In the beginning of the chapter we see all the children of Israel assembling in Shiloh to set up the tabernacle. There were good reasons for going to Shiloh. One was that Shiloh was in the middle of the area designated as the Promised Land. The tabernacle had been kept in the middle of the people as they wandered in the wilderness for those 40 years, and now, they are setting it up near the geographical middle of the nation. Scholars believe that the tabernacle remained there for up to 300 years.
At verse 3, we see Joshua chiding the people: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?”
It seems that they had become satisfied with living a nomadic life in a rich land. The land that remained to be possessed was still in the hands of the Canaanites, and it had been some time since the children of Israel had done any fighting. They had gotten lazy.
I wonder if we can draw a parallel to some of us today. There is so much that we as sons and daughters of the King can claim as our inheritance. Yes, some of that inheritance will come when we see Him face to face, but I do not believe that we are to live here and now a life of defeat, anxiety, or spiritual poverty. But as I look around, I see so many of us living like we’re afraid of our own shadows. We’re afraid of offending people with the truth of the Gospel. We don’t proclaim the name of the only One who can save mankind from an eternal separation from a Creator who loves them.
There is a type of Canaanite alive today that has taken control of our culture, and in some cases around the world, has taken control of the land.
We have nothing to fear. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. We are in the midst of a spiritual war, but the war has already been won. We need to believe that and act like it, just as the children of Israel had to do here in Joshua 18.