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Joshua Chapter 15:1-63

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
January 14, 2024 12:00 am

Joshua Chapter 15:1-63

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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January 14, 2024 12:00 am

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I understand you get beat up. I get beat up. I understand sometimes you lose battles. I sometimes lose battles.

But you know what? The ultimate battle, we win. Be encouraged in that.

You will be rewarded for your faithfulness. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. We win battles one at a time, not usually all at once.

Ultimately and finally in the end, we will win. Join Pastor David today as he continues his study in the book of Joshua, chapter 15. But first, when you're in trouble, where do you turn most often?

Do you look to yourself or the advice of your friends or do you go straight to God? We want to help you experience the hope that comes from looking to the Lord when your life turns upside down by sending you Pastor David McGee's CD series titled Lessons from the Wilderness. In this encouraging resource, Pastor David looks at one of the most difficult periods of King David's life to show you how you can wait confidently on God no matter what you're facing. Lessons from the Wilderness is our thank you for your gift this month to share the hope of Christ with others. So please visit for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness.

Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Inheritance. Turn with me to Joshua, chapter 15, verse 1. So this was the lot of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families. The border of Edom at the wilderness of Zen southward was the extreme southern boundary. And their southern border began at the shore of the salt sea from the bay that faces southward.

Then it went out to the southern side of the ascent of Acharabim, passed along to Zen, ascended on the south side of Kadesh Barnea, passed along to Hezron, went up to Adar, and went around to Carca. From there it passed towards Asmon and went out to the brook of Egypt. And the border ended at the sea.

This shall be your southern border. The east border was the salt sea, the Dead Sea is what it's talking about when it says that, as far as the mouth of the Jordan. And the border on the northern quarter began at the bay of the sea, the mouth of the Jordan. The border went up to Beth Hagla and passed north of Beth Aribah. And the border went up to the stone of Bohan, the son of Reuben. Then the border went up towards Dabir from the valley of Achar, and it turned northward towards Gagal, which is before the ascent of Adumim, which is on the south side of the valley.

The border continued towards the waters of Enshamesh and ended up in Enrogol. And the border went up by the valley of the son of Nome to the southern slope of the Jebusite city, which is Jerusalem. The border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of Re from northward.

Then the border went around from the top of the hill to the fountain of the water of Neftoah, and extended to the cities of Mount Ephron. And the border went around to Bela, which is Kerjath Jureim. Then the border turned westward from Bela to Mount Seir, passed along to the side of Mount Jerim to the north, which is Cheshalon, went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed on to Timnah. And the border went out to the side of Ekron northward. Then the border went around to Shichron, passed along to Mount Bela, and extended to Jebneel. And the border ended at the sea.

And the west border was the coastline of the great sea. This is the boundary of the children of Judah, all around according to their families. See, and now basically what's happened is we've been given the borders to the tribe that was the land that was given to Judah. And keep in mind, it was not the battles necessarily that gave them the land, it was the Lord.

It was the Lord. Now we need to understand that because that definitely has modern day implications. Because what was just named included the area over to the Jordan. Understand something, Israel is in that country because God gave Israel that land. Their battles didn't win the land. They are not occupying the territory. The British government did not give them this land. God gave them that land. Now I understand, and I hope that you do, that God's blessing of the inheritance of the land was a gift and it was unconditional. Now them being in the and experiencing the blessing of the land was conditional upon them following the Lord. That's why we see when they fall away, well you have things like the Assyrian captivity. You have things like the Babylonian captivity. You have the thing where the Romans, you know they were under the occupation of Rome who in 70 AD laid siege to Jerusalem and then drove them out.

And they were out for about 1900 years. But God saw fit to bring them back. Verse 13, Now to Caleb the son of Jephthah, he gave a share among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of the Lord to Joshua, namely Kerjath-arba, which is Hebron. Arba was the father of Aanech. And Caleb drove out the three sons of Aanech from there, Seshah, Ahim and Talmah, the children of Aanech. He's 85 years old and he's over there kicking people out and taking names.

Is that not encouraging or what? It's like yeah, go get them Caleb. And you know what, also notice he's leading these people. He's not doing it by himself. Verse 15, Then he went up from there to the inhabitants of Deborah.

Formerly the name of Deborah was Kerjath-saphir. And Caleb said, He who attacks Kerjath-saphir and takes it, to him I will give Esau my daughter as wife. So now he's being filled with faith. He's having these battles and then he's encouraging others.

