Over the past few weeks, my heart has been breaking over the tragedies across our country and around the world. Closer to home, I have talked with friends whose lives and families are crumbling. I’ve got some fears and some doubts about things swirling around me, as well. We know that God is sovereign, but things, people, and life itself feels out of control.
If God is real, where is He? Why doesn’t He act? Why doesn’t He show up and make things right? Why doesn’t He change the hearts of people – including me? Right now!
As I was reading through the Bible (Joshua 21:1-22:9), I was reminded of the battles, both physical and spiritual, that the LORD required His people, Israel, as they entered the Promised Land.
While the Hebrews were still in Egypt, the LORD God led them out of slavery’s bondage and promised to give them possession of a land “flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8, 17). After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because of their lack of faith and obedience, they finally crossed the Jordan river. But, even then, they had to take the physical land of Canaan and fight the people of Canaan by faith in God’s promises.
In Joshua 21 we are told, “the LORD gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side according to all He had sworn to their fathers. None of their enemies were able to stand against them, for the LORD handed over all their enemies to them.” (Joshua 21:43-44)
The complete fulfillment of God’s promise was inseparably connected with the faithfulness of His people.
“None of the good promises the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.“ (Joshua 21:45)
God keeps His Promises. All of them. Every one of them.
And in case the Israelites missed this truth the first time, Joshua repeated it again at the end of his life: “You know with all your heart and all your soul that none of the good promises the LORD your God made to you has failed. Everything was fulfilled for you; not one promise has failed.” (Joshua 23:14).
The battles that Israel fought were real. The doubts they faced were great. The complaining was pandemic. But Joshua was faithful.
Joshua’s challenge to God’s people in view of His fulfilled promises remains the same to us: “love the LORD your God, walk in all His ways, keep His commands, remain faithful to Him, and serve Him with all your heart and all your soul” (Joshua 22:5).
This morning, nothing of significance has changed around me. The storms are still raging. Terrorism is still rising. Political arguments are continuing. People are still suffering. The world is the same — maybe even worse. The deep, lonely hurts of my friends, my family, and my heart are still there.
But, we are reminded: God keeps His promises. All of them. Trust in Him. Rest in them.
Find us faithful, LORD.
Follow me… as I follow Jesus Christ.