Joshua 12-15 The LORD will drive them out

From Joshua 12-15

06 Joshua Jerichos Walls Fall Will the next generation of God’s people continue in God’s work? How can we be involved in that?

This post is part of my bible in a year series.

Passage and Comments

We are just past the midpoint of Joshua and still there is land to be conquered.

13 Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess. This is the land that yet remains:
all the regions of the Philistines, and all those of the Geshurites (from the Shihor, which is east of Egypt, northward to the boundary of Ekron, it is counted as Canaanite; there are five rulers of the Philistines, those of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron), and those of the Avvim, in the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah that belongs to the Sidonians, to Aphek, to the boundary of the Amorites, and the land of the Gebalites, and all Lebanon, toward the sunrise, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo-hamath, all the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth-maim, even all the Sidonians. (Josh 13.1-6a)

That’s a reasonably big list don’t you think? There is still a lot of work to be done, but Joshua is getting old. That means other people will have to take up the role and conquer the land after he is gone. But here is an encouragement. The LORD says,

6b I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel. Only allot the land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded you. Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and half the tribe of Manasseh.” (Josh 13.6b-7)

This reflects the strange association between the LORD and his people. When Israel steps out in faith and takes the land it is the LORD who is given the glory. And rightfully so, because he is with them. Giving them strength, guiding their sword arms, feeding them, confusing their enemies, throwing hailstones, opening and closing seas and getting them to fight amongst themselves. The LORD will drive them out. But Israel needs to step out in faith. Sadly they don’t.

13 Yet the people of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maacathites, but Geshur and Maacath dwell in the midst of Israel to this day. (Josh 13:13)

Story of Israel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
The inhabitants entice and further corrupt Israel and turn them to other gods. They abandon the LORD. So the LORD turns these inhabitants on them. We are about to enter the time of the Judges. God raises up these Judges to save Israel, because they keep on failing to trust in the LORD and obey his commands to drive the existing inhabitants out.

Story of Jesus

Much later, after Jesus died and rose again he also gave a command to his disciples.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18–20)

Rather than drive them away. The apostles are to drive them towards the LORD. To repent. Does Jesus’ great commission apply to us as well? I think they do. We also need to step out in faith. There’s so much work still to be done.

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