God’s Word of Promise
Joshua 21:43—22:9: Today’s reading describes the Israelites taking possession of the land promised by God to their ancestors and begins with a summary of the LORD’s role in helping Israel capture and settle in Canaan. Joshua then addresses the people from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. These tribes occupied the land east of the Jordan River. (A description of the division of the land among the twelve tribes can be found in Joshua 13—19.)
Israel Takes Possession of the Land
43So the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he had solemnly promised their ancestors he would give them. When they had taken possession of it, they settled down there. 44The Lord gave them peace throughout the land, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of all their enemies had been able to stand against them, because the Lord gave the Israelites the victory over all their enemies. 45The Lord kept every one of the promises that he had made to the people of Israel.
Joshua Sends the Eastern Tribes Home
1Then Joshua called together the people of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh. 2 He said to them, “You have done everything that Moses the Lord‘s servant ordered you to do, and you have obeyed all my commands. 3All this time you have never once deserted the other Israelites. You have been careful to obey the commands of the Lord your God. 4Now, as he promised, the Lord your God has given the other Israelites peace. So go back home to the land which you claimed for your own, the land on the east side of the Jordan, that Moses, the Lord‘s servant, gave you. 5Make sure you obey the law that Moses commanded you: love the Lord your God, do his will, obey his commandments, be faithful to him, and serve him with all your heart and soul.” 6-8Joshua sent them home with his blessing and with these words: “You are going back home very rich, with a lot of livestock, silver, gold, bronze, iron, and many clothes. Share with your fellow tribesmen what you took from your enemies.” Then they left for home.
Moses had given land east of the Jordan to one half of the tribe of Manasseh, but to the other half Joshua had given land west of the Jordan, along with the other tribes.
9So the people of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh went back home. They left the rest of the people of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and started out for their own land, the land of Gilead, which they had taken as the Lord had commanded them through Moses.
Today’s Key Verse: Joshua 22:5
[Joshua said:] “Make sure you obey the law that Moses commanded you: love the LORD your God, do his will, obey his commandments, be faithful to him, and serve him with all your heart and soul.”
Reread 21:43-45. What promises had God kept? What does Joshua say to the people of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh (22:1-8)? In what ways have you experienced the promises of God?
Lord God, help me to do your will and to obey your commandments. I promise to be faithful to you and to serve you with all my heart and soul. Amen.
Joshua 22:10-34: The tribes west of the Jordan confront the tribes on the east.