And I think we see a concept here that we need to understand. And so he's filling his people with faith, the people around him with faith. The life lesson here is the mature saints are to help encourage those younger in the faith. The mature saints are to help encourage those younger in the faith. Now what I do not mean by this is necessarily people who are older. Because I've met people who are older who are not mature in their faith. I've met people who have been walking with the Lord 20, 30, 40 years who are not mature Christians. It's sad, but it's so.

And I've met some people who have only been saved for a year or two that are radically sold out for God. That need to turn around and look for people to be poured into. Why? Well, you remember that stagnant analogy, the stagnant bird pond?

Nobody wants to be green, nasty, stinky water in a bird pond. So the answer is you begin to pour out on others and as you do that, you're blessed. Let me ask you a question. And if these names don't come quickly, this is a clue.

But let me ask you a question. Who are you being discipled by right now? Who is encouraging you in your walk with the Lord? Now, hopefully you would mention my name in there, but who else is gathered around you in order to do this?

Now before you have a little pity me party, who are you discipling? Who are you spending time with and encouraging them in the Lord? See, these are kind of convicting questions, aren't they?

This is supposed to be a natural thing that goes on in the body of Christ. And we see it here and it's happening here, but we want to continue to encourage that. How many of you in the last month, how many of you have been shopping? Show your hand. Yeah, I've been shopping.

Praise God. Some of you missed the opportunity to shop, but anyway. Okay, so when you go shopping, you go into a store and you see something you like and you pick it out and you put it in your cart or whatever, and then what do you do? You'll just leave the store, don't you?

No, hopefully not. You stop and you pay for the stuff, right? Okay, because what? Because you're receiving, so you give. There is an exchange that is going on there. There's a give and there's a receiving. How in the world did we ever get to the place where we think church is a place where we only receive?

How did that happen? That is so twisted from the notion that God intended. Most churches, and you may be aware of this, most churches have less than 5% of the people serving.

Less than 5%. So if your measure is of a disciple, is somebody turning around and serving? The church right now is a miserable failure. Now, be encouraged, this church here, we run somewhere between 30 and 45% of the people that come here serve.

That's an amazing thing. And I believe part of it is because they're being poured into. So what happens? Well, when you overfill a glass, what happens? Yeah, it starts to overflow on things. It starts to overflow in other places. But see, this is what's supposed to be going on in the body of Christ at this church here.

Now, we see it, but you know what? I want to continue to encourage that because I don't think the 5%, I don't think that's natural. I don't think that's healthy. I don't think that's a good thing.

But part of it is the mentality of, well, I'll come to church and I'll get blessed. I don't want to give anything. Oh, there he goes, talking about finances again. Oh, there he goes, talking about serving again.

I just want to get, get, get. That's not healthy. That's not following Jesus. You don't ever see Jesus walk around and go, well, you got for me. You never see that. Well, you actually see that in the Gospel of Thomas.

That's one of the reasons it's not in there is in the exchange, in the exchange that they have, you know, with a coin. And in our Bibles, it says, you know, give to Caesar what is Caesar and give to God's what is God's. That's the way that it actually reads in the Bible. In the Gospel of Thomas, it says, give to, render unto Caesar what is Caesar, give to God's what is God's and give to me what's mine. Can you imagine Jesus saying that? So the Gospel of Thomas was written like 300, 250 AD.

It was in Coptic. There's a lot of problems with that and that's why it's part of the reason it's not in there. But anyway, that was a rabbit trail and a half, wasn't it? Some of you are going, you lost me, something about Thomas or something. I don't know. I don't think Jesus said any of that. Right. We're on the same page. Praise God. But this, we are, this is supposed to be an exchange. Our relationship together as the body of Christ should be an exchange. That's healthy. That's natural.

That's what should be going on. And so this is what we see Caleb encouraging others in his life to fight the battles and to win the battles. And look at the boldness of his daughter in verse 19.

Or let's go back to 18. Now it was so when she came to him that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she dismounted from a donkey and Caleb said to her, what do you wish? 19, she answered, give me a blessing since you have given me land in the south, give me also springs of water.

So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. Verse 20, this was the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families. The cities at the limits of the tribe of the children of Judah towards the border of Edom in the south were Capziel, Edor, Jegurah, Kenna, Demanah, Adadiah, Kadesh, Hazor, Ethnon, Ziph, Talim, Bilaath, Hazor, Haddadah, Kiriath, Hezron, which is Hazor, Ammon, Shema, Moladah, Hezargadah, Heshmon, Bethpilat, Hazar, Sheol, Beersheba, Bishodah, Bila, Ajum, Esum, Eltulad, Chesil, Hormah, Ziklag, Madmanah, Sensenah, Lebiath, Shilham, Ein, and Rimmon. All the cities are 29 with their villages. In the lowland, Eshtael, Zorah, Eshna, Zineoth, Enginim, Tepuah, Enim, Jormoth, Adulom, Soka, Ezekah, Sharim, Adithim, Gerarah, and Gedirothim, 14 cities with their villages.

