There are two fantastic highlights in today’s reading. The first exposes a good moment of obedience for Israel. The second points to the faithfulness of God.
Israel has not been known for her obedience thus far in the scriptures. If you were to classify Israel, you would more than likely use words like complaining, unsatisfied, proud, unfaithful, unwise, wayward, defiant, etc., not obedient. But in verses 1-3, you see a moment of simple obedience:
Then the leaders of the tribe of Levi came to consult with Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the other tribes of Israel. They came to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and said, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us towns to live in and pasturelands for our livestock.” So by the command of the Lord the people of Israel gave the Levites the following towns and pasturelands out of their own grants of land. Joshua 21:1-3
This is a great moment for the Israelites. They didn’t question God or try to come up with a better plan. They followed the Lord’s plan for the Levites according to what He told Moses to do.
I don’t know about you, but I typically try to add to God’s plan or find my own way to follow through with what He has told me to do. This is a great reminder to trust God’s commands and simply obey. Why? Because He is unwaveringly faithful.
The Israelites heard all kinds of promises from God, but many wondered if these promises would ever come true. They probably asked questions like, “When will God come through on His word?” or “Why follow a God who doesn’t keep His promises?”.
We get to the end of the chapter, and we are reminded once again of the incredible faithfulness of our great God:
So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true. Joshua 21:43-45
GOD KEEPS HIS PROMISES! As if it were not clear enough, the word “all” is used in the Hebrew text 6 distinct times in verses 43-45. What an awesome reminder. Never forget the faithfulness of the Lord, especially as New Testament Christians. We have so many to cling to, but none greater than Jesus Himself:
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” ascends to God for his glory.
2 Corinthians 1:20
Additional Study Help
Someone GeoCached Joshua. Here’s a link to GoogleEarth that helps with all of the geography mentioned in the Bible. It works by Bible chapter. Check it out with Joshua here…
By: Todd Thomas