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Trip 230: The Territories of Asher, Naphtali, and Dan

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min

Reading assignment:  __Joshua 19:24-48

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 19:47:  “The territory of the sons of Dan proceeded beyond them; for the sons of Dan went up and fought with Leshem and captured it then they struck it with the edge of the sword and possessed it and settled in it; and they called Leshem Dan after the name of Dan their father.”

The tribe of Asher was assigned the Mediterranean coastal lands from Mount Carmel north to Sidon and Tyre, a militarily strategic position to protect Israel against any northern coastal enemies such as the Phoenicians.  By the time of King David’s reign, Asher had faded into insignificance, although her tribal identity was not lost.  When Jesus was born, Anna the prophetess and Simeon who gave thanks for his birth were both from the tribe of Asher (Luke 2: 36-38).  The tribe of Naphtali had the land adjacent to Asher on the east, bordered by the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee.  These lands were not significant during the Old Testament days, but became very important during the Galilean ministry of Jesus which was centered there.  The tribe of Dan received the least desirable portion of land, which included seventeen towns, surrounded by Ephraim and Benjamin on the north and east and by Judah on the south.  This original location was not only too small, but later the Amorites would attack and take most of this territory (Judges 1:34).  The majority of the tribe would move far to the north, attacking and settling in the city of Leshem opposite the northern sector of Naphta1i, renaming the city Dan (Judges 18; Genesis 49:17).   So the tribes were all provided land by the Lord, and were to allow their faith in God to sustain them just as believers are to do today.  On the previous devotional trip we read prophesies from Isaiah and Jeremiah about God’s promises to Israel to re-gather them as a nation.  Turn to Ezekiel and see what God said through this prophet about this same subject: Ezekiel 11:17; 20:34,41-42; 34:11-13; 36:24,28, 33-38; 37:1-14,21-22; 39:25-28.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 229: The Territories of Simeon, Zebulun, and Issachar

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Joshua 19:1-23

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 19:9:  “The inheritance of the sons of Simeon was taken from the portion of the sons of Judah, for the share of the sons of Judah was too large for them; so the sons of Simeon received an inheritance in the midst of Judah’s inheritance.

Because Judah had more land than it needed, Simeon was given some of its land in the southern section of Judah’s territory, consisting of seventeen towns and villages.  However, it would not be long before Simeon would lose her identity as an individual tribe because her territory would be incorporated into Judah, and many of Simeon’s citizens would move north to Ephraim and Manasseh (2 Chronicles 15:9; 34:6).  This explains why when Solomon reigned there were ten tribes in the north and only two in the south (Judah and Benjamin) after the division of the kingdom.  In Jacob’s prophesy about Zebulun he said they would “live by the seashore and become a haven for ships” (Genesis 49:13).  Zebulun was assigned a portion of land in lower Galilee in which a strip of land extended to the Mediterranean Sea.  Issachar was to occupy the fertile and beautiful valley of Jezreel but until the time of David its people remained in the mountains at the east end of the valley.   Take some time today and read the following prophesies from Isaiah and Jeremiah about God’s promises to Israel that He would gather them to Canaan and give them the land: Isaiah 11:11-12; 14:1-3; 27:12-13; 43:1-7; Jeremiah 16:14-16; 23:3-8; 29:14; 30:10-11; 31:8-10; 32:37-38.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 228: The Territory of Benjamin

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Joshua 18

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 18:1-2:  “Then the whole congregation of the sons of Israel assembled themselves at Shiloh, and set up the tent of meeting there; and the land was subdued before them. 2 There remained among the sons of Israel seven tribes who had not divided their inheritance.

Before the rest of the land was allotted to the other tribes, the Israelites moved from Gilgal to Shiloh, about twenty miles northwest in the hill country, probably because Shiloh was more centrally located for the tabernacle.  The dissatisfaction of the sons of Joseph with their land allotment was a hint of future problems that would develop stemming from self-interests.  Seven tribes needed to move into their land because they were still living lives as nomads.  Joshua asked them, “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?”  Joshua set up a commission of twenty-one men, three from each of the unassigned tribes, and assigned them the task of making a topographical survey of the remaining land.  The historian Josephus stated that these men were experts in geometry. After the commission made their survey, they returned to Shiloh, and the process of drawing lots for land allotment began.  The tribe of Benjamin was assigned the land between Judah and Joseph to try to minimize the rivalry between those two tribes.  That particular land was only twenty-five miles long and fifteen miles wide and was covered by mountains and ravines, but had many important cities such as Jericho, Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, and Jerusalem.  The future temple in Jerusalem would be in the possession of the tribe of Benjamin, which was a fulfillment of Moses’ prophesy in Deuteronomy 33:12.  Invest in God’s promises today….they never fail and always pay big dividends!

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 227: The Territory of the Half Tribe of Manasseh continued

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:   __Joshua 17:7-18    __Joshua 24:32

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 17:14:  “Then the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me only one lot and one portion for an inheritance, since I am a numerous people whom the LORD has thus far blessed?””

