“Then the entire congregation of the People of Israel got together at Shiloh. They put up the Tent of Meeting. The land was under their control but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had yet to receive their inheritance.


Joshua addressed the People of Israel: ‘How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you? Pick three men from each tribe so I can commission them. They will survey and map the land, showing the inheritance due each tribe, and report back to me. They will divide it into seven parts. Judah will stay in its territory in the south and the people of Joseph will keep to their place in the north. You are responsible for preparing a survey map showing seven portions. Then bring it to me so that I can cast lots for you here in the presence of our God’.” Joshua 18: 1-6 (MSG)


God had already given the Israelites the Promised Land, but there came a point when they still had not taken hold of what God had promised. They had fought battles at Jericho, Ai, Gibeon, and other places. Joshua continually led the people as he had been instructed by Moses. Each of the twelve tribes was to receive a land inheritance, with the exception of the Levites. At this point, the people had done part of what God had commanded, but not all. The Israelites would play an active role in taking hold of the promise. Joshua instructed the people to take three men from each tribe to decipher the boundaries of the land. Notice that Joshua did not tell them to decide if they would take it. Joshua had already experienced the 40 years of wandering because the original twelve spies had made the declaration that they couldn’t take the land because of its inhabitants. Joshua didn’t even give the men this option. The people didn’t need new direction until they had fully completed the original task. There would be battles as part of taking hold of the promise, and it would come at a cost. However, each tribe couldn’t experience the full blessing of God until they walked in obedience.


Joshua’s word to the Israelites is a word for you. What has God directed you to do that you haven’t yet? In deciphering God’s will in our lives, we can want new direction when we haven’t completed the tasks He has already assigned to us. There might be something you have been putting on the back burner, and you are waiting for God to allow you to do something different. Part of the process of moving forward may require you to face that issue or calling. God’s blessing will come as you are willing to walk in obedience, even when the calling comes at a cost. As you actively engage in the direction God has led you, you will see how He continues to open subsequent doors. Don’t allow delayed obedience to cause you to miss the very blessing God is waiting to give you.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

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About Hona Amer

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