【Bible Study】Joshua 21: Not One of All God's Good Promises Will Fail
Bible Study: Joshua
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 00: Introduction
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 01: You Will Lead The People To Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 02: Anyone Who Seek God Will Also Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 03: God Will Honour His Established Leaders On The Way of Possessing the Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 04: Commemorating the Works of Our God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 05: God is Our Victorious Marshal
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 06: God Has Already Put the Enemy in Our Hands
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 07: The Devoted Things are the Cause of Failure in Spiritual Warfare
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 08: Blessings and Curses Determine Victory and Defeat
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 09: All Who Do Not Resist God Will Survive
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 10: All Those Who Are Enemies of God Will Perish
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 11: Left Nothing Undone
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 12: Live Victoriously on Earth
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 13: There Are Still Very Large Areas of Land to be Taken Over
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 14: Follow God Wholeheartedly, and You Will Acquire the Promises
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 15: Be Bold Enough to Ask God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 16: Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 17: Properties are Obtained Through Striving and Seizing it
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 18-19: Inheriting the Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 20: Designate the Cities of Refuge
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 21: Not One of All God's Good Promises Will Fail
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 22: Do you truly trust in God?
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 23: Warning the Israelites the Consequences of Turning Away from God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 24: You Shall Serve God Wholeheartedly
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 25 Conclusion: Serve God Wholeheartedly
Let's look at Joshua Chapter 21, specifically the last sentence of Chapter 21. It says, " Not one of all the LORD ’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled." This sentence is incredibly beautiful and can become the most precious thing in our lives.
Why do I say this? If the Bible said that only 80% of the promises that God made to the house of Israel were fulfilled, then it would be troublesome. Why would it be troublesome? Because we might start to think that we are part of that 20%.
The words written in the Bible are fascinating. Anyone who went to Jesus received healing, and even later, when the apostle Peter established the Church, those who sought healing in the Church also received it.
After hearing this sentence, we can consider it as something absolute. Absolute things possess the characteristics of truth. For example, if we manufacture a car, and the car is good, the engine will definitely start.
If a car sometimes starts and sometimes doesn't when you step on the gas pedal, it is a faulty car. Therefore, we must firmly establish the belief that not a single one of the LORD's promises of blessings to us will fail.
Let's look at Joshua Chapter 21. What does it tell us? It reveals an interesting point, which is that none of the promises God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob went unfulfilled; they were all realized.
What happened before Chapter 21? The people received their allotted lands. When we reach Chapter 21, whose lands are being distributed? It is the land given to the Levites. The distribution to the Levites occurs at the end, and how does it begin? The chiefs of the Levites came to the priest Eleazar, Joshua's son Nun, and said to them in Shiloh in the land of Canaan, "The LORD commanded through Moses that cities be given to us to dwell in, along with their pasturelands for our livestock." So, the Israelites, according to the command of the LORD, gave the Levites the following cities and their pasturelands from their own inheritance.
This story is intriguing. Actually, the Levites were never in a hurry. What does the Bible say? When the other tribes were receiving their allotted cities, the LORD was the inheritance of the Levites. Isn't that an interesting statement? Oh, God is our inheritance, so are we left with nothing? No, the LORD is our inheritance. It makes you think, what does this statement really mean?
Among those who serve God among us, we know that God is our inheritance. But does that mean we have nothing else? No, the LORD is our inheritance. Everyone should ponder this idea and question further. Once the Levites received their portion, not a single word of the promises that God had made to bless the Israelites went unfulfilled; all of them were realized. This is an interesting matter. The Levites' inheritance is God, but at this point, the other tribes were asked to give some of their possessions to the Levites. Didn't all the tribes already receive their allotments?
All the tribes had received their allotments, and then the Levites remained without their portion. Consequently, each tribe had to give one-tenth to the Levites. Let me ask you, how much did the Levites receive? If you do the math with me, you should be able to figure it out. Why is that? It goes like this: there were a total of twelve tribes. If we exclude the Levites, we have eleven tribes left. Once these eleven tribes distributed their portions, each tribe contributed one-tenth to whom? To the Levites.
If each person gives one-tenth to the Levites, how much does each Levite receive? The Levites would have eleven portions, and if you calculate it within each tribe, there would be nine portions. When divided into ten portions, each tribe gives one portion to the Levites. So, did the Levites receive more or less? They definitely received more.
We need to understand that not a single word of the promises that God made to bless the house of Israel went unfulfilled; they were all realized. Those who serve God receive even more. Those who serve God are not impoverished but receive abundantly. All the tribes of Israel received their portions, but did they build those cities? No. Did they cultivate the land? No. Did they grow the crops? No. All those things were already done by the local inhabitants, whom they later drove out and claimed the land as their own.
