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Joshua Chapter 17:1-18

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
February 10, 2024 12:00 am

Joshua Chapter 17:1-18

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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February 10, 2024 12:00 am

Cross the Bridge 42214-3

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We go through a cycle of fighting and being victorious, of fighting and sometimes losing, fighting and being victorious.

But you know what? We are in a battle. We will stay in battles. We will continue in battles.

Don't be surprised by the battles. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. We shouldn't be surprised when we face trials in life. Today, Pastor David explains why God expects us to fight battles as he continues in the book of Joshua chapter 17. But before we join Pastor David, 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 crossthebridge.com for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness.

Now here's David McGee with part three of his teaching, Occupy the Land You Have Been Given. We're going to be in the book of Joshua chapter 17. Verse 1 says, There was also a lot for the tribe of Manasseh, for he was the firstborn of Joseph, namely for Meshur, the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, therefore he was given Gilead and Bashan. And there was a lot for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families, for the children of Abazar, the children of Helak, the children of Asriel, the children of Shacham, the children of Hafer, the children of Shemitah. These were the male children of Manasseh, the son of Joseph according to their family. Now Zelophehad, the son of Hafer, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons but only daughters. And these are the names of his daughters, Melah, Noah, Hoggla, Milcah, and Terzah. Verse 4, And they came near before Eliezer the priest, before Joshua, the son of Nun, I know it looks like Nun, but it's actually pronounced Nun, and before the rulers, saying, The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.

Therefore, according to the commandment of the LORD, He gave them an inheritance among their father's brothers. Ten shearers fell to Manasseh besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, which were on the other side of the Jordan, because the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance among his sons, and the rest of Manasseh's sons had the land of Gilead. Some of you have maps in the back of your Bible.

You may want to flip back there and see if you do have maps. If you look at where the tribes are divided, Ephraim was on the west side of the Jordan. Manasseh, half of them were on the east side, and half of them were on the west side with Gad and Reuben. So there was two and a half tribes that were on the east side of Jordan. There were nine and a half tribes that were on the west side of Jordan. The west side was where God had told them to resign. Okay, so there was two and a half tribes that are really, for all intents and purposes, they're on the wrong side. They're on the wrong side. And this is interesting to me, because what we see modeled here is that when they got to this place, two and a half tribes didn't go in. They didn't go in. Nine and a half tribes went in. Those that stayed out had a lot of trouble.

And you know what I refer to them as? Borderline believers. Because here's what happened, and we can see that in the children of Israel as they went through the desert. Because as they went through the desert, there was two groups to the children of Israel. There was one group that was convinced that God had spoken, and they were hearing from God, and they were going into this promised land. There was a group that believed that. There was another group that every time something happened, every time there's a little bit of opposition, they were willing to go back to Egypt. They were wanting to moan and complain and whine and talk about the past, talk about where they used to be, the things they used to have. I used to, as a young Christian and reading about the children of Israel, I used to get so mad at them and think, my goodness, God did this and God did that, and God showed you all these things and delivered you out of these plagues and did all this, and look at you whining and moaning and crying and complaining. The older I've gotten in the Lord, now every time I read it, I get convicted. And I think, you know what?

Man, that's me sometimes. That is me getting set free out of Egypt, being promised a beautiful land and whining about it as I'm walking there. So verse seven, and the territory of Manasseh was from Asher to Mishmithah that lies east of Shechem, and the border that went along south through the inhabitants of and Topua. Manasseh had the land of Topua, but Topua on the border of Manasseh belonged to the children of Ephraim, and the border descended to the brook Kana, southward to the brook. These cities of Ephraim are among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and it ended at the sea. Southward it was Ephraim's, northward it was Manasseh's, and the sea was its border. Manasseh's territory was adjoining Asher on the north and Issachar on the east, and in Issachar and in Asher Manasseh had Bethchion and its towns, Iblium and its towns, the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, inhabitants of Endor and its towns, inhabitants of Tenoch and its towns, and the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns, three hilly regions. Incidentally, in verse 11 it mentions Bethchion and it mentions Megiddo. Those are two places that we go when we go to Israel. They're still there.

