The Lord Fulfills His Promises
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Joshua 20:1-9, Joshua 21:1-45, Exodus 21:12-14, Hebrews 4:14-16
BY Rebecca Faires
It’s hard to see your happy ending when it’s happening. Right now, for the first time in four years, we are on a beach vacation. My baby is napping upstairs, and my husband and our other kids are out splashing and sunning in the ocean. I mean, this is it! Settled family unity with beautiful scenery and a grill. But I’m not sure I’ve rested yet. (Yes, I have little kids and no one ever really rests until everyone is over five, but let’s set that aside for now.) It’s hard to stop and see promises fulfilled, to enjoy rest when it comes, because we are so accustomed to chasing and straining. But God does bring us rest, and we can enjoy it; we just have to keep our eyes open to His goodness.
The book of Joshua is a record of God’s fulfillment of His part of the renewed covenant in Deuteronomy. God gave Israel victories, but each victory required a step of faith. God’s provision for the people as their leader and guide was recorded in this book and recounted to later generations.
“The LORD gave them rest on every side according to all he had sworn to their ancestors” (Joshua 21:44). And the rest He gave extended to every part of their lives. In the civil sphere, He gave them the rule of His righteous law rather than the rule of revenge. They got to enjoy rest from the consequences of earthly vengeance (Joshua 20:1–6), and this blessing extended even to those who merely associated with God’s people. His civil rest was wide and generous (v.9).
He also gave rest in the religious sphere, giving rest to His priests. The Levites received cities of inheritance in all the land. The work of the priesthood was acknowledged and the ministers of God were provided for.
Finally, He gave rest for every heart and mind, enjoying rest from their enemies. In setting apart His people, God provided blessings that extended to every hearth and home, to every field and meadow. He blessed His people with victory and peace.
The foundation for any true rest is built on the fulfilled promises of God. God promised and delivered rest to His people. Although man threw away perfect rest and peace in the garden, God faithfully and continually rescued His people from the slavery and unrest of their own folly, and brought them to a land of rest that He had prepared for them. Every Sabbath, every feast and festival, tells the same story. The promise is for us also. One day, the chasing and straining of this world will cease, and we will find perfect rest and peace in Him forever.
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God is so giving and loving. I am thankful for His mercy.
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