“You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them.” Joshua 1:14d-15a
The day had finally arrived! About 800 years had passed since God promised Abraham that He would give Canaan to his descendants. Yet there was a slight problem. Of the twelve tribes of Israel, two and a half of them had already taken possession of their inheritance east of the Jordan. They had already removed the previous inhabitants. They had already built cities and homes. Perhaps they had even built playgrounds for their children. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, half the tribe of Manasseh had already possessed their portion of God’s promise.
The problem was that God’s promise was not to these two and half tribes alone. Though they were already experiencing God’s promise, their brothers had not yet even entered their portion of God’s promised land. They were to possess the land together. The promise was for all. If any were to truly experience God’s promise then all would experience God’s promise. As we continue in Joshua, we will see that these eastern tribes did in fact honor their promise to be used by God to help their brothers to enter into God’s promised land.
Today we have the same issue within the church. So often we look at our individual lives and focus exclusively on our personal spiritual walk. While I understand that your relationship with God is certainly personal, God designed us to live out our personal relationship with Him in the context of a community of believers. None of us can truly experience all that God has for us apart from the community of faith. We truly are to be our brother’s keeper. We are to encourage one another daily to strive to experience all that God has for us. We must go together because God’s promise is much bigger than any one single person.