As I’ve been reading again through the book of Joshua, I was struck by one observation and declaration made by the author. It’s found in chapter 12 right after the tribal allotments of the land were solidified. It simply reads, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”
What God said He would do, He did.
He made good on His word.
He didn’t forget or forsake one single promise.
The reading of this verse brings great hope and comfort, but the realities that took place after this verse leave questions. From this point on, all throughout the periods of the Judges, the promised land changed hands several times. Israel experienced loss and defeat. To this day, they don’t possess all of the land that God promised. So, did God keep His promise of not?
The short answer is yes, of course, He did. There was a specific moment in time when God delivered to the children of Israel all the land that He promised. The problem? While God kept His end of the bargain, the people neglected theirs. God delivered to them the land of promise, but the people failed to keep their promise to drive out every enemy from the land, which brought forth trouble in future days. There were also seasons of disobedience that brought forth needed judgment from God as well as certain natural consequences. The point is short and straightforward.
Israel’s problems were not a result of neglect on God’s part, but disobedience on theirs.
I think there are some valuable principles here we can glean from today. In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that every promise of God in Christ is, “Yes and Amen.” Every promise of the New Covenant has been confirmed in Jesus. God has been and will be faithful to deliver those promises in full. While every promise is ours in Christ, I believe that our enjoyment and experience of those promises is often dependent on our obedience to walk fully in them by faith.