He Is Faithful; His Promises True
"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 21:45
For two weeks I've been pondering this declaration. The preceding verse indicated the LORD gave them rest on every side, and that none of their enemies could stand against them. Yet, we know they have never defeated all of their enemies. Some of them remain in the land to this day.
Time is a confusing concept. We live within the limits of time...a beginning and an end. God does not. He is Omniscient, all knowing, without beginning, and without an end.
"Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish." Isaiah 46:9-10
He knows the end from the beginning, so when He makes a promise, in His eyes it's already done. We see things as they play out in time and have no idea what tomorrow looks like. We need to remember the events and people described to us in the Old Testament are there for our examples. They show us the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. That was the choice God gave the ancient Hebrews.
"Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the LORD your God and turn away from Him and worship gods you have not known before." Deuteronomy 11:26-28
We can see the truth of that pronouncement throughout the Bible. God tells us the truth. He does not lie, nor mislead.
"God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19
Pastor David Guzik wrote in his commentary on Joshua 21:45, "God was completely faithful in regard to the Promised Land, but Israel was not. Any failure to fully possess was not because God had not made adequate provision, but because Israel had failed to fully follow the LORD."
They claimed the land during the first few years of their sojourn, but possessing it would take the rest of their lives. God told them He would drive out their enemies "little by little" (Exodus 23:30; Deuteronomy 7:22). That was His design. God brought the battles when they had the strength and spiritual fortitude to manage them and win.
Through Jesus Christ we have the same promises--exceeding great and precious--purchased for us on the cross at Calvary. They are given to us so Christ's divine nature will live and thrive in us.
"By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share His divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires." 2 Peter 1:3-4
Two things kept the Israelites from claiming and possessing the Promised Land. The same two things keep us from walking in the promises we have received. Unbelief and disobedience. Unbelief causes us to disobey. It is faith that pleases the heart of God. Faith produces obedience.
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see....By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen...And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him." Hebrews 11:1, 3, 6
Faith produces patient endurance. When we trust God in our faith, everything eventually turns out right. How can it not? For our God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
I'd like to share some words of Jon Courson, from his commentary on Joshua 21:45. "God has kept every promise He's ever made to me. Without exception, He's done everything He said He would do. Mix the word with faith. When Satan attacks your faith, tell him, 'I believe creation was accomplished by my Father. I also believe Jesus rose from the dead." I couldn't believe either one of those things had not the Father given me huge, colossal-sized faith. He has given me faith for the big issues, and everything else--health, finances, relationships--are minuscule by comparison."
Mix the Word with faith and patiently endure. Hold on to His promises even when it doesn't look like they will be fulfilled. His plan is perfect and is being worked out in our lives every day. Be encouraged in what He's already done. One day soon we will say:
"Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD has given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything He has spoken came true."
by Marilyn Allison