The ruins are still there, dating back to 3,000 years plus, so those places we know again exist. Verse 12, yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in that land. And it happened when the children of Israel grew strong that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. The Canaanites stayed with them in the land. Why? Because they couldn't drive them out.

No. Read verse 13 carefully. It says, and it happened, when they grew strong, they didn't drive them out. When they grew strong and could have drove them out, they didn't drive them out, but they brokered some kind of treaty with them. And they had problems for years and years and years and years and years.

And because they did this, they ultimately lost what they had. At first, they were overwhelmed. And what happens when you found yourself in overwhelming circumstances? You should run back to God. And when you run back to God, what happens is you're strengthened.

And then you face that problem again, but you face it strengthened and you're able to be victorious. I've seen people in overwhelming situations that they weren't overwhelmed by. Why? Because they had the strength of the Lord. I've seen other people that had just piddly stuff going on that were overwhelmed.

Why? Because they were trying to fight in their own strength. If you're overwhelmed, either A, your God is not strong enough, or B, you're not leaning on him. Either A, your God's not strong enough, or B, you're not leaning on him.

Which do you think it is? Your God's plenty strong. He created this heavens and this earth with a word. So our God's plenty strong.

So when we're overwhelmed, guess what's going on? We're not leaning on him. We're not leaning on him. When you find yourself in a tizzy, it doesn't matter who put you in the tizzy.

You're in the tizzy. It means you're not leaning on God. Lean on the Lord.

See, because this is the thing. If God puts you in a situation, notice the way I phrase that. If God puts you in a situation, God knows you're in that situation. Okay, that's not very deep, Pastor David. Understand God put you in that situation.

If you murmur, if you complain, if you mumble and you grumble, you're mumbling, grumbling, murmuring, complaining about where God placed you. Yeah, I know. This is one of those messages that's really convicting. I understand. I'm being convicted as I teach it.

But let's look at the facts. Number one, God desires you to be victorious. God desires for you to be victorious. We know this by the teaching of scripture. 1 Corinthians 15, 57 says, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. And Romans 8, 37 says, yet in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. So we know by scripture God desires us to be victorious. The second thing is God placed you in the position or at least God knows you are in the situation.

Okay, because you can't blame God for everything. You might have placed yourself in a situation or in a predicament or a position that you put yourself in. But we can recognize that God knows we're in that situation. So God wants you to be victorious. He placed you in that situation.

There's only one conclusion to come from those two things. And that is God desires for you to be victorious in that situation. God desires for you to be victorious in that situation. Because God wants you to be victorious. God has you and knows that you're in that situation. God wants to bring you the victory in the midst of that situation. Again, I think this is how a lot of people that understand this can go through incredible stuff. You look at the life of Paul.

Paul went through a lot of stuff, went through a lot of hardships. We don't ever see him going, well, that's it. I give up. I quit. Never.

Why? Because he knew this. He knew that God would bring about the victory in any given situation. So what did he learn to do? He learned to lean on God.

That's the next life lesson. Learn to lean on God. Learn to lean on God.

And let me tell you something, friend. God is perfectly willing to place you in a situation where you will lean on Him. If you think you can stand on your own strength, you will find yourself quickly in a situation where you need to lean on Him. Or tonight you can say, Lord, I want to lean on you.

I don't really want that situation to come about that I have to lean on you for. And learn that place of trust. Now, verse 14, they continue to get in more trouble here. Then the children of Joseph spoke to Joshua saying, why have you given us only one lot and one share to inherit since we are a great people? And as much as the Lord has blessed us until now, wow.

You understand what they're saying? We used to be blessed. And now you're ruining it. We were blessed. We were great.

We are great. You should always be concerned when somebody's telling you how great they are. 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 crossthebridge.com for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness.

Now, back to today's message. Verse 15. So Joshua answered them, if you, if, notice the if, if you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you.

I love Joshua's boldness, man. And what an awesome answer. And you know what? Understand, Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim. But he gives this answer and he says, you know what?

And this is wise counsel. And what's amazing to me, it didn't bother them that they were disregarding what God had told them and they were camping out on the wrong side of Jordan. It didn't bother them that they were murmuring against what God was doing in their life. It didn't bother them that they didn't even stop to thank God for their blessings.

