Lent Devotional: Joshua 21:43-45
by Jonathan Haefs
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.
Think about Israel’s journey up to this point.
They had been slaves in Egypt for 400 years. The process of their rescue was anything, but quick. Then they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years as an entire disobedient generation passed away. And these are just the “highlights.”
Through all of this, they were told again and again that the Lord would be faithful to the promises he had made to their forefather Abraham nearly 700 years earlier! I think it can be really easy for us to read their story and scoff at their unfaithfulness and doubts. I’m always like, “Come on Israel! Keep it together! God will be faithful to do all he has promised to do! Trust him!”
And yet… in my own life… how often do I doubt God’s faithfulness to his promises when my “waiting period” has only been a matter of days, months, or even a couple of years. How often does my trust waiver when I am by no means facing starvation as I spend my life wandering through a literal wilderness.
It is so easy for me to read Joshua 21:43-45 and shake my head at Israel’s failure to trust God’s faithfulness. But in truth, this passage should remind me that no matter how delayed I feel like God’s promises are in my own life… even 40 years or 700 years… he will be faithful to do all he has promised to do.
“Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”