Possessing the Gift

Victor Folkert

READ : Judges 1:1-14

Joshua is dead. He has led the people into the promised land and won great victories over their enemies. The land of milk and honey, God’s gift to Israel, is now theirs! At least, that’s the view of the situation we get in the Book of Joshua.

Judges gives us a different perspective. There are still enemies in the land: pockets of resistance to be overcome. Each tribe and clan must now finish the task of taking possession of the land allotted to it. Some will do so; others will lack the courage or the will.

As Christians, we see an immediate parallel. The powers of evil have been dealt a mortal blow by Jesus, our Joshua. (The names are identical in meaning.) Yet to each person and family and church is left the task of possessing the gift of life.

Let’s be practical: the family dinner table has been claimed by Jesus! The evil atmosphere of criticism and bickering that is so often present at mealtimes has been attacked and defeated by Jesus. A Christian family has been put into a promised land of mutual concern, listening, and building each other up. What a gift the family has received! But is the battle over? Not at our house! Every day it takes courage and effort to seize our possession: a positive atmosphere of harmony and love.

PRAYER

Lord, help our family to be a place of love and caring. Help us build each other up. Through Jesus. Amen.