Zenon, Haddishah, Migdogad, Dilein, Mizpah, Jachthio, Lachish, Boscath, Eguan, Kaban, Lemosh, Kithlish, Gediroth, Bethdagon, Nama, and Mekkadah, 16 cities with their villages. You know what's interesting in this? This is a listing of the cities that God had given them to the people that had said at Kadesh Barnea and said, there's no way. There's no way. This is not going to happen. But look what God did.

And if this is not a faith builder, understand something. The people of Israel became a nation overnight without a shot being fired. When they left Egypt, all of a sudden they were a nation headed towards the land. Now they had to conquer the land, but overnight a nation was birthed.

Do you understand? You don't see that anywhere else in history except one other time. May 14th, 1948, it happened again with the same group of people. A nation was formed overnight. Overnight. One day they were not, the next day they were. Now, you know what happened the next day after that? Five nations attacked them. And this nation, without an army, without a military presence really, won against these five nations.

And one of those foes was, well it was a long time foe of Egypt who had a superior military strength, superior military intelligence, superior military organization, and they lost fighting this new nation. You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's Word in just a moment. But first, no matter how wise you are, listening to your own advice when you should be trusting God is dangerous. That's why we want to send you Pastor David McGee's CD series called Lessons from the Wilderness. Journey through one of the darkest times in King David's life and discover how you can wait confidently on God no matter what struggles you're facing because his plans are perfect and he always comes through for you. Lessons from the Wilderness is our thank you for your gift this month to share the hope of Christ with others. So please visit for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness.

Now, back to today's message. The nation of Israel itself is a faith builder seeing what God has done. He's taken a desert community that now exports more fresh fruits and vegetables into Europe than any other country in the world. It's amazing to see what the Lord has done. But here's these list of cities that God had given them. What do you think they were feeling at that point? Can you imagine? I mean, here they are in this land.

They've ran all these people off that some people said they'd never be able to defeat. How do you think Joshua and Caleb felt? They felt good.

I mean, that's the theological term I'd use. They felt good, man. They were sitting back going, God said it and God did it.

Well, guess what, gang? God has said certain things to you. He has given you promises, some awesome promises.

You remember the one in Philippians chapter 1 verse 6? He's faithful. God started a good work in you.

And guess what? He is going to be faithful to complete it to the day of Jesus Christ. Notice the way that verse reads. It doesn't say God started a good work in you. Now He wants you to finish it.

It doesn't say that. It says God has started a good work in you. And He, not you, will be faithful to complete it.

Man, when you ran down and beat up, remember that. Remember the same God that gave them all these cities? Well, now you're on His side. You've been granted His favor because of your fellowship with His side. God is no less powerful than He is in this chapter. So as we continue on reading these cities, understand that at the end of your battles, hopefully there'll be a list of cities that God has given you.

Oh, they may not be geographical locations. Maybe they'll be family members that you've prayed for and had faith for them being saved. And at the end of your life, you'll recall their names.

And maybe, just maybe, it will be a long list of names of people that you've been able to lead to the Lord. The life lesson here, God is always faithful. Always. Always.

You can trust Him and know that. Let's continue on with these cities that God gave them. Verse 42. Libnah, Ethere, Ashan, Jiftah, Ashna, Nazib, Keilah, Ashzib, Marishah, nine cities with their village, Ekron with its town and villages, from Ekron to the sea. All that lay near Ashdod with their villages, Ashdod with its towns and villages, Gaza with its towns and villages, as far as the brook of Egypt and the great sea with its coastline, and then the mountain country, Shamir, Jatir, Shekoth, Dana, Kirjat Sena, which is the beater. Verse 50, Einab, Eshtomah, Einam, Goshan, Holon, and Geilah, 11 cities with their villages, Arab, Dumah, Ashan, Jannab, Beth, Tepuah, Eifukah, Hamtah, Kirjath, Arba, which is Hebron and Zayar, nine cities with their villages, Mahon, Carmel, Ziph, Jutah, Jezreel, Jachdim, Zenoah, Cain, Gibeah and Temnath, 10 cities with their villages, Halhul, Bethzirah, Gerderah, Marath, Bethanath, and Eshtakhan, six cities with their villages, Kirjath, Beyaw, which is Kirjath, Jerim, and Rabah, two cities with their villages. In the wilderness, Betharabah, Medin, Sekhaka, Nibshan, the city of Salt, and En Gedi, six cities with their villages. As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drop them out, but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day. To this day, meaning when this book was written, not to this present day, because what happened later, well, later in the beginning of the book of Judges, they won the lower city, and then David later on drove the Jebusites out as he took Jerusalem. Look at all those cities, guys. That's your God interacting with his people, and God has not changed.

