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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Lean In, Don't Skim (Joshua 13-21)

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

God is correcting something in me as I read through the Bible this year. I read through the Bible every year. But as I work through the Old Testament readings, I am typically anxiously waiting to get to the good part, the New Testament, where the application is.

Well even in the first 5 books of the Old Testament Law, I've found really good application I could apply to my life and share with others through these devotions.

But in the March 12th reading in the “Eat this book: One Year Bible with Daily Psalm” Plan in the YouVersion Bible app, I noticed something bizarre.

Rather than including Joshua 13-21 in the Bible plan, it just says “skim Joshua 13-21” and doesn’t even include these 9 chapters for you to read.

That seems strange since they don’t skip any other chapters in the entire Bible. You would think if they were going to skip something it would be the OT genealogies.

So understanding that God has application for me in every book and chapter, New Testament and Old Testament, there’s no way it makes sense for a Bible plan to just say “Skim these 9 chapters” on your own because we are not going to even include the text here for you to read.

So then, what’s in those 9 chapters that they are not including for me to read? When I'm told to skip or skim, I need to lean in! Joshua 13-21 gives the specific land allotments of the promised land of Canaan to each of the 12 tribes of Israel. In other words, these 9 chapters tell us which pieces of the land God has promised to each specific tribe of Israel.

Joshua 13:2-3 speaks specifically of the land of the Philistines including Gaza and how that land has not been conquered yet in Joshua’s time but must be conquered to obey God.

Now it's starting to make sense. Some Christian groups believe the land allotments which God gave to Israel don’t apply to Israel anymore. There are even some Christian groups who believe the church has replaced Israel in God’s future blessings. That's called Replacement Theology.

But to make either of those statements is to say God doesn’t keep His promises. Because God has made specific promises to Israel, even in the New Testament, which according to Scripture, God fully intends to keep. See Romans 11, for example.

Dear Lord, Thank you for the reminder that if anyone ever encourages me to “skip” or “skim” 9 chapters of Your Word, that’s my cue to slow down, lean in, and study those chapters to see what application you have for me. Because your Word clearly says:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

For those interested, I am not continuing with the “skim the Bible“ plan. I am switching to this one:

YouVersion plan 'BibleProject | The Bible'

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