Joshua 19: What in the world?

So I really don’t have a lot to say about Joshua 19. In fact, the vast majority of it outlines how the remaining five tribes received their inheritance. But one thing that stands out is vs 47: “(But the Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory, so they went up and attacked Leshem, took it, put it to the sword, and occupied it. They settled in Leshem and named it Dan after their forefather.)”

I guess, really, I can’t say anything. But I do have a question: “What in the world?”

As in, what in the world were they doing that they couldn’t drive the people from their territory? Caleb pushed the Anakites and such out of the hills around Horeb all by himself!

As in, what in the world were they thinking, that they run all the way up to Dan, which is at the very north end of the promise land, and take a city belonging to another tribe? It’s like they couldn’t get what they were supposed to have, so they just went and stole what belonged to someone else.

As in, what in the world is wrong with them, that when they “had difficulty” they chose to cut and run? If we just went on to something else every time we “had difficulty,” we would never get anything done!

Maybe that’s the point. Once again, the Israelites compromise. And this time, the people that get cheated out of something are more Israelites.

Here’s the deal. So far in Joshua, we’ve seen the Israelites’ compromises create inconveniences (e.g., when the Amorite kings attacked the Gibeonites). We’ve seen the Israelites’ compromises stunt small portions of them (e.g., when the Judahites failed to dislodge the Jebusites from Jerusalem). And we’ve seen the Israelites’ compromises open the door for the ultimate failure of portions of the nation (e.g., when the Ephraimites neglected to force out the Canaanites living in Gezer).

Now we see where one tribe’s compromise costs another a chunk of its territory.

Here’s the deal. When we compromise, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are always consequences when we allow things that are less than perfect into our lives. More often than we like to admit, those consequences have ramifications for people around us. And almost always, the people most significantly affected are those that we supposedly love.

So don’t compromise when it comes to God’s will. If He would have you do something, do it all the way. If He would have you have something, possess it all the way. Don’t just give up because it gets difficult. And don’t just go over and do something else because it looks easier.

Because whenever we compromise, someone will feel it. And I don’t want to be the guy snagging territory from someone I love.


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