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Monday, February 16, 2015

Command: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 16

“They did not, however, drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer; so the Canaanites have lived within Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.” Joshua 16: 10

The Canaanites clung to their land and refused to be evicted regardless of the consequences. They stood firm. Maybe in the hopes that Israel would fail, or that their opportunity would open to revolt at a later time. Or because to them this was the land they worked and were bonded to stay. They had history here.

The sons of Ephraim were granted an inheritance within the lots of their brother tribe Manasseh. Not singled out alongside Manasseh—but within. Generations earlier Jacob, as patriarch, had given the younger son Ephraim the blessing normally for the older. But here in this era Manasseh as a tribe had a far greater portion.

And it was the tribe of Ephraim that had to co-exist with the Canaanites.

Within another’s inheritance—with an enemy—without recourse—yet.

Same situation for both tribes, even though one considered the victor.

What circumstances have we found ourselves in that are a culmination of hard work, desire, and outreach, only to find: barriers within, critical or even hostile coworkers, and indifference? And there is no transfer out in sight.

Both tribes faced a daily decision as to how they would co-exist in a long-term relationship that in some ways neither had expected nor chosen. But each individual did have a heart choice to allow bitterness or relationship grow.

Lord, please give us wisdom and courage to live wholly for You in all areas of our life regardless of unexpected consequences of our own actions or those of others. Our inheritance rests in You and that cannot be taken away regardless of where we live or, where we work, or the people that come into our lives. May You remain at the center and may we be willing to follow Your will.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 136:23-24

“It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

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