Skip to main content
Pastor Ken Maxey: Morning Devotion 08/26/22

Friday, August 26, 2022

Borderline Believer – Joshua 14:1-5

Joshua 14:3– “For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe on the other side of the Jordan; but to the Levites he had given no inheritance among them.”

Some of you may recall one of the more humorous, but poignant, illustrations Pastor Darrell use to share on Sunday mornings. It was about watching the show Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. (Side note, did you know that the show ran from 1963-2018, and the producer Donald Meier just died in 2019 at the age of 104!) 

He’d always start his illustration by pretending to be Perkins talking to the cameras in the nice  and safe Wild Kingdom recording studio, while Fowler was out in the wild risking life and limb hanging from a helicopter chasing a giraffe or swimming in the swamps with the alligators. 

Eventually Pastor Darrell would move the story along and begin to talk about the lions and hyenas preparing to attack a herd of zebras or water buffalos.  He would note that when the predators would move in for the kill they would not chase after a whole bunch of strong prey at once. Instead they would attempt to single off a small, weak or sick member of the herd. By doing this, the lions or hyenas would have less trouble killing their prey and would have themselves an easy dinner.

In a real sense this is what Hell tries to do with those of us who are followers of Christ. Not to eat us for a meal, but to destroy or remove us from the presence of God.  1 Peter 5:8 reads, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Our passage today, Joshua 14:1-5, is the starting point of how the promise land was distributed among the Israelites.  The author reminds us that two and a half tribes, Rueben, Gad, and the half tribe Manasseh,  had already received their inherited land. However, their land was located east of the Jordan River. This, however, was unlike the other nine and half tribes whose land was on the west of the Jordan. The reason these 2 ½ tribes asked for this land was because it was better for grazing their cattle.  

These tribes became a sort of “buffer zone” between the Jews in Canaan and the heathen nations like Moab and Ammon. Of course, their location made them extremely vulnerable both to military attack and ungodly influence; and both of these liabilities eventually brought about their downfall. 1 Chron. 5:25–26 records, “And they were unfaithful to the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria. He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity.” Even though their choice may have been good for their cattle, it created serious problems for their children.

What lesson can we learn from this Old Testament story? Don’t become a “borderline believer.” Enter into the inheritance God appoints for you and rejoice in it. The will of God is the expression of the love of God and is always the best for us.  Problems always arise whenever we go against God’s will and start focusing on the grass on the other side of the fence (in this case a river). Eventually we go from eyeing it, to placing ourselves in it, and away from God’s safety and protection.  That’s usually about the time Hell comes, takes us captive and carries us away.

I know that almost all of you who read this devotion are more than likely attending church, and even a small group.  But I would encourage you to heed Peter’s advice, to be sober and vigilant in watching out for the devil’s attacks. I would also urge you to heed the command from Hebrews 12:25 when it instructs us to not to neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of Christ’s return is drawing near.

Each one of us has a role to play within the Kingdom of God and not beside the Kingdom. Refuse to be a borderline believer so the Lord can use us all to help one another survive the wild kingdom that we call earth. 

I pray you have a Fantastic Friday!

Pastor Ken 

Pastor Ken

Author Pastor Ken

More posts by Pastor Ken

©2021 Grace Evangelical Church. All rights reserved.