June 8 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 17: 14-18
Joshua 17:14 And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto? :15 And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee. :16 And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel. :17 And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: :18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
We have come now to the lot of the children of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. We find that not everyone is satisfied with the inheritance that has been allotted to them. Some received their inheritance with gladness but others were not so satisfied. Remember Caleb? He inherited a land full of giants but that didn't keep him from going in and conquering his part. Then we come to the children of Joseph and it seems as if they hadn't even considered fighting these giants. When they observed their inheritance they said we are to great for this small inheritance, not even considering that they may have to do some work along the way to make their inheritance broader and more enjoyable. They said we are to great and Joshua's response seems, to me, to a bit sarcastic "If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants."The very excuse they used was reversed on them. If your so great then you should have no problem clearing the forest and killing the giants. Then more excuses come, but they have iron chariots, they said. The ones who consider themselves so great have now admitted that they don't consider themselves great enough to conquer the inheritance given to them, so their captain gives them some words of encouragement for the battles and work they are about to face.
18 But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong.
Now let's attempt to apply this to our own lives. In this life we all receive different inheritances, so to speak. In Israel some received large pasture lands, some received dry dessert land, some received mountains, some received forest and so on and so forth. Each inheritance came with it it's own set of problems and benefits. We can find no fault in the inheritances given but we do find fault in how some of the inheritances were received and so is our lot in this life. God has given to each of his children different lots in this life, some are called to pastor large congregations, some are called to small congregations. Some are called to a foreign land to preach the Gospel, some are called to stay. Some see thousands saved some see only a few. Our lot in this life is not the problem but rather how we receive the lot given to us. Those that are most happy aren't always the ones whose lot seems to be so prosperous but those who have learn to be content with whatsoever things they have. I've seen rich church members be totally void of joy and I've seen the poor widow weep while she praised God for his goodness. Our lot in this life isn't the problem but how we receive it.
Now moving to the attitude we find in the children of Joseph. They felt as if they were to great for the lot ascribed to them. Sadly this attitude still exist today in some of our brothers and sisters in Christ. They seem as if they are above doing any actual work in the inheritance that God has given them. The very thought of going into a prison or a school or a nursing home to share the Gospel seems to be beneath them. They ask God for a nice church with lots of tithing members and a large salary and say if this were my lot then I would have no problem with it then. Dear brothers and sisters, please never let this be our attitude. Is the lot God has given you seem to small, then perhaps you should take a survey of your inheritance. You will find that the lot is plenty big enough if you'll get to work. Clean out the grown over forest of laziness, drive out the enemy called entitlement and you'll be surprised at the vastness of the lot you once thought to be small. Preachers, has God given you a place to minister and preach? No you say? I say look around, there's a nursing home where some old saints of God need you to come and encourage them, look at the jailhouse a place full of people, who for the most part need no convincing of their sinful nature. There are men and women at work that need to hear the old old story how a Savior came from glory. Clean out the forest, pay no mind to the iron chariots of embarrassment, pride and slothfulness. I admit, preaching at jails and nursing homes and street corners can be hard work but you'll find in doing so that your coast will begin to enlarge. Let's not be afraid or above doing some work. You reply, "Ah but brother I cannot do those things, the circumstances are to hard and I to weak" I believe you'll find the strength needed in doing so and not in idleness. Joshua told them you are a great people and you have great power and the mountain shall be thine. They would have never know that statement was true if they hadn't have went and experienced it for themselves. Only those who attempt great things for God can achieve great things for God.
What is your lot in this life? Is it small? Take a look around and you'll find there is still much to be conquered and your lot is bigger than you think.
Work till Jesus comes!!
Onward Christian Soldier!!