The Danites and the Priest – A ‘Robin Hoodish’ story!

Judges 18:1-31

As we continue from where we left off yesterday, today while the Danites travelled to seek a land for inheritance, they came to Micah’s house. They spoke with the young priest and asked him to seek counsel of the Lord for them, he blessed them and they departed.

The Danites soon came to Laish, and loved the land and the way the people lived-securely and peacefully, so they planned to take it over. While on their war to war at Laish, the men who met the young priest before told others about the items of worship in Micah’s house and the priest. The Danites then stole the idols and other temple items, and when asked by the young Levite, they asked him which did he prefer, to be priest for one man or for a whole tribe?The young priest was glad at the rpoposition, took the items and went with them.

Micah later discovered and pursued them with his neighbours. The Danites however refused to return the items to Micah when he asked them, and he had to return since they were to strong for him.

The Danites got to Laish, smote the people there and took over the land, naming it Dan. They then set up the images they stole from Micah and made Jonathan, the young Levite their priest. And so the Danites stole from Micah, who initially had stolen from his mother.

Was this judgement come for Micah’s initial theft and greed. Do unto others as you want to be done to you.

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Final words of warning

Joshua 23:1-16

A long time after the Lord has given rest to the Israelites, Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. He however had one last mentoring duty to perform as he called for all the people of Israel and their leaders. He reminded them first of all that God has done for them, destroying the natons because of them. He also highlighted that the remaining nations he has divided unto them would also be expelled before them by God.

Joshua then gave an important warning on the need for the people to keep God’s commandments and avoid a negative influence by the people of the nations that remained with them, to avoid being lured to serve their gods, but to cleave unto God.

Finally, he reminded them that as all the good things God has promised them have happened to them, so will all the evil things he warned about come to pass if they depart from him and follow other gods, he would destroy them from the good land he had brought them into.

These are the stern warnings of an old, wise leader, and they were very serious and needed to be heeded to. Never forget God!
Some verses to remember
vs 3: And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you.

Vs 6: Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left.

Vs 10: One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.

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The Levites’ Portion

 

Joshua 21:1-45

Today, the head of the fathers of the Levites came to Joshua nad the leaders of Israel and requested for cities to dwell in and suburbs for their cattle as the Lord commanded Moses.

The Levites themselves were not alloted lands, however Moses had commanded before that they would be given cities and suburbs out of the inheritance of the children of Israel.

So, the Children of Isarel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance as the Lord commanded. The cities given unto the Levites within the possession of the children of israel were forty eight in all with their suburbs.

The chapter conlcudes by reminding us that the promise God made to the Fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) had been fulfilled. The children of Israel possessed the lands God promised and dwelt in them, and enjoyed rest round about. None of the good things God spoke of to Israel failed, all came to pass.

Has he promised you, it will come to pass!
Some verses to remember

vs 43: And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

vs 44: And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.

vs 45: There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

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Cities of Refuge

Joshua 20:1-9

Joshua 20:1-9

The children of Israel today appointed cities of refuge as God commanded Moses. The purpose of theses cities is to protect someone who kills another person unawares or unwittingly from the avenger of blood for such killing.

Once the elders of these cities take sucha person into the city they are not to release him to the avenger when he comes ‘calling for his head’. His safety is to continue until he stands fair judgement or until the death of the reigning high priest, then shall he return unto his own city from where he fled. Kedesh, Schechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth and Golan were the cities selected for this purpose.

God is clearly a just God, a fair judge, and an understanding father. He knows human are capable of mistake, and is also aware of the hurt another feels when wronged (even when unintentional). He doesn’t want hatred to breed, nor revenge to multiply, he truly desires that his people live together in love and harmony, his provisions for them are simply amazing.

He is our true city of refuge!

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Dividing the Lands – The last 6 tribes.

Joshua 19:1-51

The allotment of land continued today with the tribes of Simeon, Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Dan. Coasts were clearly labelled, borders were clearly divided.

