Read Joshua 11:18-23 as text for the message. In the past few messages we’ve seen the progress of the children of Israel into Canaan. We saw the battles at Jericho and Ai and the ill-advised treaty with Gibeon. These were in the southern part. In the northern part the cities are more sophisticated in their warfare. Verse 18 of the text says Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. The land was their inheritance, but it had to be possessed. It took seven years. Surveyors measured the land. It was divided among the tribes; then they were to drive out the inhabitants on their portion of land.
Verse 23: And the land rested from war. There is a rest available to the child of God. Hebrews 4:9 says There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Many think the writer is referring to heaven. Yes. There is a rest there for the child of God. But I believe there is rest for the Christian who quits doing things on his own and depends on God. Here. In this life. There is a rest. When we depend on our HIS strength and not our own, there is rest. Israel was not defeated when they let God fight for and through them. They never fired a shot at Jericho. God’s battle plan was to march and shout. When they did, the walls came down. It worked! God can win every battle. It was their unbelief that kept them out of the Promised Land 40 years earlier. Unbelief causes us to lose a lot of battles. You can either fight your own battles or let God fight for you. You can come out a winner every time.
There is a difference between inheritance and possession. The land was an inheritance given to them. Possession comes when we take what God offers. They had to take what God gave them. It was given to Israel through the promise to Abraham back in Genesis 15:18. It belonged to them while they were in bondage. It required them to go and take it. Ephesians 2:10 says For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We are complete in Jesus Christ, but we need to walk in his ways. We should be saying “more of you, Lord.” We need him more now than ever.
In order to have possession of something, something has to be dis-possessed. The land had to be dis-possessed of its present inhabitants. This was God’s judgment on their idolatry. God knew that if the inhabitants were not destroyed, the people would be in there with them. The only way to control the land was to get rid of the inhabitants. What do we need to dispose of? We come short; we sin. If we’re going to possess more of Him, we must get sin out of the way. The sin must be dis-possessed. Make ourselves a vessel the Lord can fill. He can’t fill us if we’re full of sin, of self. Make room for Him.
The division of land was made by casting lots. This wasn’t a form of gambling. It was a way to know God’s will. The portion given to each tribe was just where God wanted them. He knows what’s best. We need to trust him with all our heart and let him direct our paths. God got us through 2020; he’ll continue to get us through.
Success cannot coexist with sin. It’s impossible. How close can you dabble in the world? It will get you in trouble every time. God and idols do not coexist. We see in the Bible that Israel did not drive out the evil of the land. They left too much there. They were not to dwell there until the inhabitants were driven out. What happened? They went into idolatry. God knew what was best when he told them to drive out the enemy. Rid your life of sin. Maybe you need to burn some bridges. There may be trouble on the other side. If you allow known sin to continue, it’s the same thing. Get rid of it. Bring them out of the caves like Joshua did those kings and get rid of it all and serve the Lord.