The book of Joshua is coming to an end now.
All that is left is the division of the land.
I don't know about you, but I find the chapters in Joshua 13-20 rather tedious, for they go into so much detail about characteristics of borders. But is there something that we can learn from these chapters? This will be the focus of these next three lessons from Joshua.
"The lot came up for the tribe of Benjamin, clan by clan. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph …" (Josh 18:11 NIV)
Benjamin's land was very small, perhaps the
smallest of allotment given. Why?
The Bible tells us that the land was to be divided according to the number of people in each tribe: "Distribute the land by lot, according to your clans. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one." (Num 33:54 NIV). This makes sense.
A small group of people would not have been able to manage a large piece of land. The lesson we can learn from Benjamin's allotment is that we are given what we can manage! No more, no less. And we serve a wonderful, wise, all-knowing God who knows just how much we can manage! Remember: "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear." (1 Cor 10:13 NIV).
As someone who is nearly always under the gun for time, I take great comfort in this! When my plate seems to be heaping full and another load is placed upon it, I'm often tempted to think that the plate will overflow!
But it won't.
Because God gave Benjamin the smallest piece of land! Because God knows how much my plate will hold, and He will never give me more than I can handle!
But what about Judah? Their land was very big, probably the biggest single allotment given. In fact, when it came time for Simeon to be given a piece of land, here's what the Bible tells us: "The inheritance of the Simeonites was taken from the share of Judah, because Judah's portion was more than they needed. So the Simeonites received their inheritance within the territory of Judah." (Josh 19:9 NIV)
So many times we try to take on more than we
can handle. For some, there seems to be no other options, but for the
vast majority of us, we do this because we simply don't know how to say
"no"! We take on more and more, until we truly do fold under the load.
For some of us, this is a control issue. We feel that if we don't do it, it won't get done. Or maybe it will be done, but it won't be done right. We feel (or are made to feel!) That we are the only ones who can accomplish the task!
Instead of just taking everything on ourselves, we should be ready to share the load, to delegate, and we should be ready to say "no".
But wait a minute. Isn't this message opposite the one taught to us by the tiny amount of land given to Benjamin?
On the surface, yes. But let's look beneath the surface …
Remember, God will not give us more than we can manage. But sometimes we don't make the effort to check into whether it is God giving us the task or not! Sometimes we just take things on!
Whenever you are tempted to, asked to, or feel compelled to take on something new, make the effort to check it out with God, first! If it is really of Him, He will tell you, and you can rest assured that, like with Benjamin, He will not give you more than you can manage!
But if it isn't, then like Simeon, you may give yourself permission to say "no, I can't manage a task of that caliber", or like Judah, you may give yourself permission to delegate and "share" the load!
Join us next week for What we can Learn from the Division of the Land, Part B!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.