Chapter 18 of Joshua continues with the land division process for the final seven of the twelve tribes. BAM! Joshua hits them right between the eyes with his question of What Are You Waiting For?, as he charges the tribes to go get what God has given them! I love the different ways this question is asked in the different versions of verse 3:
- How long are ye slack…King James
- How long will you put off…English Standard
- How long will you wait…New International
We do not know WHY they’re slack – or HOW LONG they planned to put it off. We do know that Joshua doesn’t mince words and clearly he wanted them to get a move on it. I wonder if their reasons for waiting are much like mine?
- Comfortable – were they cozy in their current stomping grounds and life was going along okay – why shake up the apple cart?
- Fearful – were they concerned about some of the current inhabitants of the land and wanted to avoid conflict?
- Doubting – did they question if the Lord REALLY intended this land for them? Really, God? THIS land, for US, right NOW?
- Unsure to Start – maybe they were ready and willing, but genuinely didn’t know WHAT to do first. Were they waiting around for someone to give them their marching orders?
What has the Lord given you that you need to take hold of? Do you have a gift or talent ready to be used for His Kingdom? Has He put a promise in your heart that you need to BELIEVE today? Does He have something that will bring you much joy and delight?
I can think of a specific time in my life when God put it on my heart to take the next big step in healing a relationship. While I felt God calling me to this deeper level of healing, it was definitely uncomfortable and didn’t feel like the easiest road. In addition to the doubts I had about myself and if this was even possible, I also didn’t know HOW or WHAT to do FIRST.
When we are called to a purpose or given something to take hold of, God doesn’t promise it to be easy and without trials. He promises to be WITH US through it. He will guide us – sometimes right through the center of a mess, that brings us to a deeper reliance and rest in Him. He will surround us with His presence when we do not know what to do. He will place His Word on our heart that will speak to us. He will send brothers and sisters to minister to us and share wisdom.
I love how Joshua sends out 3 men from each tribe to do the survey of the land so he can assign the 7 parts for the 7 remaining tribes. What great wisdom! Parents have experienced this with kids – they’re more likely to split a cookie evenly when they know someone else will be choosing who gets which half. Twenty-one sets of eyes are better than seven. I wonder how many of Joshua’s decisions were impacted by the gained wisdom from the decades spent with Moses. In addition to the Holy Spirit and the Living Word, God uses His people to pass down wisdom to future generations.
Proverbs 18 is full of challenges for us seek wisdom and understanding before taking action and opening our mouths.
1 He that separateth himself seeketh his own desire,
And rageth against all sound wisdom.
2 A fool hath no delight in understanding,
But only that his heart may reveal itself.
7 A fool’s mouth is his destruction,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
8 The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,
And they go down into the innermost parts.
13 He that giveth answer before he heareth,
It is folly and shame unto him.
15The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge;
And the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.
Just like Moses to Joshua, and Joshua to the Israelites, God has surrounded me with wisdom-sharing people, especially when I needed it. At an early age, I had a mentor counsel me (drill into me) the importance of seeking wisdom, staying coachable and ‘easy to help’. He taught me to proactively seek feedback and surround myself with experienced Godly people. Over the years, I’ve leaned on this huge life lesson.
Back to Joshua’s original question for us: What are we waiting for? When will we take hold of what God has for us? Let’s move forward with wisdom!
Thank You Lord, for your gifts. Thank you for making Your wisdom available to all of us. Help us to seek wisdom through Your Living Word and surround us with believers to point us to You. Amen.