Sorry dear readers – for some reason today’s reading notes were incomplete. Here is the complete version.
So Manasseh and Ephraim, the descendants of Joseph, received their inheritance.
Joshua 16 v 4
All the tribes, each one descended from the one father, Jacob, were given a section of the promised land – and it is interesting to note the nature of the land given to each. Joseph had been faithful to God in Egypt as a slave and then as a ruler, through the most difficult of circumstances. But of all the sons no territory is allocated directly to him, but rather each of Joseph’s sons is given land, so his descendants get a double share. And when you look at it on the map they get the most fertile and pleasant section of the land too. A double blessing indeed! The full extent of their territory becomes evident in 17 vv 17-18 where we read ‘But Joshua said to the house of Joseph – to Ephraim and Manasseh – “You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”
As with almost all the other tribes, the blessing of possessing the land is linked to the effort of conquering it. The same happened with Ephraim as happened to Judah in 15 v 63 – they were unable to dislodge all the Canaanites (16 v 10)
God has a plan to bless and strengthen His people – and that includes you! But please don’t think that it will be either effortless or painless. How often we have to remind ourselves that becoming a Christian and committing ourselves to following Jesus is not an end point but the starting point in a struggle to eradicate sin from our lives and enjoy the blessing God wants to give us. There will always be more of that blessing to enjoy. It seems to very appropriate for Joshua to say ‘Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours.’ In other words, there is no end to the blessing that could be yours. But you will have to struggle for it.
For reflection: Do you really want to enjoy a richer portion of God’ blessing? So what will you do to eliminate everything that hinders that?