The enemy’s main power is broken. Joshua has taken all the land (Jos 11:2323So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses, and Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Thus the land had rest from war.). From Joshua 13 onwards, the tribes, starting with the two and a half tribe on the other side of the Jordan, are each assigned their own inheritance. They have to take possession of that themselves.
Through the work of the Lord Jesus, the Christian has been given all earthly blessings and all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. Yet there is a distinction in enjoying that blessing. Every Christian must take personal care to enjoy it. This can only happen by really experiencing the relationship with the Lord Jesus, by reading the Bible personally and prayerful.
This chapter is the beginning of the second part of the book, which deals with the division of the land. It is a most important moment in the history of this young nation. After centuries of Egyptian slavery, after decades of wandering in a wild wilderness and after years of heavy fighting, the moment has now come when the Israelites will get their home. They can now work the land, build families and live in peace in their own land, enjoying the fruit that the land produces.
In Joshua 1-12 we saw the entry into the land and its conquest. Joshua 13 is about the division, the classification of the land. When it comes to classification, God shows us the size it has in His eyes. That does not mean that it has all already been taken into possession. God speaks about it according to His purpose.
Joshua 13 is the general introduction to the possession of one’s own inheritance by each tribe individually. First there is a reference to what remains to be possessed (Jos 13:11Now Joshua was old [and] advanced in years when the LORD said to him, “You are old [and] advanced in years, and very much of the land remains to be possessed.) and then to the classification (Jos 13:77Now therefore, apportion this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh.”). When we take possession of it, we can count on God’s power. What must be taken possession of is determined by lot. Taking possession and dividing are two things.
The part that each tribe gets differs from each other tribe. So no two believers are equal. Every believer has his own character, gifts, possessions. The same applies to local churches. No two of them are equal. Nobody has everything, nobody has a total property. Every servant has his one-sidedness and each needs the other as a complement.
In the classification God shows the great scope of His blessings. But that is something else than to take possession of it. Taking possession of the land as a whole they did together. After the classification, everyone must take possession of what God has entrusted him, because there are still enemies living there.