“You shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.” (Joshua 17:18)
“The hill country is not enough for us!” The people of the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) complained. Joshua had given them their allotment of land, but they wanted more. “Why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit, since we are a great people?”
It is often the case that we want more than we have. If we have a car we want a newer one. If we have a house we want a bigger one. If we have a spouse we want him or her to be more to our liking. We desire a better life, and we feel that we deserve it. After all, we are a great people!
Is it wrong to want to be great?
Joshua responded to them, “If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself.” Joshua did not slap them on the wrist for desiring more land. He did not even challenge their claim to greatness. Instead he used their belief about themselves to encourage them to do great things. It isn’t what we think or say about ourselves that makes us great. It’s what we do. Since they were a great people, they could prove it by clearing more space for themselves in the forested country…where the giants lived!
But they responded, “The Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron.” Does this sound like whining? The fact was that they wanted great things but weren’t willing to do what was required to get them. It wasn’t that the Canaanite giants with their iron chariots were too powerful for them. (Didn’t God command them to conquer the land?) But they lacked faith, courage and determination. They saw the obstacles but not the omnipotence of their God. Joshua reminded them that they were a great people with great power. They would drive out the Canaanites even though they had iron chariots and were strong.
Have you become discontent with your lot in life? Perhaps it is time to take new territory. Are there giants with iron chariots that stand in your way? Then be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Pray that He would prepare the way before you and give you the grace, wisdom, guidance and courage that you need.
What are you waiting for? Go take the land!
Leave a Reply