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Joshua 16:1-18:28

2 ½ tribes on the east of the Jordan, and 10 ½ on the west, those on the east have taken their territory; however, only three out of the 10 ½ on the west have gone after theirs. What is going on? What goes on within us, within me when I don’t take what God has given me? It is fear that past and current sins will keep me from what God has given me. Is it feelings of inadequacy because I am relying on self instead of relying on God who gives me strength? Is it just plan laziness, a desire for someone else to go out and do the dirty work ‘cause I don’t want to get my hands dirty?

In the 10th verse of chapter 16 we read, 10But they didn't get rid of the Canaanites who were living in Gezer. Canaanites are still living among the people of Ephraim, but they are made to do forced labor.

If Israel was to completely rid the land of its inhabitants, then “striking a bargain” with the folks who live there is akin to making friends with one’s sin. Let me have what I do, but shouldn’t do, be done by someone else and I will use it’s profits to take care of my needs.” In verses 12-13, of chapter 17 we read, 12 The people of Manasseh never were able to take over these towns--the Canaanites wouldn't budge. 13 But later, when the Israelites got stronger, they put the Canaanites to forced labor. But they never did get rid of them.

O.K. here we have people who are just too to weak to get rid of the Canaanites, but strong enough to subject them into forced labor---somebody is telling a fib/lie so they can benefit from the yeast of “sin.” O, how often do we hang around our sin and assign it to someone else so that we can get the benefit?

As a numbers person the “numbers” in both the Old and New Testament readings and their relationships intrigues me. In the parable of the Ten Servants, we have the citizens of the country—refusing to accept the eventual kingship of the “nobleman.” (Whether we accept Jesus as King or not, when he comes back He will still be King—I compare this as to what I did in my youth, declare God dead as if I had the power to “knock off” God.) There are Ten servants who are given ten pounds of silver (Was this ten pounds each or one each? It doesn’t matter because the percentage of increase, the ratios are the same.) Of the ten, three present themselves before the newly crowned King. (Ten tribes back in Israel on the left side of the Jordon, the East, only 3 ½ show up with any kind of land possession, though some of the “sin” is kept as inhabitants for profitability.)

Joshua’s admonishment to the seven remaining tribes with a little word substitution can fit perfectly in this Parable and speak to us, to me:

3 Then Joshua asked them, "How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given to you?

By the way, the percentage of folk that conquered their land in this passage, and those servants that presented themselves in front of the returning King, 30%, though that third guy, just buried his, seems to run the same throughout the Bible. Compare the numbers in the seven churches addressed in Revelations: those who were rebuked and the few who were not

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