Joshua: one who keeps his word…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Joshua 18:1-21:45

Focus: Joshua 18:43-45

It is almost an unwritten expectation these days that people will not keep their promises. The value of people’s words no longer carry much weight. With the ever-growing community of the Internet, it seems that everyone has a voice and an opinion. While an individual’s word now has an accessible medium for the freedom of expression, the value and weight of an individual’s word is no longer the same. The amount of slapstick mashups of popular media, such as the apology of Tiger Woods (just search “Tiger Woods apology remix” on YouTube), is a clear example of how the word is no longer valued.

A large portion of the book of Joshua details the division of the land among the tribes of Israel. Tribe by tribe, their boundaries are listed in proportion to the needs of the tribes. Let’s be honest, it is a laborious read which is made all the more easier by a simple map. However, after detailing all the divisions of the tribes, it closes with these words:

So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

The promise, the Word, of God is as good as the day it was spoken. The Word of God—that is, the Bible—is as trustworthy as the One it speaks of. From cover to cover, page to page, chapter to chapter, verse to verse, it tells a story of God who desires to redeem a fallen and broken world from the words of those who seek to destroy it. It was with words that Satan tempted Adam and Eve and brought sin into the world, and it is with the Word—that is, Jesus Christ—that God will bring redemption and life back into the world.

God made His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the forefathers of Israel that He would bring their descendants into a land of their own… and He did not fail to keep it. He promised Moses and Joshua that He would deliver them from their enemies only if the people would trust Him… and He did not fail to keep it. Where God gave His word to the people of Israel, “not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed.” Where people make promises and fail to keep them, where people make empty promises they cannot keep, when everyone else fails, there is one who will not fail. Where God makes a promise, where He gives His word, He will not fail.

Next Reading: Joshua 22:1-24:33