Claiming the land as their own might seem harsh, but it was a promise from God. This world will always be like this—when one gains, another loses. When the Israelites gained, the Canaanites lost. Everything in this world is under God's control, isn't it?
If we establish the understanding that everything in the world is under God's control, then we will consider serving God to be extremely wonderful. However, among us, there are often brothers and sisters who only serve God when everything is going well, but as soon as they get busy with work, they set aside serving God. Whenever they get busy with anything, serving God is the first thing they let go of.
I have a characteristic that is I don't stop serving just because I'm busy, nor do I serve only when I'm not busy. Regardless of whether I'm busy or not, I continue to serve. Moreover, I often put aside my work to serve.
When I used to work, it wasn't easy. Sometimes the workload was simply overwhelming. That's why I developed a habit of staying up late because the work was never-ending. Why couldn't I finish it? Because there were frequent instances where I had to serve.
Once, I ministered a pastor. During the day, I had to accompany this pastor. In the evening, the pastor asked me, "Can you pray for my wife's ear?" I said, "Sure! Dial the number, and I'll pray for her." His wife had been experiencing ear pain for quite some time, but after the prayer, she was healed.
However, my work was still unfinished. You can imagine, with writing so many books and dealing with so many things, my output was high. So, after the pastor left and went to sleep, I started working again. I worked until 4 in the morning, and then I thought, "Let me sleep quickly, I'm tired. I have to send him to the airport tomorrow." So, I went to sleep. But at 6 o'clock, my phone rang. Just two hours of sleep, it was quite difficult, but I answered the phone. It was his wife calling.
What happened? She got angry and threw the phone, hitting her child in the eye. The child's eye immediately turned blue and swelled up. She was scared, and the child was crying. I took the phone and said, "Give the phone to the child." I said to the child, "Child, let me pray for you, and your pain will disappear." After praying, the child stopped crying, and the eye indeed got better. By then, it was already 7:30 in the morning. I quickly tidied up, and there was no more sleep for me. Was I tired? Yes, I was really tired. Sometimes, my eyes wanted to close due to exhaustion.
But thank God, it's still manageable. It's not like this every day. Even if it were, it wouldn't matter. The more we live, the more we flourish. So, what am I trying to say? Do you want to set aside your work? If it were me, I would definitely set aside my work. But are there times when I don't set it aside? Sometimes, I would arrange for a co-worker to handle it. What am I trying to say with all this? The Lord God is our inheritance, and I highly value my God.
Now, you may ask, do I receive many blessings by serving? Every time I serve, I witness the fulfillment of God's promises! The Lord has fulfilled all the promises given to the house of Israel, and I firmly believe this.
Some people set aside serving when they get busy with work. But I also understand them. They feel that way, so we just go with the flow and say, "It's okay, don't serve anymore, focus on your work and do it well." But what exactly are we filled with? Are God's promises completely trustworthy? Will His promises be fulfilled 100%?
If God's promises are the foundation of our existence, if we live by relying on God's promises and not on the environment, bosses, money, or our business, can't everything be resolved?
There's a lot stuff inside us that needs to be cleared out. To put it bluntly, there's too much garbage. When it comes to crucial moments, we stop believing that God's promises will bless us. Instead, we start to believe in ourselves, in the environment, but we don't believe in God's promises.
So, what makes me different from others? Why are spirits so afraid of me? Spirits are afraid of me because of one simple thing: I don't consider the environment, and I don't look at myself. I always believe that God's promises will never fail.
In Joshua Chapter 21, it is written that not a single word of God's promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had failed; everything had been fulfilled. It is truly a matter of great awe and inspiration when we consider that several hundred years ago, God told Abraham that He would give him and his descendants a certain land. Did Abraham receive it? No, he did not, but he believed that he would.
He passed this covenant on to Isaac, who also sojourned in that land. Did Isaac obtain the land? No, he did not. He dug a well, and it was taken from him. He dug another well, and it was also taken from him. He kept moving and hiding until he finally reached a place where no one fought him over the wells. But Isaac still believed. The same goes for Jacob. He believed too, but did they receive it? No, they didn't. They received it in their faith. So when did they truly receive it? It was in Joshua Chapter 21.
God's promises to the house of Israel had been fulfilled, and not one of them had failed. Sometimes I tell people that whatever I pray for, God will fulfill it. Even if it doesn't happen while I'm alive, it will happen after I die! God's promise to Abraham took nearly five hundred years to be fulfilled. People like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had strong faith in their hearts. They still saw God's promises being fulfilled in Joshua Chapter 21.
Because what keeps us alive is the spirit, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob's spirits were still able to see the fulfillment of God's promises. They didn't care about this earthly life; they cared about eternal life. What makes them different from people like us? They are people who live in eternity.
