Joshua 21:23-33 (NIV) 23 Also from the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon, 24 Aijalon and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands–four towns. 25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they received Taanach and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands–two towns. 26 All these ten towns and their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans. 27 The Levite clans of the Gershonites were given: from the half-tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Be Eshtarah, together with their pasturelands–two towns; 28 from the tribe of Issachar, Kishion, Daberath, 29 Jarmuth and En Gannim, together with their pasturelands–four towns; 30 from the tribe of Asher, Mishal, Abdon, 31 Helkath and Rehob, together with their pasturelands–four towns; 32 from the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Hammoth Dor and Kartan, together with their pasturelands–three towns. 33 All the towns of the Gershonite clans were thirteen, together with their pasturelands.
On verses 23-33: These verses continue to describe the towns given to the Levites. In verses 23-26 we read of the towns given to the rest of the Kohathites (v23-26). Then in verses 27-33 we read of the towns given to the descendants of Levi’s oldest son Gershon, known as the Gershonites.
The name “Gershon” means “expelled”. To us this would seem like a strange name for Levi to give his son, especially when you consider that a person’s name was often linked to how people saw that person’s destiny. Yet unlike his name would suggest, Gershon’s descendants would not be expelled from the promised land, but would be given places to live in the promised land.
It’s a reminder to me that all of us in a way were like Gershon. We were destined to be expelled from heaven because of our sin, yet God had mercy on us and gave us an inheritance in heaven anyways. It’s all because of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, we can go from being expelled, or as the Bruno Mars song goes, “locked out of heaven”, to being citizens and residents of heaven.
Father, thank You that whereas my sin locked me out of heaven and made me worthy of expulsion, You sent Your Son Jesus Christ so that through faith in His death and resurrection, I am forgiven, accepted and given a place to live in the promised land that is heaven itself. Thank You Jesus for changing my destiny from expulsion to inclusion. It’s all because of Your mercy, and I thank You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!