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April 28, Day #119 – God Keeps His Promises

Today we come to Joshua 11-12, where we see the historical evidence how God faithfully delivered on His promises to Israel. Chapter 11 opens with “Jabin, king of Hazor, sending word to Jobab, king of Madon, and to a host of other northern kings” to form an alliance with him against Joshua and the Israelites (verses 1-3). They formed a “huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore” (verse 4). No matter how large the army, if it opposes God, it is doomed to destruction - against which it can accomplish nothing. In verses 6 and 9, we read that “the LORD directed Joshua to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.” God did this so that the Israelites would put their trust in the Lord and not trust in contemporary means of warfare. “The LORD said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain'” (verse 6). And the result? “So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and He gave it as an inheritance to Israel” (verse 23). In chapter 12, we see a list of the kings whom Israel defeated – beginning with Moses’ defeat of Sihon and Og on the east side of the Jordan River earlier, and then thirty-one kings and their territories which Joshua defeated on the west side of the Jordan. From these two chapters, we should learn to express our gratitude to God that He keeps His promises and that the promises we find in His Word are reliable and trustworthy. To be sure, God is the Rock of our salvation.

Earlier in Psalm 51, we saw that David confessed his sin, and we pointed out that this is a good Psalm to follow for doing that. Today, in Psalm 51:10-19, following his confession, David asks God to “create in him a pure heart and to renew a steadfast spirit within him” (verse 10). I am convinced that God wants to do that in us and to “restore to us the joy of our salvation” (verse 11). Personally, I am thankful that we serve a God Who allows and encourages us to get back up again when we fail, invites us to return to Him, and receives us with His open arms of restored fellowship with Him. What a blessing that He should create a pure heart in us and not cast us away from His presence … nor does He take His Holy Spirit from us (verse 11). I cannot imagine anything more fearful or frightening! Moreover, to me, God’s promises like these in His Word have been a great source of recent encouragement and comfort to my heart and soul. I’m so thankful that He receives a broken spirit and a contrite heart (verse 17) - sometimes, that’s all I have to offer.

Luke 24:1-35 teaches us the historical reality of the resurrection - that from before the foundation of the world - God’s plan and purposes included endowing His creatures with everlasting life – especially those creatures made in Him image. Initially, in creating living beings, God intended life to continue on without interruption, but death came by sin (cf., Romans 5:12). It was not His purpose that death should have dominion over us (cf., Romans 6:9-14), and the resurrection of God’s Son is God’s guarantee of this for those who believe. On the road to Emmaus, the extreme sadness of the two disciples turned to joy upon experiencing the resurrected Christ, and one day, we can look forward to the same joyous transformation because God keeps His promises.

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