Sermons

Summary: Message 14 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land looking at the distribution of territory and Joshua's farewell address.

Joshua Series #14

The Amazing Race to Rest & Reward

“Critical Choices”

Review

I. Purge the Land 1-12

A. God Prepared Joshua for leadership 1

B. Joshua prepared the people to possess the land 2

C. Israel Purged the Canaanites 2-11

1. Central Campaign 6-10

2. The Southern Campaign 10

3. The Northern Campaign 11

4. The Summary of the conquest 12

Joshua cataloged the purging of 31 kings and their people.

Preview

II. Possess the Land 13-24

A. Land Allotment 13-22

1. Unconquered territory 13:1-7

2. Eastern Tribes 13:8-33 Reuben, Gad, Manasseh ½

3. Western Tribes 14:1-19 Judah, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, Dan

4. Six Cities of Refuge 20:1-9

5. Levitical Cities 21:1-42

6. Summary of distribution of land 21:43-45

7. Return of the army from the east side 22:1-34

B. Joshua’s farewell address and burial 23-24

1. Reminder of God’s faithfulness 23:1-3

2. Declaration of completion 23:4

3. Promise of God’ continued presence 23:5

4. Warning against defection 23:6-16

5. Historical Review 24:1-13

6. Call for Commitment to serve the Lord only 24:14-28

7. Burial of Joshua, Joseph and Eleazar 24:29-33

INTRODUCTION

God created humans with the privilege of choice. Without the opportunity of free choice, there can be no meaningful relationship. Life consists of many choices. We all must choose many times throughout the day. Life also consists of many times when free choice is limited or even eliminated.

We sometimes hit choice burnout.

Paper or plastic

Decaf or regular (The coffee Isle)

Strawberry or vanilla

Wear the blue shirt or green shirt

Wendy’s or Taco Bell

One brand over another

Not all choices are all that critical. The world will not end if I eat at Wendy’s instead of Taco Bell. Other choices are much more important and even critical.

Some life choices could take us down a path of excruciating pain. Some choices affect our future.

God superintended the Scriptures to help guide us to make the best life choices. All scripture was a result of God directly communicating to the writers and is profitable for Teaching, Reproof, Correction, Instruction in right living.

God keeps His promises -- we need to keep ours.

So choose this day who you will serve.

First, Joshua reminded them that the job was not finished.

Now Joshua was old and advanced in years when the LORD said to him, "You are old and advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed. Joshua 13:1

I suppose that Joshua didn’t need reminding that age was becoming a factor. He was 110 years old and there was much left undone. God told Joshua the job was not finished. At first, I had some trouble reconciling this verse with another.

Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. Joshua 11:21

They conquered and executed God’s judgment on the cities and the people “utterly destroyed” but there were rural areas and other cities not yet purged. It would be up to the individual tribes now to continue the purge. God listed the territories yet unconquered.

Allotment of Territory

Next, Joshua along with Eleazar the priest and the heads of households gathered to divvy up the territory according to God’s allotment. Joshua played the role of the executor of the covenant.

The tribes east of the Jordan (Reuben, Gad and Manasseh had already received their portion.

Now it was time to distribute the rest. The Scripture is pretty cut and dried about the description and boundaries of the land. There are a few caveats to point out.

Caleb who came from the tribe of Judah had a special request. He was the ultimate Marine.

He wanted the hill country. Although now 85 years old, he claimed he was as strong as he was 40 years earlier. He wanted the territory occupied by giants. Just like before, he was not afraid because He believed God’s promise.

Ephraim failed to drive out the Canaanites in their territory but made them slaves. That was not God’s instruction.

The writer singled out Manasseh as the tribe that could not take possession but noted that they persisted until they grew strong enough to take control.

Joshua had to motivate the remaining tribes to actually leave and claim their territory.

So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, "How long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you? Joshua 18:3

How often do we hesitate to take possession of a promise of God because we feel more comfortable and secure in our current state?

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