But it bothered them that they didn't get enough. If you think I'm meddled up to now, we're getting ready to get really serious. But there's, there's a lesson in here for every one of us. And I know before I say this, some of us will go, that's not for me, praise God. But you know what? There's something, there's a takeaway for each one of us when we look at this. Because, see, here's the thing. Were they at this point being self-centered or other-centered? They were being self-centered. We didn't get enough.

You didn't give us enough. And what happens sometimes is that we tend to be, because of our fallen sin nature, we tend to be self-centered. We have been set free from the guilt of sin. But we are still by our selves fallen humans. And so we tend towards selfishness.

There has to be a supernatural work in us for us to move away from that. Now let me ask you a question. We see what bothers them. What bothers you?

What bothers you? When you think back on the last three, four, five, six, 12 times, you got bothered. Why were you bothered? Were you bothered because you messed up and you sinned and you fell? Or were you bothered because you didn't get enough and you weren't treated right and you didn't get the respect you wanted and you got offended? Or are you bothered by your carnality, by the fact that you still mess up? Are you bothered by the fact that maybe like everybody else in here, you don't spend enough time in the Word, you don't spend enough time in prayer? Do those things bother you?

Or does it bother you that you don't get treated right? And what does Joshua say? Oh man, this is... Joshua goes on to say, you know what, if you're so great then occupy the land you've been given. What have you been given in your life? Chances are you've been given a lot. We in this country have been given so much. Joshua here tells them, and I think it's a great lesson for us, occupy the area that we've been given.

Maximize the area that you occupy right now and quit worrying about what you don't have. Because you know what, friend, if you're not maximizing, if you're not occupying what you've been given now, the last prayer you want to pray is, Lord, give me more. Lord, I know I'm not handling what you've already given me very well.

Why don't you give me some more stuff? That's not the way God works. That is not the way God works. We're told in the New Testament, Matthew chapter 25 verse 21 says, the master was full of praise. Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount. So now we'll give you many more responsibilities.

Let's celebrate together. Luke 16 10 says, he who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much. And he who is unjust in what is least is also unjust also in much. See, you don't find in the scripture, well, you're really handled that terribly.

Let's give you some more to do. You don't see that. As a matter of fact, in that account in Matthew 25, the one guy you remember with the one talent and he went and buried it and didn't do anything with it, God took that from him. I know it's a convicting story. So Joshua was saying, you know what, if you're so great, show the goods and go beat the giants because you're so great, that's not a big deal.

Maximize what you've already been given. And what we're going to see is we're going to see, we're going to see these guys again in other places. Why? Because the same people will end up, they gave Joshua trouble. They'll end up giving problems to Gideon. They'll end up giving problems to Jephthah.

They'll end up giving problems even to David. Why? Because they keep being preoccupied with themselves. As Christians, as believers, that's not the way you're supposed to be. You're supposed to be preoccupied with others.

Why? Because that's the way Jesus was. James 3 16 says, for where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. Are you self-seeking? Then don't be surprised that you're having problems.

Don't be surprised that you feel overwhelmed because you're engaged in self-seeking, which the Bible clearly says here is the roots of all sorts of evil. They continued on. They didn't listen. Verse 16, but the children of Joseph said, the mountain country is not enough for us. And all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Bechion and its towns and those who are of the valley of Jezreel.

And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph to Ephraim and Manasseh and said, you are a great people and have great power. You shall not have only one lot. Do you understand? And this is the next to last life lesson. God expects us to fight battles. God expects us to fight battles. We go through a cycle of fighting and being victorious, of fighting and being victorious, fighting, sometimes losing, fighting and being victorious.

But you know what? We are in a battle. We will stay in battles. We will continue in battles. Don't be surprised by the battles. James 1, 2 says, my brother encountered all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

Don't be surprised. Romans chapter 5, verse 3 and 4. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations. Glory in tribulations.

That's sick. Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance, character and character hope. Expect battles. You're going to be in battles. Glory in tribulation. Glory in trials. I know it's difficult.

