Joshua 17: 14-18 14 The people of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you given us only one allotment and one portion for an inheritance? We are a numerous people and the LORD has blessed us abundantly.” 15 “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.” 16 The people of Joseph replied, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have iron chariots, both those in Beth Shan and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel.”
17 But Joshua said to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment 18 but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have iron chariots and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”
It’s one of my favorite movie lines from one of the silliest movies, Happy Gilmore. Happy makes a bet with a girl he likes. They are at a hockey rink and he places a hockey stick in her hand and a puck on the ice. If she can make a full court shot on goal, he will never bother her again. But if she misses, she has to give him a kiss… and pretend to like it. Well, she makes the shot and out come the words: “talk about your all-time backfire.” She kisses him anyway – how sweet.
This movie line came to my head today as I was reading Joshua 17. Here the people of Joseph come complaining to Joshua about the amount of land they have been given. They say that it is just not enough, because there are so many of them. “Joshua, we need a bigger handout. There are too many of us.” I love Joshua’s response to these guys. He tells them that if there are so many of them, they can have a piece of land that hasn’t been cleared and still has an enemy in it. “But Joshua, those people are so strong!” He doesn’t buy it. He tells them to take their numerous people and get to work. Talk about your all-time backfire.
Sometimes we get the same kind of mentality with God. He provides for us and we say, “but God, that’s not quite enough. I need more.” And I wonder how this goes over with Him. I wonder if we come across just like the sons of Joseph. I do know this, God did not reconcile us to Himself for the sake of our handouts. Don’t get me wrong, He desires to bless us. He desires to give us all the resources we need. I just think that sometimes He would say to us: “Take the resources I have already given you and get to work.” We do have a part to play. So let’s not just live our lives expecting God to give us a bunch of handouts. Instead, let’s take what He has given us and do our part.