Several of the cities which were located in the areas of the tribes of Issachar and Asher were given to the tribe of Manasseh, probably because these cities were Canaanite fortresses and needed a strong tribe to keep them under control.  However, Manasseh was not strong enough to drive out the Canaanites from the land and had to live with them being subjects in the land.   The descendants of Joseph complained to Joshua that their allotment of land was too small in comparison to their large population.  Joshua showed his intelligence as a leader in tactfully telling them to live in the forest hill area and clear the land of trees.  They insisted that the land was not large enough and the Canaanites in that area possessed iron chariots, but Joshua remained firm and reminded them that their tribe was large and powerful enough to clear the territory and drive out the enemy.  Notice the contrast between Caleb’s request for enemy infested land and these members of the tribe of Manasseh.  Caleb was stepping out in faith and trusting God, while they were merely trusting in their own power.  One plus God always equals victory!

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 226: The Territories of Ephraim and the Half Tribe of Manasseh

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:   __Joshua 16    __Joshua 17:1-6

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 16:1:  “Then the lot for the sons of Joseph went from the Jordan at Jericho to the waters of Jericho on the east into the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.”

The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were made up from the powerful house of Joseph, and were given the fertile land of central Canaan.  The men of Ephraim chose not to completely drive the Canaanites out of their section of land, which history proved to be a fatal mistake.  In later centuries the Canaanites would rise up in rebellion and become the masters over the Israelites. The motivation for the men of Ephraim tolerating the Canaanites in their land seems to have been mostly materialistic in order to gain additional wealth.  The spiritual principal here is clear: It is very easy for a believer to tolerate and excuse pet sins only to wake up some day and realize tolerating that sin had allowed it to rise up, possess him, and drive him to spiritual defeat…that’s why God always wants us to deal with sin harshly and decisively.  We need to “drive the giants” out of our spiritual land like the tribe of Ephraim was supposed to do!  In allotting land for the tribe of Manasseh a special note is taken of the five daughters of Zelophehad and a great-great grandson of Manasseh.  Because their father died without sons, they were to receive the inheritance.  This is a significant decision, for it shows God’s concern for the rights of women even at a time when they were treated with disdain!

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 225: The Territory of Judah continued

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment: __Joshua 14:6-15    __Judges 1:8-10    __Joshua 15:13-20    __Judges 1:11-15

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 14:12:  “Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken.”

As the time for casting lots for the apportionment of land arrived, the tribe of Judah gathered at Gilgal, and Caleb made a grand speech to the tribe.  He reflected on that day forty-five years earlier when he and Joshua stood alone before the ten other spies and the cowardly mob afraid to enter the Promised Land because of the giant people and fortified cities.  Caleb and Joshua had dared to disagree with the majority, urging them to trust God for the victory.  Caleb showed great leadership against the cowardly spies and people, so God singled him out for blessing and promised him a special reward (Numbers 14:24; Deuteronomy 1:36).  Caleb would not follow the crowd, but had faith in God.  Because of the remarks Caleb made in his speech, it is easy to figure out that conquering the Promised Land took about seven years (Caleb mentioned he was forty when he went to spy out the land, so add 38 years for the wilderness wandering, bringing his age to 78. He then said he was 85 at the end of the conquest…85-78=7). Caleb asked to be given the same land the spies had looked at which was full of the giant Anakites, and assured everyone that God would help him drive them out of the land.  At age 85 Caleb trusted God for a miraculous victory, and the Lord gave him the strength to do just that!  This is a fabulous illustration of how we should trust in the Lord!  “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way”!

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trip 224: The Territory of Judah

Book CoverTHE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

1095 Devotional “Trips”!

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Joshua 15:1-2   __Joshua 15:20-63

Focal verse(s):  Joshua 15:1:  “Now the lot for the tribe of the sons of Judah according to their families reached the border of Edom, southward to the wilderness of Zin at the extreme south.

As the largest tribe, Judah was the first to receive land inheritance, and received the largest share. The prophesy Jacob made concerning Judah and his seed was remarkably fulfilled in the land allotment given to Judah: (1) Genesis 49:8-9 stated that Judah would be surrounded by enemies. Because of this, Judah would need strong leaders such as David in order to survive; (2) Genesis 49:11-12 mentions vineyards and the land allotment for Judah was ideal for growing grapes; (3) Genesis 49:10 predicted Judah was the tribe from which the Messiah would come.  The Lord had instructed Moses that each tribe was to receive land which was proportionate to its tribe population with the casting of lots to determine its location.  The name of a tribe was drawn from one urn and the boundary lines of a territory from another urn.   However, Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord“…so even though lots were cast to determine the territory, the Lord would be guiding the whole operation!  Tribal members who complained about inequities or unfairness should instead have accepted the events as the will of God.  In our daily walk with Christ, it often appears the “other guy” gets the breaks, but we must remember if we are in the will of God, then Christ is guiding us every step of the way! When the U.S.S. Nautilus made her epoch making journey under the Arctic icecap, there were no guiding stars or radio beams to give her position. Instead, the submarine relied on inertial guidance, using no visual or electronic aid from earth or stars. In the same way, Christians use the inertial guidance of the Holy Spirit to chart our course! *

*Frank Griffith, “From The President’s Desk”, Winter Quarter, 2005 (Pleasant Hill, California: Grace School of Theology and Ministry) [http://www.gstm.org/component/option.com_docman/task.doc_view/gid.5/]

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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