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It’s in the Details


Picture a great nation without any land- nomads en masse. For years they’ve gone here and there, staying for long and short periods of time. The nation needed a place to live and they were about to get one, but they would have to fight for it first.

Such is the story of the Israelites going into the promised land. They were trusting God at times and were being disobedient at times, but God was faithful in giving them the land. Up to this point they had taken much of the land, but not all. Other than some who chose land outside the promised land, no one really knew where they would live. I imagine it was both exciting and stressful.

In Joshua 13 a break in the action takes place and God declares;

“Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the LORD said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed. This is the land that yet remains: all the territory of the Philistines and all that of the Geshurites, from Sihor, which is east of Egypt, as far as the border of Ekron northward ( which is counted as Canaanite); the five lords of the Philistines—the Gazites, the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, and the Ekronites; also the Avites; from the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians as far as Aphek, to the border of the Amorites; the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon as far as the entrance to Hamath; all the inhabitants of the mountains from Lebanon as far as the Brook Misrephoth, and all the Sidonians—them I will drive out from before the children of Israel; only divide it by lot to Israel as an inheritance, as I have commanded you. Now therefore, divide this land as an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.”” Joshua‬ ‭13:1-7‬

What occurs over the next few chapters would be reassuring as God was laying out the land and which tribe would get what. How exciting to hear where you’d finally call home, but fighting was still to come.

This begs the question, why did God give these details now instead of before the fighting or wait until after. Why the ‘half-time’ speech?

I believe God loves to call us to action with little information to cause us to live by faith. He asks us to step in faith, but He also provides the information when needed to give us encouragement. I think God gave the details just as Israel might have been getting tired and discouraged to bolster their spirit.

What a lesson for us. Isn’t it good to know that you can trust God with little to no details and know that just when you need the details to keep going He will provide them. Whether you are about to take the first step of faith or are right at that point of needing some details trust Him and His timing.

Joshua 13ff; Psalms 37:3-5; Isaiah 41:10

Prayer focus: International mission organizations.

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