By Toni Ford
As I have been reading the book of Joshua this past month, I picture it being divided in three parts. The first part (chapters 1-12) is Joshua completing the first half of his commission. He had conquered the enemy and was now in control of the land and the cities the Lord had promised to give the children of Israel. Joshua now had to fulfill the second part of that commission (chapters 13-21), which was to divide the land so that each tribe could claim and enjoy the inheritance God had promised. The third part (chapters 22-24) was Joshua’s farewell address and challenge to the people. As Joshua was coming to the close of his life here on earth, his greatest concern was not himself. His greatest concern was for the children of Israel and their relationship to the Lord Almighty.
Recently, my attention has been on the second part of Joshua, chapters 13-21. I completely understand how to some people, these chapters can seem confusing, redundant at times or even boring. At the same time, however, I have learned so much about the character and heart of our God. Not only have I seen His heart for order, His care for details and His love for His people, but I also noticed His declarations to His children. These declarations or assurances that He gave to the children of Israel are the same for us today and will be the same for the generation after us! These declarations will not change or fade away and will be carried out until His return.
The Covenant of God. God made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:7, “Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.” We find this covenant fulfilled in Joshua 21:43, which says, “So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession and settled there.” Just as God fulfilled His covenant with Abraham and the Israelites, He has also fulfilled His covenant to us by offering us the gift of salvation. John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
The Power of God. God promised that He would give the children of Israel the power to conquer all their enemies. Joshua 21:44 tells us that none of their enemies could stand against them, and as a result God gave them rest on every side. The Lord has given us that same power! Romans 8:37 says, “Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
The Promises of God. God is ALWAYS faithful to keep His promises to us. Joshua 21:45 says, “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.” I love this verse because everything He has spoken had come true, is coming true or will come true one day soon!
Thank you, Lord, that your covenant will never fail us, that your power gives us victory over the schemes of the enemy and that your promises can always be trusted! Oh, how we love you, our Lord!