Let's use the right word. I know it's impossible without God. But with God, it is possible. And you know what happens when an unbeliever watches a believer go through something like that and count it all joy? Oh, you don't have to worry about making an opportunity to share the gospel with that person. Because that person may very well come to you and go, what is wrong with you? I just saw this person say something really ugly to you and you smiled at them.

Or I just saw the boss lay a bunch of work on your desk and you smiled and said, thank you. What's wrong with you? And you can say, oh, you know what? This is helping me to grow as a believer. See, I'm a follower of Jesus Christ.

And boom, boom, boom, you got the opportunity to share. Verse 18, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down and its farthest extent shall be yours. For you shall drive out the Canaanites though they have iron chariots and are strong. There's so many good lessons in these chapters. And I know that there's things that, it's the kind of thing where, you know, you can't really go, okay, doing that, all right, check, yes, sir, check. No, it's not that kind of lesson tonight.

It's the kind of lesson where you go, oh, okay, this one is one I'm going to be reviewing often. And that's okay. That's okay. That's a good thing. Here's the summation, if you will, the last life lesson.

Occupy the land you've been given, live to capacity, fight your enemies, and quit complaining. I know that's a tough thing to do. And let me guarantee you that some of us have done it for so long, it's ingrained in us. It's just what we do.

I always encourage people to do this. And I'm making you accountable to whoever's sitting beside you. For the next 24 hours, try not complaining. Try not complaining for 24 hours. And if you do complain, allow the person that's seated next to you to point it out. And don't get angry when they do, because they're only doing what I ask them to do. So if you get angry, well, get angry at yourself because you complained and you knew this whole thing was getting set up. So, I mean, you can't really even be mad at me because I'm telling you in advance not to complain. Because you know what it says to God? You know what complaining really says to God? God, you don't know what you're doing.

You placed me in this situation without really thinking it through, didn't you, God? You don't know what you're doing. There's a lack of trust there. There's a lack of faith there. Here's the sad thing. Had these people listened to Joshua, they would have purified the land and they would have enjoyed the blessings of it for a long, long time. That's not what they did. See, tonight, some people are going to hear this word and go, oh, praise God, I am so convicted.

That was, man, that was for me. And there's going to be some people that hear this message and go, what was that about? I mean, what, do you have one too many expressos or what was going on there? And they're going to miss it. They're going to miss it.

And they're going to be surprised that they're plagued by the enemies that God was desiring to remove from their lives starting tonight. See, that's the sad thing in this story. These people, they never got to enjoy the victory. Oh, they could have.

Oh, yeah. They could have stopped and said, oh, praise God, look at all this land we've been given. Praise the Lord, what He's doing.

And man, He's given me this opportunity to conquer the land and to enjoy the blessings. But that's not what they did. They immediately started complaining.

They immediately started complaining. Instead of thinking what they hadn't done, it said they didn't drive out the Canaanites. And then they complained about not having enough land. Now, is it just me or they're saying there's too many people in this land, we don't have enough land, but we didn't do what God told us to do and drive out these people? Friends, that's exactly what they did. They didn't do what God told them to do, drive out the Canaanites.

And then they complained about the land that they had been given. I wish, I wish that was not so convicting. I do, but it is. We're in the midst of battles. And friend, the moment you start thinking all about yourself and you, me, myself, and I, you're losing. You're losing the battle. The moment you look up, you're going to start winning. It doesn't have anything to do with your outlook. It has all to do with your up look of looking to the Lord in these situations.

Because you know what? God is going to bring you through these battles. And even if you blow it, He's going to bring you back to you and give you another opportunity to be victorious. And then at some point, we all will face a battle that we can't win by ourselves. The final foe, yeah, death.

But dear ones, beloved, He's already won that one for you. You don't have to be afraid of that one. There's no need for you to be afraid of that final foe because God Himself in the form of Jesus Christ has already given you the victor. He's made you to be the victor in that final foe. You have nothing to fear at all. 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. 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, have 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 crossthebridge.com now for your copy of Lessons from the Wilderness. 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-10 01:08:36 / 2024-02-10 01:19:38 / 11

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