Neglect

Joshua 18:3
“Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: ‘How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?’”

After the great deliverance from Egypt, forty years in the wilderness, and five years in the Promised Land, there were still tribes who were neglecting to possess their possessions. In other words, the land that had been promised and distributed to them, remained in the hand of their enemies. Joshua, in a form of harsh rebuke, declares that the reason for their failure to take the land was simple neglect. Perhaps some used the age old excuse of “I have just been so busy” or “I don’t have time right now.” We know for sure, some of them made the excuse of the task being too difficult.

Joshua 17:16
“But the children of Joseph said, ‘The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron…’”

For the tribes of Joseph, the excuse was the enemy was too strong for them. As a result, they wanted to be given a different lot; one that was easier. It is almost as though they looked at the land the other tribes were given and thought, “My life is way more difficult than theirs. If I had their lot I could possess it.”

2 Corinthians 10:12
“…But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

I think we are making a great mistake when we compare ourselves with others, to the neglect of God’s call on our lives. When facing giants with iron chariots, it is natural to think, “no one else has it as hard as I do”. The problem is, that is not true. The other tribes were facing difficulties as great as the ones Ephraim and Manasseh faced. The lot distributed to them was so they might learn to trust in the strength of God, and walk in His victory.

Instead of looking over the fence and complaining about how much easier everyone else has it, we should be looking up to the Lord. We should be seeking how He would have us successfully live out the lot He has placed before us. For all of us, there remains much land to possess in our walk with Christ. That land includes conquering personal sin, bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and winning others for the kingdom of Heaven.

Pastor Jim

 

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