Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Judges 18:1 (NIV)
In those days Israel had no king. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking a place of their own where they might settle, because they had not yet come into an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.
Judges 18:1 (MSG)
In those days there was no king in Israel. But also in those days, the tribe of Dan was looking for a place to settle down. They hadn’t yet occupied their plot among the tribes of Israel.
“In those days there was no king in Israel; and in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance [of land] for themselves to live in, for until then an inheritance had not been allotted to them as a possession among the tribes of Israel.” -AMPLIFIED
Once again we are reminded that in those days Israel had no king. Many theologians think that this statement signifies not only that there was no king, but there was no judge, or ruler of any kind. This we can assume meant that there was no spiritual leadership going on at all. It was a time of confusion and chaos; for remember, every man did what was right in their own eyes. (This meant that no one was doing what God required of them.) We need to understand the mind-set of the people at this time in order to comprehend what happens in Judges 18.
We are told that the tribe of Dan was looking for a place of their own to settle in because they had not come into their inheritance. We need to understand this though; they had received an inheritance along with all the other tribes back in Joshua 19:40-48, but they failed to possess it as they should have. “The seventh lot came out for the tribe of Dan according to its clans. 41 The territory of their inheritance included: Zorah, Eshtaol, Ir Shemesh, Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, Elon, Timnah, Ekron, Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon, Me Jarkon and Rakkon, with the area facing Joppa. When the territory of the Danites was lost to them, they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their ancestor.) These towns and their villages were the inheritance of the tribe of Dan, according to its clans.” (NIV)
The Amplified Version gives us this little tidbit of information, “Their original tribal allotment was sufficient; the problem was that they did not subdue the Amorites and the Philistines, who controlled the territory.”
Because of the Danites failure to obey God’s instructions; they failed to take hold of the blessing that He had intended for them. This put them into a situation where they were now looking for land that they could take for their own. We find that a group of marauding Danites went searching for a place and in so doing they found their way to Micah’s home. There they encountered Micah’s Levite become priest who explained to them what he was doing at Micah’s house. He also took the time to, pridefully, mind you, show them Micah’s gods and ephod.
The Danites asked the Levite to inquire of the Lord if their journey would be successful. He said that it would be. So they set off to spy out the land. What they saw was promising; “Then the five men went on and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, [how they were] living securely in the style of the Sidonians, quiet and peaceful; and there was no oppressive magistrate in the land humiliating them in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. The five men came back [home] to their brothers at Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers said to them, “What do you have to report?” They said, “Arise, let us go up against them; for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good (fertile). Will you sit still and do nothing? Do not hesitate to go, to enter, to take possession of the land. When you enter, you will come to people [feeling] safe and secure with a spacious land [widely extended on all sides]; for God has given it into your hands—a place where there is no lack of anything that is on the earth.” -Judges 18:7-10 (AMP)
They returned home to give a report to brothers and leaders and it was a positive report. Yes, they had found a promising place for them to live. There the people were peaceful and would be easy to conquer. The place was far from any help; so they would have no issue taking it over. They told their fellow Danites, “They said, “Let’s go for it! Let’s attack. We’ve seen the land and it is excellent. Are you going to just sit on your hands? Don’t dawdle! Invade and conquer! When you get there, you’ll find they’re sitting ducks, totally unsuspecting. Wide open land—God is handing it over to you, everything you could ever ask for.” (MSG)
Too bad they they did not have the same attitude about the land that God had given them in the first place! They had totally missed out on the blessing that God had intended for them and now they were settling for second best and going about taking it in a sneaky way. Almost all of the other tribes of Israel had gone in and claimed their land. The tribe of Dan did not; instead they desired and coveted someone else’s land and went in and took it in an underhanded, devious, and even violent way.
The Danites failed in taking control of the land that was God’s choice for them. It was not a matter of strength either; for there were 64,000 men in the tribe of Dan. It was a matter of choice. They chose not to obediently accept what God had allotted to them. They chose not to accept his gift by faith; questioning His strength, abilities and even His Omnipotence. Instead, they were willing to settle for second best; rejecting God’s provisions and promises they set out to find their own land. (It truly is amazing that they had the gall to ask the Levite to check with God to find out if they would be successful.)
May we never be like the Danites; failing to take hold of the blessings that God intends for us.
Success does not always signify God’s blessing!
Lord, I do not want to miss out on the blessings that you have for me because I was too busy looking for greener pastures. Help me to be ever thankful for the good things that you have place in my life and accept them as your gifts to me. I am grateful for you provisions. I am satisfied with the good things that you give me. I am also overwhelmed by your great love extended willingly and freely to me. God, you are amazing! Thank you for every blessing that you have poured into my life.