SOAP Journal – 12 July 2017 (Joshua 21:45)

Not a word from every good word which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.

Joshua 21:45

This verse rounds out the account of the division of the land by lots. There are bits and pieces of interesting information squirreled in among the names of cities and descriptions of borders — the summary account of Caleb taking possession of the land God promised him, the ten daughters of a man of Manasseh receiving their promised inheritance, notes about the Jebusites and Canaanites being put to forced labor instead of being driven from the land, the allotment of the cities of refuge — but this verse caught my attention. I read it in the NASB rendering Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass. and found that I was impacted by it, but the literal translation footnoted is what I have quoted for today’s verse.

First, I find it interesting that the writer of this book points out that it is the good word or the good promises on which God followed through. There are other promises in The Bible. There are promises that undesirable outcomes derive from faithless and disobedient actions. We might think of those as bad promises. They are still promises, but we do not view them as good.

Second, not one … failed. God has made many promises throughout the scriptures and the author of this book notes that not one of the good words God spoke to the Israelites failed. Not one. I do not make nearly as many promises as God makes in His Word and I fail on far too many of them. God makes bevies of promises and not one fails. He makes good on every one.

The principle that I can take from this is that every promise God has made to me will also come to pass. Not one promise that God has made will fail. And this invites me to one of the most difficult tasks I can undertake: to trust. Neither this world nor the people in it inspire me with much reason to trust and my life experience has reinforced the notion that trust is a precious commodity to be doled out sparingly. This verse and its principle and the implications that come along for the ride invite me to trust God; to take Him at His Word. Many years ago, Shanghai Noon hit theaters and the princess (Lucy Liu) says to the man who has come to rescue her (Jackie Chan) “That which you have promised, you must perform.” This quote often comes back to me when I read about how I can trust God and His promises, because what He has promised, He will perform.

 

Father, thank You for Your promises. Thank You that You are trustworthy. Please teach me to trust.

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