Equality and Inequality in God’s Economy
Today’s reading: Joshua 13:1-15:63
My selection: Joshua 14:1-2
These are the inheritances that the people of Israel received in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel gave them to inherit. 2 Their inheritance was by lot, just as the Lord had commanded by the hand of Moses for the nine and one-half tribes.
My reflections: The system for distributing the land to the tribes was by lot. The areas were not equal in size nor were the tribes equal in population. God controlled the outcome of the drawing but, even so, it would not be even and equal. Resources were distributed by God’s providence not on a human fairness scale.
The Lord could have given them a land that was easier to divide, where the acreage per tribe and per family would have been more obviously equal and “fair.” God gave differing abilities and resources to individuals as we see throughout Scripture. This is not a mistake. I see no reason to believe that in heaven it will be any different.
Politicians today use envy and fear to stoke support. Liberals promise to make life more fair by laying a heavier burden on the rich and giving entitlements to those who have less. Conservatives promise to make life more fair by insuring equality of process, a level playing field where you get to keep all you supposedly deserve. But in the Bible we don’t see either of these things being promised. There is equality only of purpose for God’s people. All are called to glorify God. People are assigned their “talents” and are called to use them to the best advantage for their Master’s glory.
My challenge: Are you content with what God has given you? Are you using it to the greatest advantage for His glory? Are you captivated by the purpose of glorifying God so that what others have pales in insignificance?
Resist envy of what others have. Resist pride of thinking you deserve what you have. Instead focus on serving and glorifying Him today with all your resources and abilities.
Tomorrow’s reading: Joshua 16:1-19:31