Taking for granted so great a salvation

Half the tribe of Manasseh and the tribes of Reuben and Gad had already received their grants of land on the east side of the Jordan, for Moses, the servant of the Lord, had previously assigned this land to them. Their territory extended from Aroer on the edge of the Arnon Gorge (including the town in the middle of the gorge) to the plain beyond Medeba, as far as Dibon. It also included all the towns of King Sihon of the Amorites, who had reigned in Heshbon, and extended as far as the borders of Ammon. It included Gilead, the territory of the kingdoms of Geshur and Maacah, all of Mount Hermon, all of Bashan as far as Salecah, and all the territory of King Og of Bashan, who had reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei. King Og was the last of the Rephaites, for Moses had attacked them and driven them out. But the Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day. Joshua 13:8-13 NLT


Joshua, after the prompting of the Lord, set out to divide the land among the tribes of Israel. The fact that the land had not yet been entirely conquered did not keep Joshua from giving it to the various tribes. It expressed his firm belief that the land would most certainly be conquered. The text describes the geographical boundaries of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh; all of whom settled east of Jordan. These tribes became a sort of “buffer zone” between the Jews in Canaan and the pagan nations like Moab and Ammon. Their location made them extremely vulnerable both to military attack and ungodly influence. In fact, early on it was stated what will happen in the future to these border lands. “The Israelites failed to drive out the people of Geshur and Maacah, so they continue to live among the Israelites to this day” (v. 13). They were given the land but they have to conquer and defeat the people in those lands. Instead, “these tribes were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors. They worshiped the gods of the nations that God had destroyed...The Assyrians exiled them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the Gozan River, where they remain to this day” (1 Chronicles 5:25–26). The tragic end to their settlement was that they became like all the nations, worshiping the gods of the pagans. They did not value their inheritance. They who claimed their inheritance first were the first to lose it. They dabbled with the world and its deceitful friendship. How quickly they drifted away from God and returned back in bondage to the powers which the world exerts! If our hearts are not removed from selfish attitudes and interests, we will not be able to find the value of our inheritance in Him, our salvation. How easily our peace is threatened all because we are not willing to deal with sin. When we do not desire being conformed to His image, we can easily be swooped down and be carried over by worldliness.


Blessings,

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