put off going in

Today's reading from Joshua 18.

Our reading brings us closer to the dispersion of the land, but there are some that have not been so eager even though, "The land lay subdued before them." (Joshua 18:1, CSB) It's impossible to psychoanalyze across the pages and centuries. We aren't really given their reasoning. However, it is obvious that something is wrong somewhere.

It begins with the people gathering at Shiloh. The gathering of the people is always a big deal. It is synonymous with the most momentous events in Israelite history. They gathered hear God's word, enter into covenant with Him, to worship, and to see His justice and holiness revealed. We find them once again gathered, the land subdued, but many refusing to take their rightful place in His promise and plan.

It's hard to say why, after years of wandering and now fighting, they would not want to be home. But as a pastor I often find it hard to explain the actions or inactions of people. God has promised salvation, but there are so many that put off going in. God has promised peace, but there are so many that put off going in. God has promised love, but there are so many that put off going in. God has promised purpose...well, you get the point.

The question is why? Why would anyone refuse to accept a blessing from God? Why would they not run to it with open arms? For the same reason that we fail to move forward. Rebellion? Sin? Apathy? Fortunately, Joshua is a strong leader and refuses to let them endanger God's work regardless of their reasons.  He pushes them toward fulfilling the plan of God. Sure. They had to respond, but someone was there to encourage them toward the right goal.

Maybe today your are in need of encouragement to move forward in spite of fear, apathy, or sin? Or, maybe there is someone in your life that needs to be held accountable in a positive way so they don't settle for being outside of God's plan? Regardless, let us work toward being a people surrendered to Him.