Clearing the Land
“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” (Joshua 17.18 NKJV).
The children of Joseph — the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh — want more of the Promise Land. The nation of Israel is dividing their inheritance and establishing their individual tribes, and the children of Joseph explain they are a “great people” who need more room. Israel’s anointed leader, Joshua, offers them the mountain, but they insist that they need more land. They also complain that the people who are currently living in the area of interest have “chariots of iron” and suggest that they will need help securing their land. Instead of bowing to their indirect request for help, Joshua tells them that they can have the mountain and the wooded area, but they will have to fight for it themselves and prepare the land on their own. He encourages the two tribes that they are indeed a “great people” who have “great power,” but he does not let them off the hook of fighting for their own inheritance. Many people want to expand their Promise Land, but they are not willing to fight for it. They expect others to do the work of clearing the path and establishing their inheritance, but God will only provide us help when we come to the end of our own ability. If we do everything in our power to achieve God’s promises, He will provide the additional assistance and resources we need. We must be careful not to burden people with our obligations or allow ourselves to be burdened by the demands of those who are completely capable.
“He that would have the fruit must climb the tree.” — Dr. Thomas Fuller