The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Beth-shean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.”
In the latter chapters of Joshua, we see that God is doling out the allotments of land to the different tribes of Israel. We are to see quite clearly that God has kept his promises and fulfilled his word.
In the midst of this very happy time, we come across something that seems utterly ridiculous. The people of the tribe of Joseph are complaining that their parcel of land is too small. That is no big deal. Joshua tells them to go take the surrounding hill country as well. But the people fire back that they cannot take that country because the inhabitants of the land have iron chariots. And Joshua responds by showing them that this complaint is ridiculous.
Remember what the people who are afraid of chariots have seen. They have seen God provide for the nation miraculous food in the desert. They have seen God miraculously stop the flow of the Jordan River to allow the nation to cross on dry ground. They have seen God miraculously knock down the massive walls of the city of Jericho in order to give it to the nation. They have seen the sun stand still in the sky at the command of Joshua as Israel defeated her enemies. They have seen God rain hailstones down on their enemies to give victory to his people.
Now, all the sudden, a few folks in the hills with chariots are too much to defeat? To risk a movie quote, “What in the wide wide world of sports is a’goin’ on here?”
Now, before we get too hard on the folks of the tribe of Joseph, let’s make the application. How many times have we seen God take care of us? How often has he provided? How often has he forgiven us? How faithful has he been to us? How victorious has he always been?
Lord, help me never to forget your faithfulness. Help me also never to allow my fears of supposedly big problems to keep me from obeying your commands in the here and now.