Summary: How long will we hold the deed to a land the enemy occupies?
As the children of Israel finally begin to take possession of their inheritance, we find that there are seven tribes that for some reason, have failed to receive their inheritance.
The same problem exists in the church today, there are many of Gods people who are living sub standard lives because they haven’t taken hold of the promises of God.
We must recognize that when the bible says they had not received their inheritance, what it actually means is that they had failed to drive out the enemy.
It was an evident fact that their land though promised to them by God, was inhabited by people who opposed their right to the land.
To posses their inheritance meant they had to dispossess the enemy.
The land belonged to the children of Israel by right of inheritance, by promise, but it was occupied and dominated by their enemies.
With this clearly understood Joshua sternly questions them, you could even say rebukes them for not moving in faith concerning their inheritance.
Listen to Joshua’s words:
Vs 3. How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
Why are you so (slow) to go in and take up your heritage in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?
How long are you going to waste time (conquering) the land which the LORD God of your ancestors has given you?
How long will ye (neglect) to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
The point is:
#1 The land had been given to them by God
#2 It was their responsibility to do whatever they had to do in order to take possession of it.
Joshua was asking them how long they were going to hang back, and put off, possessing their inheritance.
How long were they going to be lazy, self preserving, fearful, and unwilling to engage the enemy and take their land.
There are many similarities between this old testament story and the new testament experience.
#1 By inheritance the land belonged to them, They were Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.
#2 They must forcibly take possession experientially of what was theirs legally.
#3 They were slack to take possession of what was theirs.
We find this same scenario in the church world today.
The word of God is rich with Gods promises toward the children of God.
We are also by faith the seed of Abraham, and we are heirs to the blessing of Abraham
Gal 3:13-14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Gal 3:29 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
But as it was then even so is it today, there are enemies to us possessing our inheritance and we must be willing to fight for what is legally ours.
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
One reason many of Gods people are cheated out of their inheritance is: because they do not know what belongs to them, They are unfamiliar with the will.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
Another reason is: we are just plain slack, slothful, lazy, (unwilling to have to fight for it).
Many Christians would rather live a low level mediocre self preserving life, and do without their rights and privileges as Sons and Daughters of God than have to engage the enemy in spiritual warfare.
And so instead of admit that we don’t have it because we’re not willing to fight for it,We say things that make us feel better about ourselves, (in other words we say things that make it sound like it’s not for us here anyway, it’s all waiting for us in heaven).
Songs like this:
On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wistful eye, to Caanans fair and happy land where my possessions lie.
This is unscriptural: Our possessions are not over in heaven waiting for us to die so we can go over there and get them.
Our possessions are in Christ, waiting for us to rise up in faith, and drive out every enemy of our promises and take possession of what belongs to us through the redemptive work that God wrought in Christ Jesus.
The Promise land of the old testament was not a type of Heaven (There will not be any giants in heaven resisting our rights and privileges).