Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Joshua 22:6-8 (NIV)
Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes.(To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing—and divide the plunder from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”
Joshua 22:6-8 (MSG)
Then Joshua blessed them and sent them on their way. They went home. (To the half-tribe of Manasseh, Moses had assigned a share in Bashan. To the other half, Joshua assigned land with their brothers west of the Jordan.) When Joshua sent them off to their homes, he blessed them. He said: “Go home. You’re going home rich—great herds of cattle, silver and gold, bronze and iron, huge piles of clothing. Share the wealth with your friends and families—all this plunder from your enemies!”
“So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents. Now to the one-half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half Joshua gave a possession on the west side of the Jordan among their brothers. So when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, and he said to them, “Return to your tents with great riches and with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron, and with very many clothes; divide the spoil of your enemies with your brothers (fellow tribesmen).” -AMPLIFIED
Joshua now takes time to bless the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh. The blessing may be short, but it spoke of the abundance that God had blessed them with. “You will return now to your tents with great wealth, with herds of livestock and cattle, with silver and gold, bronze and iron, and piles of fine clothing. Be sure to divide these spoils of war among your relatives.” -Joshua 22:8 (VOICE)
Joshua’s action in blessing the tribes was not only the process of wishing them well and sending them off, but it was also placing them in the Lord’s hands and care. It was a reminder of who they were and whose they were; as well as a send off in the Lord’s favor and power.
We see Joshua sending these tribes away. Their work was finished, the job was done and now it is time to return home. Home, the word itself stirs, in most of us, a feeling of love, comfort, peace and rest. We have all heard those quotes about home:
* “Home is where the heart is.” -Pliny the Elder
* “Home is the nicest word there is.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
* “Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.” -Robert Montgomery
Home…can you imagine what must have been going through these soldiers minds? They had not been home in years; and now finally they have been released from service and are being sent home. What amazing joy must have filled their hearts. Some of these guys had not seen their families in a very long time. Some of them were looking forward to starting a family. Moms, Dads, wives and kids had been patiently waiting at home for a very long time to see their loved ones face, to hug their neck, and to know that they were safe. (Remember, this was before phones and public mail. Many of these families probably had not had news about their loved one in a very long time, if at all.)
Joshua does not send these guys off empty handed, but in fact, with great wealth. They had worked hard in helping with the conquering of the land and their reward was great. God had blessed them. Not only in helping them win their battles, but providing for them materially. Now they headed home very well provided for and they would be able to take good care of their families.
Joshua warns them of the need to share that wealth with their relatives. For there were those men who stayed behind to defend the families and they too were to share in the spoils of war.
There was much to be thankful for as these men turned to obey Joshua’s bidding.
1.) They had obediently completed God’s commission to them.
2.) They had conquered the land.
3.) They had been blessed with wealth.
4.) They were going to see their families and friends.
5.) They were going home.
I am sure that these soldiers could echo the writer of Psalm 107 sentiments:
“Erupt with thanks to the Eternal, for He is good and His loyal love lasts forever. Let all those redeemed by the Eternal—those rescued from times of deep trouble—join in giving thanks. He has gathered them across the earth, from east and west, from [north and south].” -Psalm 107:1-3 (VOICE)
(Read the whole Psalm to really understand the hand of God on the lives of Israel and the need to give thanks.)
We all have so much to be thankful for; God’s blessings have touched all of us. Take time today to give thanks to God All Mighty for His amazing grace and blessings that have touched your life.
Lord, there are so many reasons to give you thanks. Your hand on my life is evident every way that I turn. Thank you for your love, grace and goodness. You have provided for my every need. You watch over me, protect me and keep me. You have blessed me with home, family and friends. You have provided me with forgiveness and even adopted me into your family; thank you. I look forward to home; Eternity spent with you. Another blessing that is so fantastic! God, you are so good to me. Thank you!