Sunday, March 14, 2010

2010 – Mar. 14 – Promises Delayed, Not Promised Denied

Study from God’s Word Josh 18: 1 – 28; Josh 19: 1 – 51; Josh 20: 1 – 9; Josh 21: 1 - 45; … Passage for Reflection: Joshua 21: 43 – 45 … NIV 43 So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them. 45 Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

My Journal for Today: Okay, here, … F. LaGard Smith has me reading deeply into the times of Joshua when God is working out the fulfillment of a promise He had made to Abraham over seven centuries earlier; and we could ask, “Why is all this documentation so important in the Book of Joshua?” But really the answer to that one is pretty clear-cut, almost three thousand years later, so that we can see that God is a promise-keeping God. And what we read about in these passages documents the reality that our God is the God of His word, as we can also read in Numbers 23: 19, which states, 19 God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?

But how would one of those Jews who was living during that 700 years, when God’s promises were delayed, feel. Maybe like many Christians today feel when they see what is happening in our world, with all the degradation of sin and the mockery of God’s Name and purposes. And here we are, … to wait on promises made by God in the Person of a Man Who died on a cross, as documented in the New Testament. Have you ever wondered why God is so slow in bringing on His full and completed Kingdom?

Well, in this regard, my favorite Old Testament Prophet, old Habakkuk, came to God with such questions; and I’d charge you to go back and read old Habby’s interaction with God in the Book designated by Habakkuk’s name. It’s a wonderful true story about a man who needed to bring his doubts and confusion to his God; and ask “WHY?” of His Lord. And God took the questions and He interacted with Habakkuk, showing the Prophet that Habakkuk would have to wait for God to do HIS thing in HIS time; and that Habakkuk would actually have to watch and see that things would actually get worse before Habakkuk would see that God’s promises would be fulfilled. And don’t you just love that passage in Habakkuk 3: 17 - 18, which reads, 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

My friend, I hope we have the faith to let God be God, trusting in His ways and His timing, and especially in His promises. Because if we don’t, we’re going to live lives of desperation as we see what is transpiring in our world. We need to be post-modern day Habakkuks and choose to hold onto our joy even though we see what is going on today, with the world unfolding as God’s word documents in Romans 1: 18 -32 [linked here]. God is still God, my friend; and we can trust and cling to His promises which were completely fulfilled and punctuated by God, the Son, dying on the cross so that all who believe in Him would live eternally in the hope which is His resurrection.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I do trust You; and I wait on You to do all that You have promised and what You came to us to demonstrate to/for us by living, dying, and being raised again. The promise of Your coming again suspends, but never denies, the promises activated by your first coming. And we stand ready – and waiting – for all You have promised to transpire when You come again. Amen

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