Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 19:49-51 (NIV)
When they had finished dividing the land into its allotted portions, the Israelites gave Joshua son of Nun an inheritance among them, as the Lord had commanded. They gave him the town he asked for—Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he built up the town and settled there. These are the territories that Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun and the heads of the tribal clans of Israel assigned by lot at Shiloh in the presence of the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And so they finished dividing the land.
Joshua 19:49-51 (MSG)
They completed the dividing of the land as inheritance and the setting of its boundaries. The People of Israel then gave an inheritance among them to Joshua son of Nun. In obedience to God’s word, they gave him the city which he had requested, Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there. These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest and Joshua son of Nun and the ancestral leaders assigned by lot to the tribes of Israel at Shiloh in the presence of God at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They completed the dividing of the land.
“When they had finished dividing the land for inheritance by its borders, the Israelites gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. According to the command of the Lord they gave him the city for which he asked—Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. So he built the city and settled in it. These are the inheritances which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the households of the tribes of the sons of Israel distributed by lot in Shiloh before the Lord at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. So they finished dividing the land.” -AMPLIFIED
We find chapter 19 ending with these words, “And so they finished dividing the land.” (NIV) Finally they have completed the task that God had set them to do. Finally they had claimed completely the inheritance that God had intended for them from the start.
In this chapter we find the division of the land among the remaining tribes who were waiting for their share of the inheritance. The last few tribes waiting were Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan.
We also finally find Joshua receiving his share of the inheritance. (NOTICE: Joshua did not take his reward at the very beginning of the conquest, but waited till the end.) After all the hard work; the blood, sweat and tears, Joshua finally receives his reward. “… the Israelites gave Joshua, son of Nun, a special inheritance among them. As the Eternal had commanded, they gave Joshua the town he had asked for, Timnath-serah in the highlands of Ephraim. So he built a city and settled there.”(VOICE) A reward for a job well done!
“Nothing is said of any express command of God respecting the inheritance of Joshua. But as such special portion appears to have been promised to Caleb at the time when he and Joshua alone out of the twelve spies remained faithful Joshua 14:6-9, it is probable that a like promise was made to Joshua.” -Albert Barnes’ Notes of the Whole Bible
It was as if God were saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Joshua had stuck with the task and responsibilities that God had delegated to him. He was an old man by this point in time; yet he continued to work at the assignment that God had assigned to him until it was completed. We then find that Joshua receives his reward. Remember what the Apostle Paul told Timothy, ““The worker is worthy of his wages [he deserves fair compensation].” -Timothy 5:18 (AMP)
Jesus’ telling of the parable of the talents is a reminder to us all of the need to use faithfully what we have been given until His return. Jesus told his followers this story:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was going to another place for a visit. Before he left, he talked with his servants. The man told them to take care of his things while he was gone. He decided how much each servant would be able to care for. He gave one servant five bags of money. He gave another servant two bags of money. And he gave a third servant one bag of money. Then the man left. The servant who got five bags went quickly to invest the money. The five bags of money earned five more. It was the same with the servant who had two bags of money. He invested the money and earned two more. But the servant who got one bag of money went out and dug a hole in the ground. Then he hid his master’s money in the hole. “After a long time the master came home. He asked the servants what they did with his money. The servant who got five bags of money brought five more bags to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you trusted me to care for five bags of money. So I used your five bags to earn five more.’ The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with small things. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ “Then the servant who got two bags of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, you gave me two bags of money to care for. So I used your two bags to earn two more.’ The master answered, ‘You did well. You are a good servant who can be trusted. You did well with small things. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.’ “Then the servant who got one bag of money came to the master. The servant said, ‘Master, I knew that you were a hard man. You harvest things you did not plant. You gather crops where you did not sow any seed. So I was afraid. I went and hid your money in the ground. Here is the bag of money you gave me.’ The master answered, ‘You are a bad and lazy servant! You say you knew that I harvest things I did not plant, and that I gather crops where I did not sow any seed? So you should have put my money in the bank. Then, when I came home, I would get my money back with interest.’ “So the master told his other servants, ‘Take the bag of money from that servant and give it to the servant who has ten bags of money. Everyone who uses what he has will get more. He will have much more than he needs. But the one who does not use what he has will have everything taken away from him.’ Then the master said, ‘Throw that useless servant outside, into the darkness! There people will cry and grind their teeth with pain.’” -Matthew 25:14-30 (ICB)
Will you continue to do what He has asked of you faithfully until He returns?
Lord, I want to be faithfully doing what you have asked of me. I want to finish the tasks that you have set me to do. Not only finish them, but finish them well. I want you to be proud of me, Father. I want to hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Help me to be persistent in doing what you have set me to do and not become discouraged, frustrated or worse yet, give up. Steady my heart, dear Lord. Let me be steadfast in pursuing what you would have me to do; so that I my bring glory to you.