Today was an interesting day. You might argue with me that I didn’t actually read the Bible today, because I actually listened to it. I was in my car for a little extended time, and while I wasn’t capturing any blog posts while driving, I was capturing the word orally. So this week, I read my paper pocket ESV, read my digital YouVersion, and listened to the word. That’s good enough for me.
Have you seen the TV show “How the States got their shape” on the History Channel? Well, the next few chapters of Joshua could be called how the nation of Israel got its shape. We’ve been reading all about the possession and inheritance that awaited Israel. In the next few chapters before Joshua dies, we’ll read about the specific boundaries of the various sons of israel and their families.
I’m reading the Bible through in 90 days. Join me. Click here for more information on the ESV Bible in 90 day plan that I am doing.
Judah’s land is identified. Caleb takes his mountain and promises his daughter in marriage to whomever captures Kiriath-sepher. Future Judge, Othniel takes it.
Joshua 16 – 17
Ephraim and Manasseh’s land is identified. They captured the land but didn’t fully drive out some of the Canaanites.
Joshua 18 – 19
Joshua sends people out to survey the rest of the land to divide it up. The rest of israel gets their inheritance.
The cities of refuge are identified.
Cities and a WHOLE LOT of pasturelands are given to Levi. Seriously. I told you that I listened to this one. I thought for a moment that the voice over talent accidentally hit the skip button.
The tribes of Reuban and Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh are given permission to head back to their inheritance across on the other side of the Jordan. He warns them to be careful to love the Lord and walk in his ways and cling to him and obey him.
They seem to do a good thing and create an alter on the Jericho side of the Jordan. Apparently it was a large monument. The rest of the tribe of Israel for some reason thinks that this was done in sin toward God. They go to war against their brothers, but in the end, after hearing their brothers explanation for why the monument was built, they believe that the monument was a witness that the Lord is God.
Joshua 23 – 24
Joshua knows that he will be dead soon. He charges the people to follow God. Their response… Yes we will follow Him. He tells them that they can not follow Him. They say again, yes we will. Finally he tells them, you are witnesses about what you say. “Yes, we are witnesses.”
He reminds them that all they have comes from God. Be sure to serve him. As for me and my house, we will serve him. He is jealous.
Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and even to the elders who outlived Joshua, but from here out, it is gonna be a tough road. The unity that they have during Moses and Joshua will not be the same again.
By the way, the bones of Joseph (remember he was embalmed) finally make it to the tomb that he was promised in Egypt.
Judges 1 – 2
The time between Joshua and the Kings are led by Judges who rise up to lead the nation back to the Lord. But when a judge dies off, the nation leaves God and often goes into a further spiritual decline than they were before the judge. This is the pattern. One that we can still learn from and try not to repeat.
Again in this first chapter we see Caleb (and the tribe of Judah) taking their inheritance. He promises his daughter in marriage to anyone who will capture Kirath-sepher. Othniel does this. However they fail to drive out all the canaanites, which proves bad news later.
Joshua dies. Israel does what is evil in the sight of the Lord. They are unfaithful. The cycle begins.
Othniel is the first of the Judges. After he dies, the people fall away from God. King Eglon of Moab is strengthened and Israel is defeated. Ehud is the second judge. He ends up killing Eglon in a rather cool way. Eglon is a big man. Ehud stabs him with a knife which gets covered up by Eglon’s fat. Ehud is able to escape before the kings guards know what has happened.
Also mentioned in this chapter is Shamgar who kills Philistines and saves/leads Israel.