(Joshua 17:14-18 ESV) 14 Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the LORD has blessed me?” 15 And Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” 17 Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power. You shall not have one allotment only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.”
Whiney people wear me out! How about you? In a recent devotion, I wrote about the MASSIVE list of blessings that were reserved for the house of Joseph. BIG blessings. ABUNDANT blessings. They only needed to take the necessary steps to possess them.
In Joshua 17, Joshua continues to distribute inheritances to the various tribes of Israel. The distributions varied based upon the size of the tribes and the role they played in the progress of the nation. When the people of Joseph heard the description of their inheritance, their tone seemed to imply a dissatisfaction with the details.
- “Why have you given me one lot and one portion?”
- “The hill country is not enough for us.”
- “The Canaanites have chariots of iron.”
Joshua had to help them see things from a God-sized perspective. He reminded them of their potential.
- “You are numerous.”
- “You have great power.”
- “Go to the forest and clear land for yourselves.”
- “You shall possess it to its farthest borders.”
- “You shall drive out the Canaanites.”
It appears that the people of Joseph had taken on an attitude of entitlement. Is it possible they felt they should not have to fight anymore? Could it be they felt they deserved to have their blessing super-sized and ready to enjoy without further effort? We may never know, but their words sound an awful lot like disappointment. The reward just didn’t fit their expectations.
I’m reminded of the man who looked to Peter and John for a monetary handout. Peter responded by letting him know that he did not have money to give, but he could hook him up with supernatural healing. If the beggar was disappointed, it certainly didn’t show. He got up and started enjoying his new found freedom!
That’s the point Joshua was trying to make to the household of Joseph. They were blessed! The victory was still theirs for the taking. They just needed to sow the proper effort to reap the promised result.
Today, let’s realize how blessed we are. Let’s focus on the potential we possess. Instead of getting our bloomers in an upset, let’s put on our big boy pants and show God how grateful we are by living in the abundance He has provided.
PRAYER: Lord, I realize the blessings I’m experiencing have come directly from Your hand. Keep my mind focused on You and empower me to grasp all that You have laid up for me. Amen.