Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah. Joshua 15:63
In honor of Nancy’s suggestion, in my daily Bible reading lately I’ve been looking for a verse or two that stand out, one in which God may be trying to tell me something important. As a busy mom, I don’t have much time, but I DO have time for one verse! I write it down in my daily planner, and Nancy promises “a full year of Scriptures that God has given to me personally”. It is quite an encouraging thought. Anyway, the first few days of collecting these verses yielded more of your typical Biblical boost: “I am still as strong…I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then...Now give me this hill country…” (Josh.14:11-12) The previous just makes me want to go conquer my own hill country, as the LORD gives me strength.
But then I get to Chapter 15, and the ones that stick out aren’t so clear as to why they stick out. This bit about the Jebusites sends me researching my Bible’s notes and Google for other mention of the peoples. Come to find out they’re living in a most advantageous pocket of Judah, where later David is able to purchase the land on which Solomon later builds the temple. That’s another verse to write down, when David is offered the land by a Jebusite for free, that tells his response:
“I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). Beautiful.
My reasoning only gets so far in understanding this verse. Here was a piece of property that ended up being so important to, really, all of us who follow Christ, and it originally didn’t even belong to the sons of Judah after the conquest. For some unknown reason, God didn’t allow them to conquer it. But back in early Joshua, He goes into detail about how He is with them, “I will give you every place where you set your foot”, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life”, yada yada yada. Maybe He is talking eventually, end times like. In any case, I wonder why it is that they have to live with these cursed (God’s word, not mine) peoples in their midst, in the heart of their land. Intriguing. Later in Chapter 16 we see that the Ephraimites have some Canaanites to live with (v.10), so maybe this is going to be a trend. Anybody know if every tribe’s land allotment has some left-behinds? Guess I’ll find out if I keep reading.
Now’s the point at which I try to apply this to my life in some way. But that isn’t happening here. I just don’t understand enough of the situation. I did, however, get to thinking how precious it is to belong. Belonging in families, belonging to a spouse, belonging to God. And, I wonder what those Jebusites thought of all these people coming in and taking over, but not behaving anything like they themselves did. I’m sure many Jebusites were “good people”, and had some sense of belonging, as anyone can. But they must have seen how different the Israelites were. These people were tight-knit; they really belonged. They belonged there on that Temple Mount, too, though it wasn’t yet to be fulfilled.
The Jews belong to an awesome God, who still isn’t done with them, and is so close to wrapping up time I can almost taste it.
The following events may or may not have happened to me.
Let’s say your sister’s friend is in Meijer with her toddler and baby. As she rounds the corner of the aisle pulling the cart from behind (therefore not paying attention to what the toddler is doing to her diaper bag), a man gets her attention and lets her know that the toddler is emptying her bag’s contents onto the floor. A trail of stuff is in their wake. The man proceeds to pick up what the toddler has just thrown- a feminine product- and hand it to your sister’s friend.
Now, of all the people involved in this little funny, the one I would wish to be the least is that man. I mean, telling a mother her kid is doing this is enough, but he went the extra mile to help the mom start cleaning up. Luke thinks the guy, being a guy, didn’t know what it was he picked up, so it wouldn’t have been all that embarrassing to him. But I’m still left wondering what I’d do, and what you’d do, if you were that passerby to my sister’s friend’s cart that day.
Would you say something to this clueless mom? Would you help her clean up? Or would you turn around and walk the other way, chuckling?