Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. Joshua 21 v 45
Now that all the different tribes had been allocated land, it was time to give the Levites their towns. We saw the reasons behind this back in chapter 13, and now the leaders set aside towns and pasture for the Levites, spread right across the whole land. As a result they would be in a position to encourage true worship and administer justice. Hence the 5 Cities of Refuge that we saw in the last chapter were administered by the Levites.
So at this point the writer can at last say –‘Mission accomplished.’ But he saw it not so much as the people having succeeded in the task (in reality they had not got rid of all the pagan inhabitants completely), but he saw it from God’s perspective. God had made promises about giving them the land to occupy – and He had been faithful to that promise. The land was there for the taking, even although they had not been entirely faithful in following that through.
What a wonderful statement to be able to make to the nation! How often they had let God down. There had been disobedience and idolatry in the desert; bitterness against Moses and God about their lack of food and water; unbelief regarding the report the spies initially brought back; immorality; even unfaithfulness to God in their desire to go back to slavery in Egypt! But what does God do – He stays faithful and ensures that all His promises are fulfilled.
Nothing has changed! God does not give up on His promises when we slip and turn aside. He meets our waywardness with faithfulness, bitterness with love, hardness with compassion and selfishness with unending grace. Not one of His promises has, or will fail.
For reflection: Consider some of the promises God has made to his people. He will forgive when we turn to Him and acknowledge our sin; He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear; and Jesus will come again and take his people into glory – to mention just a few!