April 23, 2023
“So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around...”
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“So the Lord gave Israel all the land He had sworn to give their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all He has sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-45 (NKJV)
How did Israel possess the land? The Bible says the Lord gave Canaan to Israel on the condition that Israel was willing to fight for it faithfully. Yes, Israel fought for the land, but their success was not proportional to their efforts. God went before them. Put bluntly, without God, Israel would have been completely wiped out the day they left Egypt, pre-Red Sea.
Joshua wanted to make the point of “God’s victory” abundantly clear. The inheritance of Canaan originated from and was fully established by: God. Israel’s “Shabbat” (rest) from their enemies was the result of God’s grace, not Israel’s righteousness or Joshua’s leadership.
This is a point Israel seemed to have forgotten in later years because the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews noted:
“For if Joshua had given them rest, then He (Messiah) would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” Hebrews 4:8-11 (NKJV)
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)
Why was Israel allowed to inherit the land? It was because God is faithful to fulfill His promise.
“For every one of God’s promises is 'Yes' in Him (Messiah Jesus). Therefore, the 'Amen!' is also spoken through Him by God’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 (HCSB)
“Amen” means the affirmation of truth.
Do you want to be saved from the consequences of your sin? Salvation is affirmed in Messiah. Are you looking for rest from “the enemy”? Rest is found in Him. Do you desire the hope of God’s promise to never leave or forsake His children? Fulfillment is found in Jesus.
True “Shabbat Shalom,” the peace of God’s rest, is offered to all who would faithfully seize it! (Luke 16:16) Now, that is something worth saying “AMEN!” about!
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©Steve Wiggins 2021