Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
Joshua 21:43-45 ESV
As I was reading chapters 19-21 of Joshua this morning, I was naturally having a hard time staying engaged. It’s a tedious, repetitive list of what part of the promised land goes to which tribe. I tried to stay invested thinking, “If I were of the tribe of Benjamin, this reading would be amazing to me! After generations of wandering, we’re seeing and taking hold of our promised inheritance. But it just doesn’t apply to me. I’m not an Israelite.” Through all the list of cities being divided among them, it includes which cities include pasturelands. In chapter 21 alone, “pasturelands” are mentioned 52 times. For a nation who has foraged in the desert and wilderness for many life cycles, this is extremely good news. But that’s not me. I haven’t struggled across countless dunes or lost my sense of direction for 40 years having to rely on water out of rocks and bread falling from the sky. It’s hard to connect to this.
But the final paragraph of Joshua 21 helped me bring it home. The Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give to their fathers. None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.
This is my God’s track record. If I were deciding what presidential candidate to vote for, one of the things I might check on is what they’ve promised, but far more important would be how their actions, voting, and policies correspond with what they promised. The God of the Israelites has made some highly outlandish promises. But he’s come through on every single one of them.
Lord God, you have promised to your adopted children an inheritance of a city that has no tears, no need for a sun because of the light of your face. A place not fit for our current bodies, but for eternal bodies which you’ll supply us with at the right time. You promised that if you’re for us no one can stand against us. These promises among many others are extravagant, to say the least. But I’ve seen your track record and I trust you. You’re always growing the trust in my heart that I have for your promises to be kept, and left me no reason to doubt you. I’m in.
This post is part of my Weekly REAP series. I’m posting these from my personal journal to share what God is teaching me, and to give some practical examples of the REAP method. I didn’t write any of these with publishing in mind, so forgive me if they don’t always wax eloquent. Here is some more information on the REAP study method.