Text: Joshua 20:1-9, Joshua 21:1-45, Exodus 21:12-14, Hebrews 2:14-15
The nation of Israel had been through a lot.
They conquered the land of Canaan, driving out existing nations and taking over the land. They crossed the raging Jordan River. Before that, they wandered in the desert for 40 years, waiting for God to signal when it was time to move. And before that, they were a nation of slaves, living in Egypt under hardship and oppression.
Yet God had His hand in all of it, like He does in our lives. In Genesis 15, God made a covenant promise to Abraham, spelling out exactly what would happen to his descendants.
God promised that Abraham would have numerous offspring. He kept that promise. The Israelites multiplied more and more the longer the Egyptians oppressed them (Exodus 1:12).
God promised Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved for 400 years. And they were. The Egyptians worked the Israelites ruthlessly and made their lives bitter (Exodus 1:13-14).
God also promised to judge the nation the Israelites served. Indeed, the Angel of the Lord killed all the firstborn of Egypt and passed judgment against the gods of Egypt (Exodus 12:12).
God promised that His people would leave the nation they served with overwhelming possessions. And they did. The Egyptians gave the Israelites silver, gold jewelry, and clothing as they left Egypt (Exodus 12:35-36).
Finally, God promised to bring Abraham’s descendants back to the promised land. In Joshua, we see God drive out the inhabitants of Canaan and give the land to Israel (Joshua 21:43-44).
We serve the same God today. He makes promises to us as His children, just as He made promises to the house of Israel.
He will meet all our needs (Philippians 4:19).
He will provide for us (Matthew 6:33).
He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8).
He has a purpose for us (Romans 8:28).
Remembering God’s faithfulness in our past helps us cling to His promises in our present. When I struggle to believe that He will provide for my needs, I remember how He provided that check in the mail at exactly the right moment. When I’m overwhelmed with loneliness, I think of the friendships He’s given me and how He Himself walked through dark moments with me. When I fear condemnation for my sin and mistakes, I recall the ways He’s already redeemed my past.
God’s promises are our foundation. He fulfills His every word. We can cling to His promises as we wander in the desert and fight the enemy. We can count on Him to be fully faithful (Joshua 21:45).
“None of the good promises the Lᴏʀᴅ had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.”
- Joshua 21:45