The descendants of Joseph became two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim. And no portion of the land was given to the Levites, except for cities in which to live, along with pasturelands for their flocks and herds.
I. BELIEF IN PROVIDENCE. The Jew believed that God superintended the lot (Proverbs 16:33). If there be Providence there can be no chance. The word "chance" describes the appearance of events to us: it is indicative of our ignorance. A perfect providential care will guide the smallest events (Matthew 10:29).
II. SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF GOD. These tribes resigned the choice of their possession to God, and were willing to take whatever He assigned them. We are not free to take our destinies into our own hands. We are God's servants, God's children. Dutiful obedience implies submission to God's will in the shaping of our lives (1 Samuel 3:18).
III. TRUST IN THE WISDOM AND GOODNESS OF GOD. The submission was fearless and trustful We often shrink from God's will even while we bow to it. We submit sadly as to some painful necessity. We should say, "Thy will be done," not with dread and sorrow, but with confidence and hope; making the utterance not merely a reluctant concession, but an earnest prayer, because God's will is best for us. It is best that He should "choose our inheritance for us," because
(1) He knows all the character of the inheritance - we only its superficial aspects.
(2) He knows future events - we only present appearances.
(3) He knows our true needs - we our foolish desires.
(4) He knows our best life's mission - we our selfish aims. Lot suffered by choosing his own inheritance (1 Genesis 13:11).
IV. FAIRNESS AND GENEROSITY IN BUSINESS ARRANGEMENTS. Those who submitted to the lot did not choose the best for themselves. They allowed a division which was fair for all. In business we are too selfish and grasping. The principle of competition should yield to the principle of cooperation. It is wicked for the able and clever to grow rich by taking advantage of the weakness and incapacity of those with whom they transact business (Philippians 2:4). In the end the individual gains by the exercise of such generosity and fairness as promotes the one welfare of the whole community. "We are members one of another." If suffer all suffer (1 Corinthians 12:26). This is not only Christian morality, it is the highest truth of political economy. Before concluding we must look at a question suggested by this subject, viz., Are we right and wise in resorting to the lot in the present day? We have no Divine authority for the present use of it. We have other means of learning God's will. We live under a dispensation of fuller light. Decision by lot corresponds to rule by law - it is authoritative, requiring blind obedience. Christianity opens our eyes to principles of conduct and to principles of Providence. If God now guides us in other ways, we have no right to suppose that He will so direct the lot as to signify His will thereby. To resort to this is to fall hack on lower means of guidance. It often implies both indolence and superstition. - W.F.A.
By lot was their inheritance.
PeopleAnakites, Arba, Caleb, Eleazar, Israelites, Jephunneh, Joseph, Joshua, Levites, Manasseh, Nun, Ruth
PlacesCanaan, Gilgal, Hebron, Jordan River, Kadesh-barnea, Kiriath-arba
TopicsCities, Dwell, Ephraim, Except, Flocks, Herds, Joseph, Levites, Livestock, Manasseh, Pasturelands, Portion, Property, Received, Share, Suburbs, Towns, Tribes
Outline1. The nine tribes and a half are to have their inheritance by lot
6. Caleb by privilege obtains Hebron
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJoshua 14:1-5
LibraryCaleb --A Green Old Age
'And Caleb... said unto him (Joshua), Thou knowest the thing that the Lord said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadesh- barnea.'--JOSHUA xiv. 6. Five and forty years had passed since the Lord had 'said this thing.' It was the promise to these two, now old men, of the prolongation of their lives, and to Caleb of his inheritance in the land. Seven years of fighting have been got through, and the preparations are being made for the division of the land by lot. But, before that is …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Exploring Canaan by Faith
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