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Joshua 18:1-28

Talks for Growing Christians

The Tabernacle at Shiloh; Boundaries for the Tribe of Benjamin

Joshua 18:1-28

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Lesson Number 26

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Worship should have a central place in the believer's life.
  2. Life's major decisions should be made before the Lord.

Practical Application

  1. Good things can come in small packages.

Questions

  1. The tabernacle was moved. When and why?
  2. What was one of the first things the Israelites did once the tabernacle was moved?
  3. Why did Joshua rebuke the children of Israel?
  4. What is the lesson in this for us?
  5. The seven tribes chose lots for their territories. What does this mean?

Answers

  1. When the people moved, the tabernacle moved. When the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River and came into the promised land, they set up the tabernacle at Gilgal. Now that the land was conquered the tabernacle was moved to Shiloh. Thus, after the conquest, the tabernacle was placed in the center of the land for easier access.
  2. They divided the rest of the land among the seven tribes who still had no assigned tribal territory.
  3. He rebuked them for their procrastination in possessing the land.
  4. We are rebuked for failing to possess the spiritual land of blessing that God has given us. We are exhorted to be more victorious in the spiritual battles in this land.
  5. Jewish tradition says that the priests took two urns and put the territories in one urn and the names of the tribes in the other urn, then the high priest drew one from each urn. In any case, God controlled the division of the land. See Proverbs 16:33.

Discuss/Consider

  1. The tabernacle was the focal place of worship for the children of Israel. It was the place where God dwelt among His people to maintain a relationship between a holy God and a sinful people. A top priority for Israel was to have a central place of worship. Similarly, worship should have a central place in the believer's life today. See Psalm 96:6-9 and John 4:23. Does worship have a central place in your life?
  2. Life's major decisions should be made before the Lord. The Israelites surveyed the land and brought it before the Lord. These decisions would not only affect their position in the land, but much of their future history as well. Do you make your major decisions in life before the Lord? Give examples, both of when you have done this, and when you have gone ahead without consulting the Lord.

Challenge

  1. Benjamin was one of the smallest tribes, and its territory was located between the two major tribes of Ephraim and Judah. Benjamin became a buffer zone between these other tribes. Jerusalem was one of the cities given to Benjamin, and it would become the capitol of the nation. The temple would eventually be there. Saul, the first king of Israel would come from the little tribe of Benjamin, and so would the apostle Paul. Benjamin was a good thing in a small package. Do you feel like you are a small package with no great upfront gift or talent? Be encouraged. God says that you are necessary in the body of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 12:21-22.

Key Verses

  • "The whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh and set up the tabernacle of meeting there." (Joshua 18:1)
  • "Joshua said, 'How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord has given you?" (Joshua 18:3)

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