In this chapter, the people of Joshua formed two tribes — the Ephraimites and Manassites.
They were complaining to Joshua about the constraints they were facing in the land allotted to them (Joshua 17:14).
Joshua, being a wise leader, retorted the people calling upon them to do something about their complaints.
“…Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” – Joshua 17:15.
Moreover, Joshua saw their potentials as well as the strength of numbers in them.
“Then Joshua said to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people and have great power you shall not have one allotment only, but the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders.”” – Joshua 17:17-18.
Most importantly, the Lord was with them all along (Joshua 17:14). They have inherited the land given by the Lord!
Reflecting upon this chapter, there may be times when we do not realise the great things we can do for the Lord. At times, we may think that some things are almost impossible or difficult for us to attain, such as reaching out and preaching to others, in the mission to grow or expand the house of God. In addition, there may also be discontentment regarding how much we can offer base on the talents that the Lord has given us. Thus, we may have complained about our shortcomings. But, what are we going to do about it?
This also reminded me of the verse in Philippians 4:13, whereby “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Of course, we all know that God is with us because we believe in Him and trust Him in our prayers.
Yet, when it comes to having the desire to do something good for the Lord, we sometimes struggle with the limitations we placed in ourselves.
For example, we may choose to call ourselves introverts, and then responding to that limitation all our lives.
Alternatively, we can do something to overcome our constraints, just as Joshua replied to the
people that “the hill country shall be yours, for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders”, including driving out their strong Canaanite opponent.
Likewise, all things are possible as long as we have the Lord’s assistance and blessings.