Joshua 22:1-9 (NIV) 1 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh 2 and said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded. 3 For a long time now–to this very day–you have not deserted your brothers but have carried out the mission the LORD your God gave you. 4 Now that the LORD your God has given your brothers rest as he promised, return to your homes in the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the other side of the Jordan. 5 But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” 6 Then Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their homes. 7 (To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan, and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west side of the Jordan with their brothers.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them, 8 saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth–with large herds of livestock, with silver, gold, bronze and iron, and a great quantity of clothing–and divide with your brothers the plunder from your enemies.” 9 So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at Shiloh in Canaan to return to Gilead, their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the LORD through Moses.
On verses 1-9: The Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh (whom I call collectively “Team RGM”) had already received their God-given inheritance, that being the lands east of the Jordan River. But in obedience to God and out of love and loyalty toward their fellow Israelites, team RGM decided not to go home until they helped their fellow Israelites gain their land inheritance as well. Only when they had finished helping their fellow Israelites did Team RGM go back home at Joshua’s command.
Similarly, when you received Jesus Christ as your Saviour and asked him for forgiveness, you received your God-given inheritance. God’s inheritance for you – that is, salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, citizenship in heaven – is now yours. But why does God not take you to heaven right away to fully enjoy that inheritance the moment you receive Jesus? It’s because God has a mission for you to complete on earth even after you have received your inheritance. That mission is to help others discover and take possession of their God-given inheritance as well.
So for as long as we live on this earth, until the day God calls us home, our mission, in obedience to God and out of love and loyalty to those around us, is to help others discover and take possession of their God-given inheritance in Jesus Christ. When our work is done and our own Joshua, called Jesus, says “You can go home now”, that’s when we go home.
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me today that the reason You place me on this earth is not simply for my own happiness and comfort. Rather You place me here so that I would be a blessing to others and to help those who do not yet know You to discover and take possession of the inheritance You have for them. So may I be a great team player, not just living for myself, but living to serve and to help the people around me, just like Team RGM did for the other Israelite tribes. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!