The children of Joseph receive their blessing. The land is allocated and represented geographically. The main idea to note in this chapter is the recurring theme found once again in verse 10:
“And they did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers.”
Why did the Lord allow the Israelites not to drive out all of the people? This is not the first time it has been mentioned in Joshua. In the coming years, the Israelites will allow the indigenous peoples to influence their worship habits, despite the people’s status as a subservient class or even as slaves.
One reason could be prophecy. We know from Genesis 3 that God knew from the beginning that Jesus’s sacrifice would be forthcoming for the redemption of man. Did God allow the Israelites not to drive them out so that the Israelites would prove the old law ineffectual? Did He allow it so that the remnants of these pagans would ultimately be exposed to the gospel as gentiles? We don’t know.
What we do know, however, is that the Israelites disobeyed God by not driving out all of the people as God commanded. And because of this, the people turned away from God and it sorrowed Him greatly.
It is important that I follow through with the totality of God’s commandments. It is imperative that I understand what He desires for me in my life. It is paramount that I use my talents to serve Him to the best of my ability. God is great and has done everything. That which I am able to do, I owe it to Him to do it.
What are those things that I should be doing? How should I order my thoughts? Read also Colossians 3:1-17.