Joshua 13:1-7 (NIV) 1 When Joshua was old and well advanced in years, the LORD said to him, “You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over. 2 “This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites: 3 from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite (the territory of the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron–that of the Avvites); 4 from the south, all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek, the region of the Amorites, 5 the area of the Gebalites; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 6 “As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, 7 and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”
On verses 1-7: The Lord speaks to Joshua in his old age and tells him that there are still very large areas of land that the Israelites have yet to take over. After describing these remaining lands (v2-5), God promises to Joshua that He Himself will drive out the Sidonians living in the mountain regions (v6). In other words, God would do this part without Joshua. God tells Joshua to allocate this area to Israel, dividing it among the nine and a half tribes of Israel that would be living west of the Jordan (v7).
What can we learn from this? The work of God’s kingdom has never depended, and will never depend, on just one individual. Moses did his part, then Joshua after him, but even then there was more work to be done that God would do Himself through the leaders God would raise after Joshua.
It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:11 which says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” We cannot do all the work of God in one generation. There will always be more that God will leave for the next generation to do. In the meantime, while there is breath in our lungs and we are still able, let’s serve God with all our heart and give our all toward the advancement of His kingdom, knowing that He will continue the story even after we are no longer able.
Heavenly Father, for as long as there is breath in my lungs, may I serve You with all my heart and fulfill Your purpose for my generation. Thank You that, even after I am gone, You will continue the work and complete the story of Your kingdom through those coming after me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!