“So Joshua said to the people of Israel, “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?“ - Joshua 18:3
I was surprised upon reading this passage. After all of the years the Israelites had spent getting to and then waiting for the promised land, knowing full well that it was their inheritance given to them by God, when they finally got to the edge of it, some of the tribes just sat. Over the prior few chapters of Joshua, these tribes had seen God give their relatives victory in battle as they took their shares of land, so they had no reason to fear opposition. They knew God had promised the land would be good, so there could be no doubt about how well the land would suit them. In fact, Joshua 18 gives no reason why these remaining tribes put off taking their land at all. It simply states that they didn’t move toward what was theirs until they were pretty much ordered to.
Why would you sit and stare at a good thing that has been promised to you, but not take it when the opportunity is right there?
As I contemplated this fact, I realized we do the exact same thing today. Not with land, of course, but with God Himself. In the new covenant, God is our portion. To all those who come, He has promised eternal life and reconciliation and communion with Himself. Yet, we sit. Even those of us who have come to the Lord often put off spending time learning about and communing with Him. Some things about humanity just don’t change, eh?
Are you going to come and enjoy that which God has promised to you? Or are you going to sit around until circumstances force you to pursue what you’ve been promised?