Joshua 17:12-18 Financial independence and a lifestyle of truth are the twin pillars of effective ministry

Joshua 17:12-18 Financial independence and a lifestyle of truth are the twin pillars of effective ministry

But the sons of Manasseh could not take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. 13 It came about when the sons of Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely.
14 Then the sons of Joseph spoke to Joshua, saying, “Why have you given me only one lot and one portion for an inheritance, since I am a numerous people whom the Lord has thus far blessed?” 15 Joshua said to them, “If you are a numerous people, go up to the forest and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 The sons of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the valley land have chariots of iron, both those who are in Beth- shean and its towns and those who are in the valley of Jezreel.” 17 Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph, to Ephraim and Manasseh, saying, “You are a numerous people and have great power; you shall not have one lot only, 18 but the hill country shall be yours. For though it is a forest, you shall clear it, and to its farthest borders it shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, even though they have chariots of iron and though they are strong.


The descendants of Joseph registered a complaint with Joshua, that given their large population, their land allotment was too small. Joshua did not constrain their desire for expansion, instead inspired them to continue clearing the forest and drive out the Canaanites. Today’s devotion shows us the importance of first securing financial independence and a lifestyle of truth without which believers cannot do the work of the gospel. Financial independence and the truth are twin pillars of effective ministry.


The same failure was repeated by the sons of Manasseh who like the Ephraimites chose tribute over triumph. It was not commendatory that even at the height of their strength, they put the Canaanites to forced labor instead of driving them out.

The sons of Joseph upon receiving their land allotment complained bitterly against in their perceived unjust treatment. They insisted that in the light of their large population they should be granted a bigger portion. In response, Joshua encouraged them to expand their territory by clearing the forest in the land of the Perizzites and of the Rephaim and settle there. However, that was not what they wanted to hear. They insisted that Joshua’s instruction was not tenable as the Canaanites who live in the valley land and the towns have chariots of iron and were too strong for them. With a steely voice, Joshua reminded them of their true prowess: You are a numerous people and have great power. In the same breath, he envisioned for them a pristine land they could call their own, stretching to the farthest borders, a far cry from the hostile backwoods that was impassable and uninhabitable to life. Even though the Canaanites were strong, but the Israelites must never underestimate the power that God had invested in them.


The believer’s financial independence and a lifestyle of truth are the beachheads for world evangelism.

The Israelites’ conquest of Canaan established Israel’s security and blessedness, more importantly it planted the seed of salvation for humanity. Canaan was in fact the beachhead of God’s kingdom. No doubt, Israel’s security and blessedness comes through Canaan. However, Israel’s conquest of Canaan was not self-serving for it was part of God’s divine plan to save the world. Without possessing Canaan, there would be no Israel. Without Israel, there would be no kingly line. And without the kingly line, there would be no Messiah. Without the Messiah, there would be no salvation for humanity.

Likewise, the believer’s security or financial independence is the beachhead for sustained gospel work in the community. Financial independence refers to having enough income for living expenses with enough left over to provide for the poor. Without first achieving financial independence, the work of evangelism and discipleship through the believer is unsustainable. Joshua compelled the tribes to persevere and possess lands to its farthest borders. Why? Because security and financial independence provides sustenance and credibility to the gospel work. Hence, every believer must first establish his financial independence through faith. The relationship between Israel and Canaan show us that land and financial independence is in deed the bedrock of abundant living. Israel must first establish herself from the resources of the land before she could go on to influence the world. Many churchgoers due to the misguided zeal of their leaders neglect their personal career development in preference for an untimely involvement in the gospel work. As a result, they fall into perennial financial problems which contributed to frequent conflicts at home.

Secondly, Israel must drive out the inhabitants of Canaan and establish a values system based on God’s law. A people devoid of the law and the virtues of mercy and humility can never be of positive influence to the world. As a testimony of Israel’s influence in Canaan, the Gibeonites capitulated to Israel and were partially integrated into the Jewish way of life.

It was no wonder Joshua took great pains to compel the Israelites to possess the land by faith and to establish God’s laws in their midst. Before Israel could be used mightily of God, the people must first be established through the resources of the land and on the law of God. Therefore, every believer will do well to work hard and to establish their career. For those who are full time ministers of the gospel, God is faithful to provide for their every need.


How do you achieve financial independence in preparation of fulfilling the great commission? Do you feed yourself continually with the truth and to live by it? You have within you the authority of the Holy Spirit who is able to strengthen and establish you in all your endeavours. As you put on the spirit of excellence, God will raise you through the ranks of your organization and establish you as a credible minister of God. As your financial resources increase, you have now the option to spend more time serving your community.

Dear Lord, cause me to grow in stature in my career and in the ability to create more wealth. Imbue me with greater wisdom as I read your word daily. Establish me and prepare me to serve you in a greater capacity in the future. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


  1. Timely exhortation!! Thanks, Pastor

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar