Pastor Ken Maxey: Morning Devotion 08/09/22
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Check Lists – Joshua 13
Joshua 13:1 – ““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. ‘”
There are two kinds of people in this world, those who love to make lists and those who simply try to wing it. I try really hard to fall into the earlier group, but often find myself in the latter category. As a result, I’ll often look back at the end of the day wondering what I accomplished.
For those of you who love lists, I’m sure you are smiling and holding up your papers with all the checked off items. I have to admit there is something deeply satisfying in my soul whenever I actually make a list, and get to check off a task for the day. A sense of accomplishment.
However, more often than not, when I do make a list I’ll still have a lots of items I never mark off. My list is longer than my day, and it can almost defeat any feelings of achievement. So what do I do with that? I believe the answer lies within the first seven verses of our passage today.
Looking at Joshua 13, we read in verse one, “When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, ‘You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.’”
There are a number of things the Lord points out to Joshua. First, God points out to Joshua that he is very old. Not just old, but very old. We’re not exactly sure how old Joshua was, but some speculate around 120 years of age.
Secondly, God reminds Joshua that there was still much land to be conquered. As you remember in the previous three chapters, the Israelites attacked Canaan in three phases. First the central tribes. Then they conquered the southern part. Then they fought the northern kingdoms for several years, probably seven, until most of the land was theirs. All under the leadership of Joshua. Yet, the Lord told him, there is much more to do.
Upon hearing this, I could imagine Joshua felt somewhat defeated. He had worked faithfully and tirelessly fighting for God and for country. But thankfully the Lord did not end His conversation there. In verses 6 and 7 the Lord tells Joshua, “I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”
God clearly recognizes that Joshua did not have the strength and ability to continue leading the fight for the land. Instead, the Lord gives Joshua one last mission – to assign the inheritance among the tribes. In essence, God honored Joshua among his fellow Hebrews by giving him the authority of handing out the awarded land. What a joyful task that must have been in comparison to all the difficult days of war proceeding it.
The Lord then promises to finish the task and for Joshua not to worry about driving out the remaining nations, just focus on distributing the inheritance.
You and I have been called by God to do many things. In Matthew 28:19, 20 we are told to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” How are you coming along on that list? How many of your friends, family members or co-workers have you discipled, baptized or taught every commandment of God’s? If you’re like me, not enough. Add to this the other things of loving our neighbors, our spouses, teaching our children the principles of God, hiding His Word in our hearts, etc., and we begin to realize we will never accomplish everything God would have us to do! But that is ok. Really, it’s ok.
In the end, you may never get to check off the list of everything you have felt God leading you to do. But as long as you are remaining faithful and obedient in serving the Lord to the best of your abilities and availability, God’s will take care of the rest.
I pray you have a terrific Tuesday!