God has not changed. The life lesson here is that you win battles one at a time, not usually all at once. Ultimately, and finally, in the end, we will win.

We will win. I understand you get beat up. I get beat up. I understand sometimes you lose battles. I sometimes lose battles, but you know what? The ultimate battle, we win.

We win. Be encouraged in that. You will be rewarded for your faithfulness. Hebrews chapter 6 verse 10 says, For God is not unjust to forget your work and your labor of love which you have shown towards his name, in that you have ministered to the saints and do minister. God remembers. God sees, and God remembers.

If you're walking to your car after service tonight and there's a piece of trash on the ground, and you pick it up and you throw it in the trash can, guess who sees that? God does. Maybe nobody else does, but God does. When you're a blessing to somebody else, when you catch somebody that's discouraged and say, hey, man, can I pray for you?

And before the prayer, they're all bummed out, and then after the prayer, they're all pumped up. You know who sees that? God sees that.

Maybe nobody else does. God sees. And what happens in the body of Christ is the body is an instrument of blessing to all people, to this area, to the whole world. And that's what the body of Christ is supposed to be doing. We've changed the church into something that's a spectator sport. It was never meant to be that. It was never meant to be a place where you just kind of showed up, you did your hour, your hour and a half, and you were free to live the way you wanted to live. That's just not biblical.

But a place where your giftings can be developed, your giftings can be a blessing to other people, and your giftings can be an encouragement to others. That's what's supposed to go on. Ephesians chapter 4 verse 11 says, and talking about Jesus, he is the one who gave these gifts to the church, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. There we have the definition of what a pastor, teacher is supposed to be doing. See, you probably thought, as I did for years, you probably thought, well, the pastor, he's supposed to do everything. That's his job.

He's like a professional Christian. And so, you know, if anything is wrong at the church, it's his fault. You know, if this isn't going well, this is not running rights, the pastor's fault. Now, I'm not shirking my responsibility. Certainly, there is responsibility there.

There's accountability there. But according to this, the work that needs to go on here is supposed to go on by who? What does this verse say? By you guys and you girls, you men, you women, you children.

According to that verse, I am to equip you to do the work of the ministry. That's what's supposed to be happening. And let me be the first to congratulate you because this is what we see going on here. But I also know that in any given moment, I can't say that to 100% of the people because there's still people that are holding back, that are waiting. I'm not sure what you might be waiting on. Maybe you're waiting to work out those problems in your life.

Then you'll be waiting a long time before you begin to serve. And let me encourage you, take that step of faith and begin making your list of cities so that at some point, maybe when you're 85, maybe before, you can look back and go, yeah, I believed God. I was blessed. I blessed others. I was encouraged. I encouraged others. And now at the end of this, instead of looking to retire at 85, I'm looking around for some giants to take down.

I mean, is that spunky or what? That's what I want. Now, maybe I go home to be with the Lord before I'm 85 and that's okay. But on that day, whenever that day comes, I want to look back like Joshua.

I want to look back like Caleb, like Paul and say, you know, I've run the race. I fought a good fight. And the only way I can do that is to live for him today. So let me encourage you folks. Live for the Lord today.

Pour yourself out. We have an awesome opportunity as the body of Christ to pour into one another's lives and to be a blessing to one another. You know, it's really not hard to be a blessing to somebody else.

You just have to be willing. And hopefully, as God has blessed you, your heart has been made willing to bless others. And that's the picture of the body of Christ. That's what we're to do as followers of Jesus. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.

Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned. And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.

Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him.

And he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous. So congratulations, friend. You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

So many people look to their friends or within their own thoughts when faced with a problem. Even King David struggled with listening to his heart and not trusting in God's promises. Pastor David McGee wants to encourage you to wait confidently on God through whatever trial you're facing by sending you his CD series Lessons from the Wilderness. Lessons from the Wilderness is our thank you for your gift this month to share the hope of Christ with others. So please visit now for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness.

You know each day comes with its share of promises. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord? Visit and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee. It's easy and it's free. Sign up today at And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge as we continue in the book of Joshua. We'll see you then.
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