Hard Roads

Then the people of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance, although I am a numerous people, since all along the LORD has blessed me?” And 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.” The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” 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. For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.” Joshua 17:14-18

The tribe of Joseph was not happy. Joshua was dividing up the land, and handing out the allotments to the different tribes. The people of Joseph couldn’t understand why they had been given such a small portion. In reality, they had plenty, but what they had required some hard work to be useful. They had to clear some land, and they needed to finish driving out the Canaanites.

Joshua’s response was classic. You have enough people and power to accomplish the task. Basically, stop whining and get on with it. God isn’t changing the allotment and the work still needs to be done before you can get settled.

That is a frustrating answer. I mean, this is God. He could change it if he wanted to. Why wouldn’t he make it easy? Why is the road ahead a hard one when God has the power to make it easy?

Even if it is a hard road, at least God has given you a road. You may have to clear a forest or drive out some Canaanites, but at least you know what your allotment is.

Sometimes I think we look at what is coming and want God to show us a way around the difficult things, but God wants us to go though them. That’s not what anyone wants to hear. But the people of the tribe of Joseph never woke up and said, “I sure hope we get the land that has to be cleared and still has a lot of people living in it.” They fought alongside everyone else, they wanted just as good and easy a portion of land as the rest.

Looking around at what God has directed others to do is a sure fire way to get upset and frustrated. There will always be something you see that looks better than what you have been asked to do, at least from the outside. (they may be looking at you thinking the same thing) instead focus on what you are supposed to be doing.

What is it that God has told you to do? Did he say wait? Did he say go forward? Did he say quit? Did he say stay where you are? Stop whining and do what God has called you to do!

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