Joshua 13:15-23 Becoming a seed of blessing for future generations

Joshua 13:15-23

So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families. 16 Their territory was from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, with the city which is in the middle of the valley and all the plain by Medeba; 17 Heshbon, and all its cities which are on the plain:Dibon and Bamoth- baal and Beth- baal- meon, 18 and Jahaz and Kedemoth and Mephaath, 19 and Kiriathaim and Sibmah and Zereth- shahar on the hill of the valley, 20 and Beth- peor and the slopes of Pisgah and Beth- jeshimoth, 21 even all the cities of the plain and all the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, whom Moses struck with the chiefs of Midian, Evi and Rekem and Zur and Hur and Reba, the princes of Sihon, who lived in the land. 22 The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain. 23 The border of the sons of Reuben was the Jordan. This was the inheritance of the sons of Reuben according to their families, the cities and their villages.

Background

Joshua confirmed the land previously allotted to Reuben by Moses. It was a sad reminder of how Reuben due to sin lost his preeminence as firstborn to Joseph. As a result, Reuben’s descendants were given one portion of land instead of two. Today’s devotion teaches us to be careful of how we live, knowing that our actions will carry far-reaching consequences. If we remain faithful to God, we will become a seed of revival and blessings for future generations.

Observation

So Moses gave an inheritance to the tribe of the sons of Reuben according to their families.

Moses at their request gave Reuben the territory previously occupied by the Moabites. A few hundred years before the land was divided, Reuben’s lot was decided by Jacob who uttered prophecies regarding his sons. Reuben was the firstborn and according to the Law entitled to double portion (see Deuteronomy 21:17). However, he committed a grave sin by laying with his father’s concubine (see Genesis 35:22). Reuben’s sinful deed caused Jacob to utter a foreboding prophecy which affected Reuben’s descendants: Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed (Genesis 49:3). By this utterance, the right of the firstborn was given to his brother Joseph who received two portions for his sons; Ephraim and Manasseh (see Genesis 48:12-22).

The sons of Israel also killed Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner, with the sword among the rest of their slain. 

During the days of Moses, when they were at war with the Moabites, Balaam was enlisted to bring a curse on Israel (see Numbers 22:16). However, God delivered Israel by frustrating Balaam’s intended curse and turned it into a blessing. Balaam also played the role of seducing the Israelites using Moabite women which resulted in a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites. Balaam, together with the Moabites died at the hand of the Israelites.

Truth

We must be careful of how we live, knowing that the consequences of our actions will resonate through the generations to come.

Most people suppose their influence over their children cease on the day they die. The bible tells us that it is not so, the influence of the fathers will continue to reign over their children hundreds of years after they passed on. What they leave behind have everything to do with their moral fibre and their relationship with God while they were alive. A father’s material provision endures for a moment, but his divine legacy reverberates through generations to come.

The personal sin of Reuben continued to plague his descendants even after he passed on. It showed up at the division of land some 400 years later when two portions of the land were given by lot to Joseph instead of Reuben. Reuben lost his preeminence as firstborn and God’s favor when he slept with his father’s concubine. Indeed, one moment of folly, resulted in many generations of poverty.

It is a universal principle that children be recipients of their father’s legacies be it blessings or curses. The best inheritance a father can give to his children is divine blessing and favor. Therefore, fathers must give greater attention to their personal life and relationship with God along with the responsibility to provide for his children.

In the new covenant, Christ has broken all the curses that may descend from our ancestors.

The descendants of Reuben had cause to be concern with the sins of their forefathers. New covenant believers however, need no longer fear the curses that may ensue. The work of Christ had stemmed the spread of the cancer of death and curses. The apostle Paul said, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22. Adam, being the father of the human race plunged the world into darkness and all die. In the same vein, all who are in Christ will be made alive. Therefore, no curses of poverty, sickness or any evil thing can ever haunt God’s children. Having said, the process of discipleship facilitates the breaking of curses and the casting out of evil spirits. Churchgoers that shunt the commitment of discipleship wondered why they are never totally freed from fear and bondage. Freedom from curses and bondage is a process of sanctification that can only be brought about by discipleship.

We must guard against the attacks of divination and more so the seductions of the enemy.

Believers who make their own plans without consultation with God are open to the attacks of demonic divination. However, God protects those who trust Him and take refuge in Him. The psalmist wrote,

He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day. Psalm 91:4-5.

Having said, the woman’s seduction had through the ages brought down the strongest of the strong. Balaam was not successful in cursing the Israelites because they were walking in the will of God. However, he succeeded in inciting Moabite women to seduce the Israelites into idolatry.

Application

  1. Do you constantly carry the fear of being attacked by the enemy? If your conscience accuses you of wrong, it is time to reconcile with God and walk in His ways. His forgiveness and grace will protect you and no evil will come to you.
  2. Are you carrying burdens that concern the wellbeing of your children? And you felt guilty that you are not able to do enough for them? The best inheritance you can give to your children is divine blessings and favor that comes from your obedience towards God. In 1 Kings 9:11-13, as a result of Solomon’s folly, God announced that he would lose his kingdom. Because of his father David, God would delay this judgment until after Solomon’s death. Your faithful allegiance to God today will surely be felt for many generations to come.

Dear Lord, I commit myself to walk in your truth in the best of my ability. Protect me from the attacks of sickness, accidents, foolish blunders and temptations that I cannot bear. Use me as a seed of revival and blessing for my family and for future generations. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


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