Margin Notes: Reading Joshua 17

Joshua 17:14–18 (NET) — 14 The descendants of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you assigned us only one tribal allotment? After all, we have many people, for until now the Lord has enabled us to increase in number.”15 Joshua replied to them, “Since you have so many people, go up into the forest and clear out a place to live in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites, for the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you.” 16 The descendants of Joseph said, “The whole hill country is inadequate for us, and the Canaanites living down in the valley in Beth Shean and its surrounding towns and in the Valley of Jezreel have chariots with iron-rimmed wheels.”17 Joshua said to the family of Joseph—to both Ephraim and Manasseh: “You have many people and great military strength. You will not have just one tribal allotment. 18 The whole hill country will be yours; though it is a forest, you can clear it and it will be entirely yours. You can conquer the Canaanites, though they have chariots with iron-rimmed wheels and are strong.”

We can imagine our inheritance as too difficult to attain, and thus get sidetracked seeking an easier way. But there is no other inheritance appointed for us other than conformity to Christ’s image. And there is no shortcut around confronting and rooting out the remnants of our indwelling sins to arrive there.

There will always be those in the Body of Christ (and I among them) who complain that they did not get enough, and are in more difficult circumstances than everyone else and thus deserve something more or something other than what has been appointed. Indeed, they are somehow being put upon much more than all others and should have special consideration. Not so. These are the very ones who need to be challenged to pursue what has been their lot.

And how often this has been my own wicked heart. Telling God that what He has appointed for me in life are things I do not want, and are too hard for me. The sins I have to wrestle with, the circumstances which are adverse and sometimes seem to overwhelm, the blessings I’ve not enjoyed; on and on and on. All of it, basically accusing Him of not loving me enough, or not being as wise as He ought to be in my case.

Father forgive me. Help me to see that you have proscribed for me nothing but the best in that glorious path toward being conformed to the image of your Son. That you always provide by your Spirit and your Word all that I need to face what is too great for me in the natural. Sanctify my thoughts. Correct my vision and my attitudes. Teach me how to submit graciously and sweetly, resting in your infinitely loving divine appointments and assignments. Give me the mind of Christ.

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