Joshua 12 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Moses the L_rd’s servant and the Israelites struck them down. And Moses the L_rd’s servant gave their land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh. Joshua and the Israelites struck down the following kings of the land beyond the Jordan to the west, from Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which ascends toward Seir (Joshua gave their land as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel according to their allotments:…)” Joshua 12:6-7
Under the leadership of Moses, the L_rd delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and led them to the edge of the Jordan. Under Joshua’s lead, the L_rd allowed Israel to cross the Jordan and conquer the major kingdoms in Canaan. Between Moses and Joshua, 31 kings were killed.
The Exodus was long past, and the major obstacles in Canaan were completely destroyed. Now, it only remained for the individual Israelite tribes to dispossess the remaining inhabitants and claim their tribal allotments.
In what may seem like a simple transitional chapter, I believe there is a profound message here, which is relevant to us: Finish the work! By now, you are familiar with the idea that Israel’s deliverance is also a metaphor of our deliverance through Messiah Yeshua. Moses represents the Law, and Joshua is a messiah figure, so now the story now focuses on our part.
When we share the gospel, the first thing we convey is that all men are sinners. The law exposes man’s sin by laying out G_d’s character and His standard. The law cannot save us, but it can draw us out from the world, seeking the G_d Who set the standard. Likewise, Moses led Israel out of Egypt, following Adonai, but Moses could not deliver them into the “promised land”.
Joshua led Israel across the Jordan, and defeated all the major enemies in the land. The land was Israel’s, but now each tribe had the challenge of driving-out the remaining inhabitants. Israel’s success in the land was dependant upon their willingness to trust G_d to go before them…not as a nation, but as individual tribes. G_d’s relationship with Israel was becoming more & more personal: Mixed multitude leaves Egypt; Israel takes its national inheritance; independent tribes pursue their personal allotments.
In a similar way, Yeshua defeated the major enemies of mankind, death and sin. Salvation is completely by Grace through Faith in Yeshua. Yet enemies remain in the form of our “former inhabitants”, aka: our sin nature. It is our challenge to drive-out the remaining “inhabitants”, so that we may fully thrive in our deliverance. Of course, G_d gives us the same encouragement He gave Israel. He will go before us and we will defeat those “former inhabitants”, if we will fight by faith!
Daily Devotional, Monday, July 28, 2014