READING: Joshua 14-18
If you’re reading the Scriptures along with these devotions, you know that today’s reading is again a lot of information about land and territories. You almost need, in fact, a Bible atlas and map by your side to read these chapters. Sandwiched in these chapters, though, are brief glimpses about the Hebrews that we need to see.
First is Caleb, the other spy with Joshua who believed that God wanted His people to take the Promised Land decades earlier. Now, at age 85 but still exhibiting the Lord’s strength, he was ready to take his land inheritance. What’s amazing is that he specifically requested the land where the giants were: “Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Joshua 14:12). He was in his eighties, and still he was ready to go to war in the power of God! Caleb had been faithful to God all these years, but more importantly, God had always been faithful to Caleb — and the older man knew he could trust God again.
Second are the remaining Hebrews, some of whom did not fully drive out the enemies in the land. That is, they did not do what Moses commanded them, apparently forgetting that God was their warrior:
“They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.” (Joshua 16:10)
“Yet the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region. However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor but did not drive them out completely.” (Joshua 17:12-13)
So, on one hand is the older man, still faithful, still trusting, still intentionally and proactively engaging the enemy. On the other hand are Hebrews who live everyday with the recognition that they allowed the enemy to live on in their midst. The enemy’s presence was a daily reminder that they weren’t nearly where Caleb was. There’s a HUGE difference between driving out the enemy and allowing the enemy to remain.
Who are you more like today? Who am I more like today? A man who’s walked obediently with God and who is still ready and armed for the battle, or people who’ve chosen not to eradicate the enemy from their lives?
I know which one I want to be like. Please pray for me today.
ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps:
- Think about some older folks in your life who have simply been faithful to the end. Thank God for their witness.
- If you’ve given the enemy room in your life today, choose to drive him out in God’s power.
- Decide today that you will end well in your spiritual journey. People who end well are those who decide ahead of time to reach that goal.
PRAYER: “Father, make me more like Caleb than like the other Hebrews. I want to be faithful to the end.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Joshua 19-22