Joshua 16-17 … Consider Him Who Bequeaths the Hill Country

Bequeath: “to hand down (a personal estate) to a person or other beneficiary by a will; to pass (something) on or leave (something) to someone else; to commit; to entrust.”

The sons of Joseph felt slighted as they considered what had been Bequeathed to them as their portion for an inheritance. What they received didn’t line up with their expectations of a blessed inheritance.

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?” (17:14).

And in response, rather than attempting to convince them of the value of their inheritance, Joshua challenged them to go up to the Hill Country and clear the forest for themselves.

Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest and clear a place for yourself there…” (17:15).

Consider Him Who Bequeaths the Hill Country

Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong,” (17:17-18).

The sons of Joseph were not to doubt this was indeed their portion. The Lord had blessed them and the Hill Country was also an included portion of His blessing.

  • The Hill Country was a promised portion of their inheritance.
    • Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours.”
  • The Hill Country required clearing.
    • “…but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours;”
  • The Hill Country would be theirs, no matter the strength of the enemy.
    • “…it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.”

How do we respond to Him Who Bequeaths the Hill Country?

Let’s be honest, there are times we doubt His blessing; when what we receive doesn’t line up with our expectations; when we fix our eyes on our situation and obstacles; when we can’t see the forest for the trees.

The Lord has entrusted to each of us our individual Hill Countries as part of our inheritance in Christ, and clearing them will definitely entail hard work. Sweat and perseverance will be needed.

But of most importance, it is faith we need… to be convinced that His Will shall be accomplished and all His promises fulfilled; that He is Sovereign and Faithful in all He Bequeaths. Then we too will go up to the Hill Country, enabled by His Holy Spirit and Holy Word, to engage in some clearing of our own, fully trusting and persuaded in the goodness and perfection of His Will for our portion.

Today, let us fix our eyes on Him Who Bequeaths the Hill Country, and may His Holy Spirit strengthen us as we spend time meditating upon His Word, specifically in this area of unmet expectations and suffering.

  • The Hill Country is a promised portion of our inheritance.
    • The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him, (Romans 8:16).
    • For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, (Philippians 1:29).
  • The Hill Country requires clearing.
    • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” (Romans 5:1-5).
    • All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, (Hebrews 12:11).
  • The Hill Country will be ours, no matter the strength of the enemy
    • I can do all things through Him who strengthens me, (Philippians 4:13).
    • Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you, (1 Peter 5:6-10).
    • Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:10-18).

May we never doubt His faithfulness, for even the Hill Country shall be ours as we engage in clearing, driving out sin and fixing our eyes on Jesus, our Perfect Example and Perfecter of our faith.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Let’s Grow Together!

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