There is a really odd passage at the beginning of chapter 18 of Joshua that I have been thinking about today. Here it is:
Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them. There remained among the people of Israel seven tribes whose inheritance had not yet been apportioned. So Joshua said to the people of Israel, “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?
(Joshua 18:1-3 ESV)
Why in the world would the people put off taking what is theirs? It’s like getting exactly what you want for Christmas and then going, “eh, I’ll get to it some other time.” No! When you have been waiting 40 years, and your people ten times that long, for the promised inheritance of God, you jump on it! There should be no delay.
But this is not so odd a thing as it seems. Think about how many people live their lives with no regard for God or man and assume that they can simply get around to repentance and salvation later. We put God off again and again when He is calling out to us. We continue in our sin, all the time knowing that God is extending a hand of grace to us that is greater than all our sins and good deeds.
Joshua’s encouragement to the people is to take what is theirs, and God calls us to do the same. Claim the cross for you salvation, for the gospel alone is the power of God to save. Let us never wait for our own made-up “perfect” timing. Instead, we must look to the cross and run to our God right now. He is there and He is already calling. He holds every good gift of our promised inheritance and extends it to us in Christ. Let us never ignore His grace.