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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

July 08 2024

Monday July 08

Don’t Be a Borderline Believer – Joshua 13-14


Joshua 14:1-4

1 These are the areas which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel distributed as an inheritance to them.

2 Their inheritance was by lot, as the LORD had commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes and the half-tribe.

3 For Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe on the other side of the Jordan; but to the Levites he had given no inheritance among them.

4 For the children of Joseph were two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim. And they gave no part to the Levites in the land, except cities to dwell in, with their common-lands for their livestock and their property.


Yesterday we said that we will be looking at least seven spiritual lessons that we can apply to our spiritual journey from this section of Joshua 13-21. From the land inheritance of the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh we the first lesson we should learn is that we should not be borderline believers.


You will find the background to their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River in Numbers 32. When they first asked for their inheritance there, Moses was angry with them and told them it was not right that they sat at ease in their dwellings while the other tribes crossed the river and would be fighting to conquer the promised inheritance from the Lord. They replied that they would build secure places for their families, flocks and herds, but that they would go first ahead of the armies of Israel and fight with them till the land had been conquered. So, Moses agreed with this and gave them their inheritance on the east side of the border.


These tribes became a sort of "buffer zone" between the Jews in Canaan and the heathen nations like Moab and Ammon. Of course, their location made them extremely vulnerable both to military attack and ungodly influence; and both of these liabilities eventually brought about their downfall (1 Chronicles 5:25-26). The boundaries are given for Reuben in the south (Joshua 13:15-23), and the half tribe of Manasseh in the north (Joshua 13:29-32), with Gad sandwiched between (Joshua 13:24-28).


We should enter into the inheritance God appoints for us in Christ and rejoice in it. "He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves" (Ps. 47:4). The will of God is the expression of the love of God and is always the best for us. By faith we should surrender to the will of God and dedicate our lives as a living sacrifice. Paul said it this way in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


In Joshua 13:22-23, it is interesting to note that since the tribe of Reuben had taken its territory from Moab, it was logical for the story of Balaam to be mentioned here. Read Numbers 22-25 for the full account of it. When Balaam saw that God was turning his curses into blessings, he advised Balak to be friendly to the Jews and invite them to one of the Moabite religious feasts. This resulted in some of the Jewish men taking Moabite women for themselves and thus violating the Law of God. What Satan couldn't accomplish as a lion, cursing Israel, he accomplished as a serpent, beguiling Israel and leading the men into wicked compromise.


In the New Testament we are clearly taught that there are no half-way disciples of Jesus. We must either follow Jesus all the way or not follow Him at all. A “borderline believer” is one who has one foot in the Word and the other in world. James about this warned in James 1:5-8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”


It is impossible to please the Lord as a double-souled believer. It is also  a dangerous place to be because you leave yourself open to the attacks and temptations of the devil and the world. (James 1:12-16). A borderline believer is one that the Lord calls lukewarm in Revelation 3:14-17, “… 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”


Please determine not to be a “borderline believer”, and by God’s grace surrender your all to Jesus Christ and enjoy the full blessings of your inheritance!


God bless!

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