This short chapter shows the allotment of Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manessah. The two adopted sons of Joshua were given everything they were promised along with the other tribes of Judah. In the midst of God’s provision we also see the beginning of their downfall. Without going into too much detail of the consequences (stay tuned for tomorrow’s scripture in chapter 17) we see the beginning of Israel’s disobedience. They were supposed to kill all of the Canaanites once they entered their allotted land but instead they used the Canaanites as their slaves. God wanted all people to see how His people were set apart from the false gods other people idolized and as hard as it may have been, God knew what He was talking about.
This is the danger of compromising what God says. When God speaks we should not only listen but also obey the first time He says it. When we compromise His Word, we’re giving Satan room to work in our life. And as the Israelites recognize soon enough, if you give Satan a little, he’ll take a lot. This includes the false worship of idols that would be passed down to their kids and future generations of God’s people who was supposed to be consecrated for Himself.
Can you think of a time that you didn’t listen to God the very first time He told you to do something? How did it work out in the end?
Lastly, I wanted to address the potential elephant in this Jumpstart blog post since we’re reading a scripture passage that has been used (along with others) where Christians have been accused of justifying slavery because of the Bible. First, know that this particular passage (v. 10) is a really bad example of accusing God and His Word of endorsing slavery because as I talked about above, the Israelites were being disobedient to God for making the Canaanites their slaves. However, this passage and several others will be questioned and used against us when it does seem to come across as pro-slavery. One of the best articles I’ve read sharing how this is not the case can be read here:
And lets not forget that it was a influential Christian who led the charge to abolish the slave trade:
By: Erik Koliser