Chapter 12 – In 7 years, 31 kings had been defeated and their land was now the Israelites!!!
Chapter 13 — A WHOLE LOTTA land … but the battle is NOT over. Joshua is now about 92 at this point … maybe older (85 when we started the book of Joshua and we know at least seven years have passed while the people TOOK the Promised Land.) “You are now very old, and there are STILL VERY LARGE AREAS OF LAND TO BE TAKEN OVER.”
Verse 13 — the first signal that things might not go so well for the Israelites – it states: “But the Israelites did not drive out the people of Geshur and Maakah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day.” These people were pagans, in the Promised Land and the Israelites were to drive out everyone (or completely destroy any thing that breathed if they were on the “list” (see the Scripture from Deuteronomy below with the list).
Chapter 14 – verse 5 – “So the Israelites divided the land, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.” ….. so far so pretty good 🙂
I LOVE how Caleb approaches Joshua, humbly reminding him that “I followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly;” and that “Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.” Caleb was 40 years old when he was one of the 12 spies and now 45 years have passed so he is 85 … just a young thing to Joshua 🙂 Joshua blessed Caleb with Hebron which is where the greatest man of among the Anakites (the giants) had lived.
Caleb, the ONLY other man who had Faith besides Joshua, when the 12 spies went in to survey the land, was remembered indeed. Back in Kadesh Barnea 45 years ago it was said:
But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it (Numbers 14:24.)
Chapter 15 – Land is allotted to the tribe of Judah. Caleb is part of the tribe of Judah and Hebron is in the boundaries of the land allotted to his tribe. Verse 14 states: “From Hebron Caleb drove out the three Anakites – Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the sons of Anak. From there he marched against the people living in Debir… And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.” Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage (yes…. Aksah married her 1st cousin… don’t ask). As a possible wedding present Caleb gave his daughter and her husband land in the Negev with springs of water…which she asked for as a favor. …. A sweet picture of how God’s favor works as well 🙂
Things seem to be going along nicely … and then we read the last verse of this chapter: “Judah could NOT dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to THIS DAY the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah.” Ummmmmmmmm…… this isn’t going to go well!!! (See Deuteronomy 7:1-4 “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites,Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.”
If you flip ALL the way back to Genesis 12:1-3 you will see the promise that God made to Abram. This blessing included land that, at the time the promise was made, belonged to other people. Then in Genesis 49, you will see that the land is being distributed exactly as said during Jacob’s blessings. In Genesis, it talked about the Levites being scattered (they get 48 scattered cities), and 6 cities of refuge (Remember Levi and his brother Simeon killed all the related people of the man who raped their sister Dinah? … The Levites got NO inheritance at all and Simeon’s portion is a small amount within Judah’s land.) Reuben’s tribe gets land that is Desert, because he slept with his father’s concubine (see… we may think we have gotten by with our sin because the consequences are not immediate….. but our sin has a way of catching up with us.) Ephraim and Manessah’s tribes, from the line of Joseph get excellent land, for their loyalty. And Judah, who offered his life in exchange for Benjamin’s when Joseph was in Egypt, they receive the largest portion of land.
Today in our reading we have witnessed that OUR God is a God who keeps ALL of HIS PROMISES. The glimpses we are able to catch of people who have been faithful in our reading thus far include Enoch, Abraham, Job, Noah, Joseph, Rahab, Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and more. Just IMAGINE how much MORE faithful our GOD is .. to us, with us, for us, keeping HIS promises, loving us, showing us grace and mercy…. HE IS FAITHFUL!! Here is an awesome song called “You are Faithful” by Hillsong that I pray touches your heart deeply … so deeply that you see in a way you have never seen before just how faithful our God really is!!!
I have included another map with the land divisions. I encourage you to LISTEN to this reading … and as you LISTEN … locate what you can on the map. Locate the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The Jordan River connects the two. The right side is the land given to the Transjordan Tribes we discussed. Also note right above the Dead Sea are familiar names, Shittim, Jericho, Gilgal, Mitzpah.
Sharing HIS love,