Remember childhood sleepovers?
You stayed up too late. You ate too much junk. You either couldn’t fall asleep or woke up too early. And there was always some drama that involved one of the girls crying by herself in the other room.
When I was little, I did all of those things – including being that girl crying somewhere. Was it that serious? Of course not. Did I get over it? Almost immediately. But as silly as the reaction was, it came from a very real feeling that we’ve all experienced – feeling left out.
And by all, I mean all, including some of the Israelites. Yes, they were God’s chosen people, but even they had popular kids.
How many times have you heard about the tribe of Judah, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of Benjamin?
But how many times have you talked about the tribe of Ephraim or the tribe of Manasseh in your early Old Testament Bible studies?
We may forget these tribes, but there’s Someone who never forgot them.
“I have a promise with your name on it.”
In Joshua 16, God allocates the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh their land. That’s it. That’s the chapter.
But it’s also a reminder, that no matter who you are or where you come from or how insignificant you might think you are, God will never forget you. He will never leave you out.
We certainly might feel left out.
When we see others being blessed around us, but we’re still stuck in life.
When it seems like our prayers aren’t being answered.
When it seems like nothing ever gets better.
But our feelings don’t change the facts.
Even when God is testing us, He hasn’t left us out. Even when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we wanted Him to, He hasn’t forgotten us. And even when we sin and push God far away from us, we are always on His mind.
That means that you will never be forgotten, alone, or left out. Ever.
Whoever you are, God wants to have a relationship with you.
Whoever you are, God wants to bless you.
Whoever you are, God wants to change your life.
Whoever you are, God has a plan for your life.
The only one standing between us and what God has for us, is us. The only thing we have to do is believe Him. Trust Him. Reach out our hands and accept Him.
And guess what? Everything that comes after that – surrendering our hearts, overcoming sin, changing our lives – God will take care of all of that in His strength. All we have to do is open the door.
So let’s open the door. Let’s take God’s hand. Let’s live for Him.
We’ll never be left out again.
What do you think? Have you ever felt forgotten or left out by God? How does this chapter change your perspective?