Day 88

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Joshua 19:49-21:45; 1 Chronicles 6:54-81

Jayme Thompson, Director of Elementary Ministries

“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 the enemies over to them. Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” Joshua 21:43-45 NIV
Every year at this time I start researching vacation options somewhere warm; looking to see what the best possible deal is and dreaming of the day that we can actually make it a reality. This is a good and bad endeavor. Bad because I just end up frustrated that we are not leaving tomorrow for our wonderful, warm vacation, and good because it reminds me that we are saving, we are being smart and one day it will happen.
Now my silly little story of waiting for my Disney vacation is nothing compared to the waiting the Israelites had for the Promised Land. What an amazing example we have in their story of just how faithful our God is, and in today’s reading we see the division of all the land and the fulfillment of what God had promised.
The Israelites had to have faith; they had to believe in what they couldn’t see, the Promised Land, because of what they could see, God delivering them from slavery (and so much more). It wasn’t always easy; they didn’t always hold strong in their faith, but God was always there and God was always faithful. As we continue to read the Bible, we will see that it is filled with so many more examples of God’s faithfulness; of promises we can hold on to each and every day.
At times I feel like the Israelites in the desert–grumbling, impatient and so forgetful of all my God has done for me. But I open the pages of my Bible and the pages of my prayer journals and I see over and over the evidence of how God has always shown up and how He always does what He says He will do.

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6 responses »

  1. I think it’s kind of sad they the final division of land to the last 7 tribes had to come about by the casting of lots (a roll of the dice if you will) because of their lack of faith and or refusal to follow God’s instruction for what ever reason. God remains faithful though, in spite of our shortcomings we too will inherit our promised land. How much better will it be if we go with His flow instead of swimming against the current to get to where He intended us to be in the first place?

    • Well, on the other hand they were claiming the land when it hadn’t been conquered yet. That does express faith.

  2. Details and organization. That’s what I saw in today’s reading. It’s not enough to say, “Well, God gave us the land and here we are.” God deals in details. It’s not just “God gave us…”, it’s “Judah, you’ve got such-and-such real estate, defined by these boundaries and containing these cities. Naphtali, you’ve got such-and-such real estate, defined by these boundaries, and containing these cities.” And so on down to inheritances for specific families.

    When we talk to God, are we satisfied with vague generalities? “God, please bless my cousin…” I’m not suggesting that we tell God what exactly to do and how to do it, but the prayers in the Bible are rather specific. The astounding God of the universe is involved in the details of each of our lives.

  3. I think planning for that warm vacation is a good example. God has so much planned for us yet He doesn’t just say “poof” and it appears for us. He desires the best for us, ALL of His promises, peace, abundance, eternity, warmth, sunshine…name it. It is there for our taking. But we must take it! We must receive what He has for us. We must learn how to be an heir and receive His inheritance. Sounds easy. Until the enemy rears it’s ugly head and says, “you don’t deserve that, that’s too hard for you, that will be too costly for you, yadayadayada.” We get distracted from the inheritance and settle for our puny, familiar lives. Father, help me to dream big, pursue and receive Your inheritance, which is far beyond what I could ask or imagine. Your promises are a battle away and You go before me. Help me to be strong and courageous, for Your glory. Amen.

  4. “‘Your promises are a battle away and You go before me.” Wise words, Cindy. It brings to mind the worship song we sing at church:

    You go before me, You’re there beside me…
    And if I wander, Love will find me…
    Goodness and mercy, Will always follow
    You go before me, My guardian.

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