting in the work for one. We’ll find an excuse why we can’t have more of God instead of doing the hard work of pursuing Him. We’ll find excuses of why we cannot go after our God-given dreams, instead of asking God for help.
The sluggard says, “A lion is in the road! There is a lion in the streets!” Proverbs 26:13 The lazy person makes excuses for why they cannot do what they need to do. The lazy one [manufactures excuses and says, “ There is a lion outside! I will be killed in the streets [if I go out to work]!” Proverbs 22:13 One thing that a lazy person has is excuses. He has excuses for why he cannot have what he needs or wants.
What is your lion in the streets? What reasons have you given yourself to justify why you cannot have your inheritance?
Sometimes, we have to really look and see where we have said there are lions in the streets because we don’t really want to get up and do the work required.
You are able.
Sometimes, what’s between us and our inheritance is formidable. What is in front of us is something to be afraid of. For the Josephites, their excuse for not getting their full inheritance was legitimate. Joshua tells them, “ 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.” Joshua 17:18 Yes, the Canaanites were a strong people, they also had powerful weapons, but, God had already given them this inheritance so they were well able to.
Maybe we need to hear this…You are able to. Even though it is hard you are able to overcome what is against you. Even though what you are facing isn’t small you are able to overcome it. You are well able to face the giants in front of you and go after your dreams. You are able to overcome everything that the enemy has thrown at you and possess what is yours.
God is with us.
The Josephites needed a reminder of who was with them. We can concentrate on what is against us and forget who is with us and for us. They just needed to remember what God had already done for them. The God who had parted the Red sea, and drove out all the “ites” before their eyes, was still with them. Whenever we shift our focus from who is against us to who is with us, what is in front of us dims in comparison.
I love this promise, Can plunder be taken from warriors, or captives be rescued from the fierce? But this is what the Lord says: “Yes , captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.” Isaiah 49:24-25 We don’t go after the plunder in the hands of the fierce by our own power. We go because God contends for us and fights with us. We win impossible battles and possess what is in the hand of strong enemies because He is with us.
I pray that like the Josephites, you will go after your inheritance and possess even what is in the hands of strong and well-equipped enemies in Jesus name!