Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
In Joshua 13-17, the nine remaining tribes (starting with Judah and Ephraim) and one half of the tribe of Manasseh finally begin to get their land allotments west of the Jordan (The tribes of Reuben and Gad along with the other half-tribe of Manasseh had already been given land on the east side of the Jordan) and everyone, for the time being, gets a break from war. Caleb requests and is granted the hill country he had explored forty-five years earlier because he had wholeheartedly followed the LORD and had brought back an honest report. The daughters of Zelophehad (of the tribe of Manasseh) also request and are granted land along with the men of their tribe. However, there is still a large portion of land yet to be conquered, most notably the regions of the Philistines and Caananites. There are also pockets of people in the land already conquered that the Israelites were unable to drive out, like the people of Geshur and Maacah east of the Jordan and the Jebusites and Canaanites west of the Jordan.
What is one key verse?
Joshua 13:33 (NLT)
“But Moses gave no allotment of land to the tribe of Levi, for the LORD the God of Israel, had promised that he himself would be their allotment”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
Seeing the Israelites receive their promised inheritance despite all their rebelliousness in the desert is a great reminder that God is faithful even when we are not. Also, in the same way that God did not drive out the nations completely from the Promised Land but continued to protect the Israelites in battle, He does not take us out of the world completely but protects us in our spiritual battles.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
It was inspiring to see that Caleb was just as fired up to conquer the Promised Land at 85 as he had been at 40 and just as faithful that God would keep His promise to help drive out the Anakites. It’s easy for me to assume that growing older physically and spiritually is a valid excuse for not maintaining the same level of faith and zeal as when I was baptized 25 years ago. But Caleb proves that is a choice and not the natural or inevitable course of events.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
As someone who has experienced a lot of broken promises from important people in my life, I can struggle to trust that God will be faithful to the promises He makes in the Scriptures. There is a lot of repetition in this passage of the kings and kingdoms God gave the Israelites victory over during the conquering of the Promise Land, presumably to give them faith for the lands yet to be conquered. In the same way, I feel that reminding myself of the promises God has fulfilled in the past will help me to have more faith regarding those that have yet to be fulfilled.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
The key verse reminds me that just like the Levites, who under the old covenant mediated by Moses were not given land but instead received God himself as their allotment, God is also my portion. Under the new covenant mediated by Jesus, made possible through His death, burial and resurrection, I have become a co-heir to an inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade.