aside Joshua 21

Scripture

43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. 45 Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.

Joshua 21:43-45

Observation

The last to receive their allotments of land were the members of the tribe of priests, the Levites. Verses 1-42 of Chapter 21 outline the different towns given to the many clans of Levi by the other Israelite tribes. In this way, priests were peppered (or salted if you like) among the settlements of Israel so that all the people had access to religious events and activities.

The last three verses (Joshua 21:43-45) declare that all of God’s promises were fulfilled to completion. These promises were:

  1. The descendants of Abraham would possess the land of Canaan
  2. Rest and peace in Canaan
  3. Success and victory in their wars

All these things came to pass and the so the people experience God’s faithfulness. As Matthew Henry says eloquently “God’s word and his works mutually illustrate each other”. His promises show his blessings, and his blessings prove his promises.

Application

Have you ever questioned God’s faithfulness because he doesn’t seem to answer you?

Take a moment to close your eyes and answer honestly. Sure, it’s easy to say pretty words like “God is faithful, God never fails”. But do we really believe that in a practical way?

I used to believe that if God did not answer my prayers, it was because he didn’t understand, didn’t see, didn’t care. I treated God as though he had the same capabilities as a human – indifferent and prone to failure. The Israelites also had a problem understanding God’s faithfulness. Even though they experienced his provision and miracles over and over again, they still vacillated between trust and skepticism constantly.

However, as I have grown up in my faith by genuine prayer, seeking, and studying God’s word, he has given me the special understanding I needed in order to trust Him. Meditate on the following verses and ask God to show you his faithfulness in a personal way.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:13

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Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Deuteronomy 7:9

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Prayer

Lord, you are faithful. You always keep your word, even though we don’t see it at the time. Help us to continually seek you in the confusing and dark places so that we will have wisdom for moving forward.

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