The list was important for a place in the Promised Land. Remember Jesus’ words: I go to prepare a place for you! Zelophedad’s daughters have a place in their own right! The requirement to marry within the clan preserved the clan’s inheritance. Title to land was in the clan, not in the government. This gave great political protection to ordinary people when dealing with powerful civil governments.
“Not one of them was left, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.”
The land was being divided up, God commanding that the large tribes got larger portions, the smaller tribes smaller portions.
And notice in v55 that the land was to be divided “by lot”.
In Proverbs 16 we read,
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”
God’s providence and His Will would be made manifest in deciding where the tribes would be located.
However. There was no place in the land for the generation who rejected God.
These were the ten spies and the people with them who did not believe that the Lord would do as He said and defeat their enemies. These were the people who wanted to stone Caleb and Joshua because they displayed faithfulness to God and refused to bow to peer pressure.
Only Caleb and Joshua were left.
This is both a warning and an encouragement.
There is only one way to the promised land. We can only enter in through the strait gate and walk along the narrow way to get there.
Caleb and Joshua walked faithfully before the Lord. They were Jesus-people, being strong and courageous (Re Joshua 1).
In His sermon on the mount (Matthew 7) Jesus spoke about the two gates and the two roads.
We see in today’s reading the truth of what Jesus said, that few there be that find the way to life. So many of Israel perished. So many went astray, following other ways, other paths.
We can be encouraged to walk faithfully before the Lord as Caleb and Joshua did. Seeking God’s purposes above our own, trusting His will for us before our own, giving Him our time and energy and action.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14
* Father God,
Thank You that in Jesus we have the way to eternal life, and that He is the one who shows us how to live in this life, walking along this narrow road.
Please help us to be singular in our faith in You, guard us from being led astray.
Please teach us today from this passage whatever it is You want for each of us.