Missing the joy of not trusting God
Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe...As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua commanded them, “Go and explore the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will assign the land to the tribes by casting sacred lots here in the presence of the Lord at Shiloh.” The men did as they were told and mapped the entire territory into seven sections, listing the towns in each section. They made a written record and then returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. And there at Shiloh, Joshua cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord to determine which tribe should have each section. Joshua 18:3-10 NLT
The writer of Joshua highlighted the significance of worship. Their acknowledgement of God’s authority and power over their lives should be reflected in their trust and dependence upon Him. Since God has been leading them to be victorious in defeating the Canaanites, it will be easy for the remaining seven tribes to take the apportionment of land Joshua was designating for them. The recognition of God’s presence among them will determine how they will proceed. Yet, it seemed that the seven tribes were reluctant to respond to the challenge. “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you?” (v. 3). They do not have the courage and zeal manifested by Caleb and the daughters of Zelophehad. These tribes have witnessed the power of God when they were fighting and defeating the Canaanites but now they are not willing to take on the next challenges. They were recipients of God’s providential presence and yet they are still weak in their faith to fully place their trust in Him. They were not willing to leave their comfort zone so they can venture in the land God was giving them. To take God’s offer of land will mean uprooting their families to where they are, till and cultivate the land, and bring their families as well as their herds with them. It will be painstaking to do such tasks and what if the Canaanites living in those lands are strong and well-armed? There are those that do not enjoy the blessing of trusting God because they are not willing to take His offer. “Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest” (Ecclesiastes 11:4). If your actions to take on God’s offer are based on your preferred condition and situation, you will not experience what trusting God means. You will not also learn what rest means. God places us in difficult situations so that we will grow in our faith in Him.