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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Joshua 14:14

Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite unto this day, because that he wholly followed the LORD God of Israel.

For further study - Joshua 14:1-15

The book of Joshua is the history of the children of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, as they come into the "promised land". It is also the story of conflicts that followed as the Jews conquered the land. It is a record of one victory after another as the Lord gives the children of Israel what He told them He would give them 40 years before they arrive to claim His promise.

There is a great lesson in that thought. Sometimes, we ignore God's directives which brings upon us sorrow, heartache and distress. I do not understand why I do not learn His way, His way is the best way.

Our last devotional was from Joshua 6 and it detailed the first victory for the Jewish people as they moved forward to take the land that God had given them. Jericho, as I said, was only the first installment of God’s promise.

Before we come to our reading for today I want to give you several passages that are a record of God’s faithfulness. As you survey the entire book of Joshua please notice that the Lord was giving the Jews the locations that would be considered the “heritage sites” for the Jews of today.

The first mention of the city of Jerusalem, by name, is in Joshua 10:1. “Jerusalem” is mentioned 764 times in the Bible and this city plays a key role in the life of the Jewish people through out history and into the future, even “eternity future”.

Notice, the Lord had directed Joshua to give to the half tribe of Manasseh the location of “Bashan”, Joshua 13:29 to 31. You may not recognize that name but it is the area of what is today the “Golan Heights”. That means that God gave the Jewish people the Golan Heights 3,500 years ago. That should settle the debate between Israel and Syria over the Golan, but it hasn’t.

Our reading for today is a perfect example of my point. When Moses sent out the spies, Joshua and Caleb were the only two to return from their sojourn inside the “promised land” with a positive report.

Because the majority of the spies gave a negative, fearful report of the land and due to their unbelief, the children of Israel wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years before claiming their promise.

However, the Lord did not forget the faithfulness of the spy named Caleb. God instructed Joshua, the leader responsible for dividing the "promised land", to give Caleb the piece of real estate he wanted, the area around Hebron. Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb because this spy had "wholly followed the Lord God of Israel", verse 14.

This whole account is a great spiritual lesson for me and for you also. In our daily lives, we must do all that the Lord directs us to do, "wholly following the Lord."

Before I finish, let me remind you that this land and city that God gave Caleb 3,500 years ago is a center of controversy today. Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world founded by Abraham some 4,000 years ago, Genesis 13:18.

Today, there are around 1,000 Jews living in Hebron with 150,000 Palestinians surrounding them and many of those Palestinians are self-proclaimed Islamic terrorists.

Hebron is the second most sacred piece of real estate in the world for the Jewish people. It was purchased by Abraham as a burial site, Genesis 23, and paid for in cash.

There is a great Jewish heritage in Hebron from the past, but the present situation is very controversial and will continue to be so until the Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns to deal with the enemies of the Jewish people.

The little prophetic book of Obadiah reveals the victory given to the Jews over the Palestinians, descendants of Esau, and that happens at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah. The stage is being set for that prophecy to be fulfilled.

It is good to reflect on the past as we look to the future, all under the watchful eye of our Lord. He is still in charge.

PRAYER THOT: Help me this day Lord, to wholly follow You in all that I do, as You lead.