And they did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers.
Whenever the Israelites failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land, such people caused them problems. Isn’t this the same way with the things of the world that we fail to drive out?
But the children of Joseph said, “The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel.”
It is part of our natural sin nature to want more than we need. How often do we see children crying and throwing a fit in a store because they are not getting something they want, something they think they need. As adults we can throw the same kinds of fits, of course in a more sophisticated manner, but it is the same none the less. When we do such a thing, we despise the provision of God and hinder His best for us. We must be like the apostle Paul who tells us in Philippians 4:12, that he had learned how to live in abundance and in need and be content in either circumstance.
Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? 4 Pick out from among you three men for each tribe, and I will send them; they shall rise and go through the land, survey it according to their inheritance, and come back to me.
Joshua was a great leader. He assessed the people’s needs, in spite of their lack of motivation, and directed them accordingly. We need to strive to be good leaders. It is a spiritual gift. If it is not your gift, then pray for the leaders that the Lord has put in your life, that they might lead you in a manner that accurately represents the Lord.
21 And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
The name ‘Jesus’ was a common name of that day, but it has come to be the most beautiful and wonderful name there has ever been. It means, ‘the Lord is salvation’. Every time I utter the name of Jesus, or think upon the name of Jesus, my heart is encouraged. I am comforted by His name, and humbled by it all at the same time. Truly there is no other name under heaven and in all of the universes combined that compare to the wonderful name of Jesus, our Lord.
Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
I cannot begin to imagine the anguish that Mary must have felt when she watched Jesus, her baby boy, whom she had watched grow up, be crucified. Truly it would have been as if a sword were piercing her own heart. And yet, it was all part of God miraculous plan from the beginning, that the sinful thoughts of people’s hearts would be revealed, sins would be forgiven, and new life would be received. Praise His glorious name for the new life we have been given!
And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.
This is a fascinating account, and the only account we have in the Bible of Jesus as a boy. The Gospel of Luke was written by Luke the physician, the same one who wrote the Book of Acts. It is believed that one of sources for writing this gospel was Mary, the mother of Jesus, which would explain this account.