Joshua 18:1-3 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
18:2 And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance.
18:3 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
a. slack [Strong: 7503 râphâh, raw-faw'; a primitive root; to slacken (in many applications, literal or figurative):—abate, cease, consume, draw (toward evening), fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let alone (go, down), (be) slack, stay, be still, be slothful, (be) weak(-en).]
b. [NIV: How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?] [NKJV: How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?] [English Standard Version: 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?]
1). How many of us in the New Covenant are failing to receive our inheritance that Christ Jesus obtained for us, because of our laziness? It is God’s will for us to receive not only forgiveness of sins but also an inheritance. It is what the Lord Jesus told Paul when He called him into the ministry. In this passage, Paul is giving his testimony to King Agrippa before he was moved to Rome.
a). Acts 26:12-18 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
2). We, under the New Covenant are to receive our inheritance by faith, by allowing the word of His grace to build us up enough to receive it.
a). Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful [NLT: lazy person; NIV: sluggard; CSB: slacker] and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; (NET: the man lacking wisdom).
24:31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles [NET: covered with weeds] had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
24:32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
24:33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
24:34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
a. Thorns come from the fall
1). Genesis 3:17, 18 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
b. When Israel was to go into the Promised land, their inheritance they were commanded to destroy the corruptive influences of the Canaanite culture.
1). Numbers 33:50-55 And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,
33:51 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;
33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:
33:53 And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.
33:54 And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man's inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit.
33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.
c. This command to Israel is a type and foreshadow of the believers life after getting born again. There are things in our life that we must get rid of or they will stunt our spiritual growth, they will completely prevent us from bearing any kind of spiritual fruit.
1). Matthew 13:3-8 [NIV] Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 13:4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 13:5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 13:6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 13:7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 13:8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
2).Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
3). Mark 4:18, 19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
4). Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
d. The earth drinks in the rain that comes upon it and either brings forth herbs and receives blessing from God, or brings forth thorns and briers and receives cursing:
1). Hebrews 6:7, 8 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and isnigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
2). Hebrews 6:9-12 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.