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Thursday, November 1, 2012

All the Good Things

I found one of those little Bible verse card holders in the mailroom the other day and brought it home because it matched my room decor and had pretty scenery verse cards inside it. I put the holder on a dresser, but didn't bother to do much with it except to switch out a new card at random times when I walked past that particular dresser. Yesterday I idly changed cards and read the verse. This time as I read it, I realized that what I was reading made me smile because I believed it. I'm not sure if you're like me, but there are times when I read promises in my Bible or hear them at church or someone shares an encouraging verse with me and I think, "yeah, that's nice, but it's not true." Somehow I seem to think that while God will visit His vengeance upon me, even while I see His miracles happening in my life, I don't trust that His intent towards me is of good. So I was surprised to catch myself thinking, Yes, this is true and I can see it and I can trust that He will continue to fulfill this promise.

The verse comes from Psalm 103:5, and in the New Living Translation it says, "He fills my life with good things."

Today I'm looking at Joshua 23:14. A while back I was looking at Moses' farewell to the Israelites and now we have Joshua's final words before he "goes the way of all the earth" which I think is so poetic. Joshua is around 110, because that is how old he is when he dies, and the Israelites are now in the Promised land and God has given them peace from their enemies. The whole land has not been conquered yet, you can read more in Judges about how they failed to do so following God's guidance after Joshua had died, but for now they were content. In Joshua 13, God tells Joshua, "You are getting old and there is still a lot of land that needs to be possessed," and He lists all the regions remaining. Here is the neatest part: "I will myself drive them out from before the Israelites". God is saying, you're getting old, you're tired, it's time for you to have your final rest, but don't worry about the people you have been leading because I will take care of them. All you have to do is assign and divide the land among the tribes.

Returning to the chapter we're looking at, though, Joshua is now encouraging and exhorting the people in his farewell speech. He reminds them of how God has fought for them in driving out their enemies, and that God will continue to do so. He encourages them to keep the law and not to worship other gods, but to "hold fast to the LORD your God." He warns them that if they intermarry among  the ungodly nations that God will no longer protect them and that their enemies will be able to conquer them instead of the other way around. He speaks about God's justice, that if they disobey God's covenant and worship other gods, then He will destroy them. And he reminds them that God has kept all His good promises.

"you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed." Joshua 23:14

Knowing God~He keeps His promises of good things

How can I recognize God in my life and what does this verse tell me about God? He is faithful and trustworthy, when He makes a promise to do something good, He will keep that promise. It is true that He also keeps His promise to give us what we deserve if we choose to disobey Him, but that isn't the focus of this verse. Joshua is telling the people, "you know, you know not only in your heart but also in your soul, that every single promise God made has come true, every promise of good things happening to you and for you, and there is not one person here who can contest that." So when I see good things happening in my life, I can see that God is very present and active and is a part of my life even though I can't see Him in a physical form. And when I read a promise, that He will be with me and bless me and protect me, I can believe that promise because He keeps His promises.

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