Category: Devotional

(Un)Fulfilled Promises?

Today’s reflection delves into a notable aspect of biblical interpretation: apparent contradictions. While some may relish pointing out such instances to discredit the Bible, it’s crucial to engage earnestly with these passages to grasp their deeper meaning.

Let’s examine Joshua 21:43-45, where it’s proclaimed that the Lord fulfilled His promises to Israel, giving them the land and defeating their enemies. However, earlier passages seem to present a different picture. For example, Joshua 13 outlines areas still unconquered, indicating an incomplete fulfillment of promises. Joshua 15:63, Joshua 16:10, and Joshua 17:12-13 further detail instances where enemies remained unconquered or subjugated.

How do we reconcile these apparent discrepancies? One key lies in understanding the Hebrew concept of completed (perfect) and ongoing (imperfect) actions. While the text presents events in past tense, indicating completion, it signifies ongoing fulfillment rather than a one-time occurrence.

Additionally, we must consider the conditional nature of Israel’s possession of the land. Their continued possession was contingent upon faithful obedience to God’s commands, as outlined in Deuteronomy 29-30. Thus, the presence of unconquered enemies reflects Israel’s failure to fully uphold their end of the covenant.

However, amidst Israel’s shortcomings, we find reassurance in the Abrahamic Covenant, an unconditional promise of land boundaries that will ultimately be fulfilled in the eschaton.

In essence, while the Bible may present apparent contradictions, a deeper examination reveals a consistent narrative of God’s faithfulness and humanity’s failure. Rather than dismissing these passages, we’re challenged to engage critically, recognizing the complexities of biblical interpretation.

As we reflect on this, let’s reaffirm our commitment to faithful obedience, understanding that God remains steadfast in His promises, despite our shortcomings.

Joshua 19:49-21:45; 1 Chronicles 6:54-81 | 088/365

Spiritual Leadership

Once Israel moved into the Promised Land and “the land had rest from war” (your translation may vary), the Israelites set up the Tabernacle at Shiloh and worshipped the Lord there. But Joshua challenged some of the tribe who were have a touch of the ol’ failure to launch and said — basically — ‘hey fellas, do you maybe want to go map out the rest of the land and divide it into 7 lots?”

This is genius on the part of Joshua, by the way. He sends them off to map out the land into 7 plots, but says that he (Joshua, with the help of the Lord) will then give those plots of land to the tribes. So there is no opportunity for squabbling over ‘yours is bigger’ and ‘mine is smaller’ or whatever other nonsense might have cropped up.

But then Joshua stays encamped by the Tabernacle. We’ll see tomorrow that Joshua takes a town for himself, but at this time, while the people of Israel are not yet fully settled, He chooses to stay with God, to be close to Him. To be guided and influenced primarily by God.

I guess the moral of our story today is that when big decisions have to be made, they should be made in close communion with God. Just because you CAN do it alone, doesn’t make it a good idea.

Joshua 18:1-19:48 | 087/365