Saturday, March 28, 2009

God Gave Them Rest

We have galloped through the amazing book of Joshua. Tomorrow we finish.

Remember how just a few days ago it was all out war? One battle after another after another? And then to top it off, all the remaining kings got together to exterminate Joshua? If we could have interviewed Joshua during that time (if we got have gotten him alone for a minute) he would have said it seemed like war would never end.

But it did.

Now the relatively peaceful and boring job of administering the nation had occupied him for many years. In this passage, the division of the land among the tribes is reviewed. I chuckled at these verses.

49 -50 "They completed the dividing of the land as inheritance and the setting of its boundaries. The People of Israel then gave an inheritance among them to Joshua son of Nun. In obedience to God's word, they gave him the city which he had requested, Timnath Serah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there. "

He had his pick of the country to choose his own "digs". So he chose a beautiful place, central in the territory, and militarily strategic. Again the combination of human and divine. He had requested the city. But they gave it to him in obedience to God's Word. God's word to whom? How did they know?

"Timnath-serah was nestled in the hills of southern Samaria in the Hill Country of Ephraim, thirteen miles southeast of Aphek and ten miles northwest of Bethel.
The city was situated on the road that linked Aphek in the Sharon Plain and Bethel. It therefore controlled the northwestern approach to the strategic Central Benjamite Plain.
Timnath-serah means "extra portion" or "portion of abundance" (Hebrew), a possible reference to the fact that this town was given to Joshua who had led the conquest of the Land. An alternate name for this location was Timnath-heres meaning "portion of the sun" (Judg 2:9). " (Source - The Internet) ((Always known to be accurate and reliable))

43 -44 And so God gave Israel the entire land that he had solemnly vowed to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and made themselves at home in it. And God gave them rest on all sides, as he had also solemnly vowed to their ancestors. Not a single one of their enemies was able to stand up to them—God handed over all their enemies to them.
45 Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right.

They obeyed and prayed. They fought fierce battles. They worked hard to settle the land. In the end it all worked out.

And God gave them rest.

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