Joshua Chapter 19 (ESV)
The Inheritance for Joshua
49 When they had finished distributing the several territories of the land as inheritances, the people of Israel gave an inheritance among them to Joshua the son of Nun. 50 By command of the Lord they gave him the city that he asked, Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim. And he rebuilt the city and settled in it.
51 These are the inheritances that Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel distributed by lot at Shiloh before the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. So they finished dividing the land.
Finally with victories won and the land divided, Joshua settled down on his own inheritance. However, Joshua’s retirement wasn’t simply a well-merited reward for his decades of exemplary service. He was retired, also, for the benefit of Israel!
When the Manasseh needed more land (ch 17), they hurried to Joshua and complained. Josh wisely told them “You can drive them out”. It was time for Israel to stop depending on Joshua and to step out on their own. Manasseh, and all the other tribes, needed to trust God for themselves.
There comes a time when each of us needs to step down and tell those we have nurtured, “You can do it. It’s time that I retire. And time to learn what God can do for and through you.”
In what relationships do you need to retire and let others be responsible for themselves?
PRAYER: (In 1994 Richard Foster compiled a book entitled Prayers From the Heart. In it is a Prayer of Relinquishment (printed below) that he uses in his time of prayer. Take a deep breath, sit back and read it slowly as you let the words become your own.)
Today, O Lord, I yield myself to You. May Your will be my delight today.
May You have perfect sway in me. May your love be the pattern of my living.
I surrender to You my hopes, my dreams, my ambitions.
Do with them what You will, when You will, as You will.
I place into Your loving care my family, my friends, my future.
Care for them with a care that I can never give.
I release into Your hands my need to control, my craving for status, my fear of obscurity.
Eradicate the evil, purify the good, and establish Your Kingdom on earth.
For Jesus’ sake, Amen.