Of all the tribes however, we learnt that the allotment given to Dan was too little, so what did they do? The Danites went to Leshem, smote the people there, and took they land, naming it after Dan-their forefather.

Finally, Joshua himself was alloted an inheritance – the city of Timnathserah in mount Ephraim, according to the word of the Lord.

And so, an end was made of dividing the land for inheritance among the tribes of Israel.

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Dividing the lands -the tribe of Benjamin

Joshua 18:1-28

Today, we read that there were still seven tribes left yet to possess their lands. Joshua charged them to take the land the Lord their God has given them. Three men from each tribe were selected to go and spy on the remaining laands yet to be taken.

The later part of the chapter went on to describe the allotment to the tribe of Benjamin. Lots were cast by Joshua to determine what each of the remaining tribes got.

Still more lands to divide, more tribes awaiting allotment as we drive towards the end of the book of Joshua.

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Dividing the Lands – Zelopehad’s Daughters

 

Joshua 17:1-18

The division of the lands continued today with details of allotment to the tribe of Manasseh. However there’s a bit of twist when we read of Zelopehad daughters- Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.

The boldness and confidence of these women were admirable. They came to Joshua and Eleazar the priest and the princes demanding that they get an inheritance among their brtheren as the Lord had commanded Moses. Gender is not an excuse for not being bold, these women are empowered, they are courageous, they know their rights.

The chapter ends with Joshua extending the lot of the tribe of Joseph, seeing that they are a great people. They were to take the mountains and cut down the wood, drive out the Cannanites living there, though they had iron chariots and were strong. Some possession still required work and such was the extra lot given to the house of Joseph.

Dividing the land brought with it various demands from different people, but we only got to read of people who made demands and not those who didn’t. What are you demanding for today. Some things are rightfully yours but you still need to ask and act.

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Division of the Land – Tribes of Joseph.

 

Joshua 16:1-10

The division of the lands continued today with the children of Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim) taking their inheritance. One notable point however is that the Canaanites were allowed to dwell among the Ephraimites, though they serve under tribute.

What effect will this have in the future? We’ll wait and see.

Some verses to remember

Vs4: So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.

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Dividing Lands – Tribe of Judah.

Joshua 15:1-53

The division of lands starts today with the tribe of Judah. The narration is punctuated by the story of Caleb, Othniel and Acsah, Caleb’s daughter.

Caleb was given the mountain areas and requested a man to go take Kirjathsepher in battle, with the promise of his daughter’s hand in marriage. Othniel stepped up and took the challenge, his reward – Acsah. Acsah made further demands of her father for the new family, getting the upper and nether springs alongside the south land her husband conquered.

The tribe of Judah could however not drive out the Jebusites because of the pact Israel has already made with them.

 

Some verses to remember

Vs16-19: And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.

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A promise fulfilled

Joshua 14:1-15.

The focal point of today’s reading is Caleb the Son of Jephunneh. As Joshua divides the land between the tribes of Israel, Caleb approached him and reminded him of the promise Moses made to him. Joshua and Caleb were the only two spies that spoke God’s confidence about the land of Canaan when Moses sent out 12 men to spy it. The other ten brought bad tidings and instilled fear into the heart of the people, but Caleb and Joshua declared that the Land was theirs for the taking.Moses then promised Caleb that the same land his feet had trodden would be for him an Inheritance.

Forty five years later, Caleb was still as strong as he was when he went to war forty five years ago, preserved by God. On reminding Joshua of Moses’ promise, he was given the land of Hebron for an Inheritance. After forty five years, Caleb finally received the reward for his labour, the reward for his courage, the reward for speaking words of faith from God.

Nothing good goes unrewarded in the long run. A good deed done today, a good word spoken, the little kindness shown are all but seeds that will yield fruit one day. Let’s not be weary in following and obeying God, when we do not grow weary, we will obtain the reward.

Some verses to remember

Vs 11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.

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