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No Failure of God's Promise.

No Failure of God's Promise.

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Joshua xxi. 43 — 45.

Joshua xxi. 43 — 45.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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O FAILURE OF GOD'S PROMISE.BY WILLIAM GARDE BLAIKIE, D.D, LL.D.Joshua xxi. 43 — 45.THE historian has reached a point where he maystand still and look back. One look is com-paratively limited; another reaches very far. Theimmediate survey extends only over the last few years ;the remote embraces centuries, and goes back to thetime of Abraham.The historian sees the venerable patriarch of thenation among his flocks and herds in Ur of theChaldees ; receiving there a Divine summons to removeto an unknown land ; obeying the call, tarrying atHaran, then traversing the desert, and crossing theJordan. At Shechem, at Bethel, at Mamre, and atBeersheba, he perceives him listening to the Divinevoice that promises that, stranger and pilgrim thoughhe was, the Lord would give his posterity all that land;that he would bless those that blessed him, and cursethose that cursed him ; and that in him and in hisseed all the nations of the earth should be blessed.For one hundred long years Abraham had wanderedover the country without so much as a house orhomestead in it. Isaac had come after him, living thesame pilgrim life. Jacob, with a much more stirringand troubled life, had in his old age gone down to353 23354 THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.Joseph in Egypt, leaving but one field in the country
which he could call his own.Then came the long centuries of Egyptian bondage.At last the Divine call is heard to leave Egypt, butafter this, forty long years have still to be spent inthe wilderness. Then Moses, the great leader of thepeople, dies — dies at the very time when he is apparentlymost needed, just at the very crisis of Israel's history.But Joshua comes in Moses' room, and the Lord iswith Joshua ; He rewards his faith and gives himvictory over all his enemies. And now at last comesthe fulfilment of the promises to the fathers, hoarywith age, and seemingly long forgotten. The bill hasat last matured and fallen due. After so many genera-tions, it might be thought that it would have beenenough to discharge the main substance of the obligationor that some compromise might have been proposedreducing the claim. After having lain long out of their money, creditors are usually ready to accept acomposition. But this was not God's method of settle-ment. During the whole period of Joshua's leadership,God had been doing nothing but discharging oldobligations. ot one word of the original bill hadbeen obliterated ; not one item had been allowed tolapse through time. East and west and north andsouth He had been giving what He had promised togive. And now, as the transaction comes to an end,it is seen that nothing has been omitted or forgotten." There failed not ought of any good thing which theLord had spoken concerning Israel ; all came to pass."He proved Himself, as Moses had said, "the faithfulGod, which keepeth covenant and mercy with themthat love Him, and keep His commandments to athousand generations."JKM3-45-J WO FAILURE OF GOD'S PROMISE. 355
Three gifts are specified which God bestowed onIsrael : possessions, rest, and victory. First, He gavethem the land which He had sworn to give unto theirfathers, and they possessed it ; next, He gave themrest round about, according to all that He had swornto their fathers ; and, lastly, He gave them victory overall their enemies. " He satisfied the longing soul, andfilled the hungry soul with goodness." He broughtHis bride to her home, and surrounded her withcomforts. And had the bride only been as faithful toher obligations as the Divine bridegroom, it might havebeen said that" Time had run back, and fetched the age of gold."But, it may perhaps be said, — this is only thehistorian's view of the matter, and it is hardly inaccordance with facts. Are we not told that, at anearly period, a colony of the tribe of Dan had to goelsewhere in search of land, because they were toohampered in the allotment they had received ? And,in the beginning of Judges, are we not told that afterthe death of Joshua, Judah and Simeon had a desperatetussle with Canaanites and Perizzites who were stillin their territories, and that in Bezek alone there wereslain of them ten thousand men ? And is not thewhole of the first chapter of Judges a record of therelations of Israel in various places to the originalinhabitants, from which it appears that very many of the Canaanites continued to dwell in the land ? Surelythis was not what God's promise to the fathers wasfitted to convey. Had not God promised that Hewould "drive out" the seven nations, and give theseed of Abraham possession of the whole ? How thencould His word be said to be implemented when so35« THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.

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