Joshua Week 7: Dividing the Land

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Week 7 Scripture: Joshua 14

Joshua 14 is a continuation of land allotment, which was Joshua’s responsibility. Joshua 14:3 says, “their inheritance was by lot” (in Hebrew meaning portion or destiny). The majority of the chapter focuses primarily on Caleb and his inheritance. Caleb may appear demanding in his interaction with Joshua, but he knows what God promised. The name Caleb means forcible in Hebrew, and we see that forcibleness in the way Caleb approaches Joshua asking for what is rightfully his.

Caleb’s History:

Looking back into Caleb’s history, he is first mentioned in the book of Numbers chapter 13 when he was appointed by God through Moses as one of the twelve undercover agents sent to search the land of Canaan. Each one of these spies was a ruler in his own tribe, so they had the acumen needed for the mission. Moses wanted a report on six areas: whether the people were strong or weak, whether they were few or many, whether the land was good or bad, whether the cities were camps or strongholds, whether the land was rich or poor, and whether or not there were trees. When the spies returned from their mission, the report they gave was “the land flows with milk and honey…however…the people are strong and the cities are fortified and descendants of Anak are there.”

As soon as Caleb said the word “Anak” the people shook in their sandals. The Anaks were a formidable foe—giants, warlike people. But Caleb had a different spirit in him and followed the Lord fully (see Num 14:24). He had great faith in what the Lord had promised, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.” Others were saying “we are not able…they are stronger than we are…the land devours its inhabitants…we seemed like grasshoppers to ourselves”… their hearts were melting in fear when they heard these words. Caleb was boldly and wholly following the Lord because he knew God’s history. He believed God. Caleb had vivid memories of what God in his goodness had done before, and he knew if the people stopped fearing they would possess the land.

Awaiting God’s Promise:

Going back to Joshua 14…Caleb is 45 years older than he was in Numbers chapter 13. In fact, he is now eighty-five years old and he is still wholly following the Lord.  This phrase is used three times in chapter 14 regarding Caleb. The word “wholly” in Hebrew means “to accomplish, confirm, consecrate, be fully set.” Caleb asked for his inheritance and he received it. He is a model of faith. It is beneficial, if not crucial, for us to have the same Godly response in our own circumstances.

Imagine receiving a promise from the Lord and just sitting day after day waiting for it to come. Is this what Joshua did? No! Joshua listened to God’s promise and took immediate action. Joshua knew he had tasks to complete in order to see promises become realities. Admittedly, there are times when God speaks a promise to us and there is absolutely nothing we can do to bring it to fruition. But in the book of Joshua this is not the case. Because Joshua believed and obeyed the Lord, the tribes of Israel received the prize.

Joshua Week 7 Discussion Questions:

  1. What does it mean to you to “wholly follow the Lord”?
  2. What are some of the promises God made to you? Are you still expecting those promises to materialize? Do you still have the faith that they will?
  3. What keeps us from embracing God’s promises? Obstacles (giants)? Fear? Lack of Faith? Lack of understanding? Unbelief?
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