Joshua, Chapter 19: The Covering
There are two parts to chapter 19 that stood out to me.
The first is where it talks about how Simeon received their inheritance.
We've talked about the preparation and work that goes into the process. An inheritance doesn't just show up. It doesn't get dropped in our lap because of our interest in it. The reality is, everyone would love one. That said, there can be a notion that everything we've worked for is ours. Wait...isn't that the point? For the past two chapters I've repeatedly said that if we want something we have to work for it. So...now we have...and I'm hinting that everything we've worked for isn't necessarily just ours?
Look at this verse:
"The inheritance of Simeon came out of the share of Judah, because Judah's portion turned out to be more then they needed. That's how the people of Simeon came to get their lot from within Judah's portion."
Look at the italics.
We need to do the clearing as we pursue our calling.
Along the way we are to be a blessing.
There's the curveball.
We've seen the word blessing, and thought it was about what we would receive.
When we can see that receiving a blessing isn't a destination but rather a point of distribution, we have the ability to impact the lives of those around us in a big way.
Judah had plenty. They had worked for it, yes. But they had more than they needed.
Now here is where things get really interesting.
There is nothing to indicate that Simeon was being lazy. Because of that, I think we can reasonably deduce that they had been working hard as well. They had done their part. They had rolled up their sleeves, leaned into the work, and did what they could.
There are going to be times in life when people are down on their luck. They've done all they could, and seem to be fighting an uphill battle. Their needs are glaring, but no matter what they do, they just can't seem to get ahead.
I believe we are being taught here in Joshua 19 that if we have plenty, it's not only our opportunity...it's our responsibility...to step in and help. To give out of our abundance.
(*46) Our blessing is about being a COVERING, not just receiving one.
And there it is.
We've been covered by the hand of God, and blessed as a result.
Then who are we to hold with a clenched fist onto every bit of that blessing in the face of someone we could be helping?
I mentioned two parts that stood out to me. That was the first. Here is the second...
It's the very last verse of Joshua 19.
Verse 43 "They completed the dividing of the land".
Done. Over. All set.
The dividing of the land started way back in Chapter 13. That means 7 chapters in the book of Joshua are devoted to talking about doling out the inheritance of the land. 7 is the Biblical number that represents "completion". An incredibly detailed and intentional act to take the time necessary to get it all accurate...to get it absolutely right. It took them almost a third of the entire book of Joshua...but it's done.
What's the second thing I noticed?
In the final verses of Chapter 19 this is what it says...
"They completed the dividing of the land as inheritance and the setting of it's boundaries. The People of Israel then gave an inheritance among them to Joshua son of Nun. In obedience to God's word, they gave him the city he requested, Timnath Sarah in the hill country of Ephraim. He rebuilt the city and settled there."
The leader of all of this received his inheritance...LAST.
Back in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 we talked about the posture and actions that leaders worth following will take. This chapter serves as yet another reminder of incredible leadership. The italics I shared above details it, along with three things that Joshua did to reaffirm his character and why I believe the people trusted him.
1. He requested: Joshua was their leader, but didn't make a demand about the land. He had a thought about where he wanted to end up, but was willing to let the whole thing play out and let the people following him make that decision later.
2. He rebuilt: Joshua's request wasn't for a plot of land that came ready and ripe. He knew there would be work to do. He didn't ask for the prime cut of meat, just nourishment. So many leaders miss that very important point.
3. He settled: He was content. Just like the example's through the book of Joshua, this man's character was the same from beginning to end. I have to believe this gave him the ability to tell the tribe of Manasseh to go clear the land given to them. He knew that the land he requested long ago would require the same. As a leader he wasn't asking them to do anything he wasn't willing to do himself.
Those three points are a leadership book in and of themselves.
(*47) Great leaders know their people...and their place in line.
In a nutshell, here is the book I'd write about that...
Leaders don't demand, they serve. Leaders display confidence in the decision-making of their people as they trust the process because of a clearly articulated vision. Leaders don't require special treatment. They are content to be part of the team. They want nourishment like the rest of us, but don't demand being treated better than us. Leaders won't ask their people to do something they haven't or wouldn't themselves. And the very last point is the simple point that great leaders wait. They are patient. They don't jump the line. They stand back and support their team. They'll turn the lights out at some point, because they'll have stayed the longest. They will leave last.
Chapter 19 is quickly becoming one of my favorite pieces of scripture.
Think about what we've learned.
We've been covered by the hand of God as a people.
We are blessed to be a blessing as a covering to other people.
We see what real leadership looks, speaks, and acts like.
That's a lot of meat.
Enough for all of us.
Enough to share from to bless others.
Enough to know that if we are leading a team well, we go last.
In case we haven't picked up on the memo...
When the Lord is behind it, provision won't be a problem.
About the book
Brett W. Gould
Author. Speaker. Teacher. Coach.