Even in Abraham's time, he could see thousands and thousands of years through spiritual eyes, and he believed that these things would be fulfilled no matter how many years later, and they would witness it with their own eyes. You might ask, "Did they really see it?" I believe they truly did. They were still alive in their faith. Now it's our turn. It is interesting to see whether we believe in this statement or not. I hope this statement deeply imprints in your mind.
I often repeat such words. Think about it. Let's have a new logic. God created the universe and everything in it. Until today, God holds the universe with His mighty hand. So, will our petty matters, jobs, and money have any problems? No, they won't. We don't need to worry or be afraid.
Even if we encounter any problems, God's promises will surely stand. It’s easy just to listen, but it's not easy to believe. We often like to look at our environment. But at this moment, when the Israelites received the promised land, whether people believe it or not, it's all in this statement. So, what if we experience unfulfilled promises from God today? How would we interpret it? Let me tell you how I would interpret it. God's word will always stand in heaven. His promises will never fail; they will surely be fulfilled. But some people don't believe this, so they often see God's promises not being fulfilled because the difference between faith and unbelief is significant.
When I pray for someone, I first believe that God will heal them. Before praying, I choose to believe that not a single word of God will fail and that it will surely be fulfilled. The level of faith in a person will determine whether the praying works or not. Those who believe will experience miracles and wonders following them. This faith means that not a single word of God will fail.
I often see some people with interesting levels of belief. Some believe 50%, some believe 80%, some believe 20%, but in me, I have 100% faith that God's word will be fulfilled. Why do my prayers work? It's because of this reason. Why is my service effective? It's because of this reason. Why do I enjoy what I do? It's because of faith. As for this group of Israelites, did they think they were doing well, and that's why they received the promises? Or is it because it is God's nature that His word never fails?
Because the promises God made to the Israelites, the promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The first generation of people all died in the wilderness, and the next generation, born and raised in the wilderness, was not deserving either. It's not about whether we deserve it or not. It's about God's nature, that His promises will never fail. So, I encourage everyone to have faith in this statement, to believe that whoever comes before God will receive healing, and that not a single word of God will fail.
There was a time when I read 1 Samuel, and there was a particular statement that stood out. The words spoken by Samuel were not allowed by God to fail. This is fascinating! God's promises to the house of Israel not failing, we can understand that. But to say that not a single word spoken by Samuel failed, that is even better than the present statement, isn't it? How good it would be if I could say that not a single word I speak falls to the ground!
The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. (1 Samuel3:19 NIV)
Once, a businessman came to me. He should have been busy with his project, but it was a complete mess. He came to see me. I told him, "God will surely bless you, and everything you do will prosper. Your performance will improve!" But after he went back, he failed in his bid and didn't get the project. His confidence completely collapsed in those two days. Did my words fail or not? Actually, my words did not fail.
If we live long enough, if we live for a sufficient duration, then we will see that not a single word of God falls to the ground. The problem lies in the timeframe we use to view things. If we look at it from a timeframe of ten or twenty years, then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not receive the promises. But if we look hundreds of years later, they truly received those promises!
But for ordinary people like us, our perspective is usually limited to seventy or eighty years. If you don't have a broad enough view, you won't even live these seventy or eighty years well. Do you believe my words? If you only remain within the perspective of seventy or eighty years, you won't be able to live well even in those seventy or eighty years.
Our goal as Christians today is to return to God and receive the crown of glory. If we believe that we will receive the crown of glory from God, then we will strive to walk the heavenly path on earth. The things that are not accomplished in our lifetime don't matter much because in eternity, God will fulfill them.
Now, what will happen to that businessman in the future? It depends on his fate, whether he believes or not. The difference is significant. If he believes in God's promises, not a single promise of God will fail. But if he doesn't believe in God's promises, then it becomes troublesome. However, God's promises will not fail, they just might not manifest in his life. He won't receive them. But if you are a believer, God's promises will not fail.
So, let's carefully consider what kind of person we want to be. Do we want to be like the Israelites who received the promised land? Or do we want to be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who enabled the Israelites to receive the promised land? If you were to ask me, I would rather be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because God remembered the covenant He made with them and blessed their descendants.
Although Abraham and Jacob didn't receive the promises in their lifetime, they had already received them in their faith. We should strive to be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, becoming a blessing to many people and a blessing to our descendants. The words spoken by the Lord to the house of Israel did not fail. If we obtain cities and their surrounding fields but abandon God, what benefit is there?
I always encourage everyone to be a person with a destiny. What does that mean? It means that God will remember the covenant He made with us, and His promises will be fulfilled in our descendants. What does this imply? God wants this generation of Israelites to witness the fulfillment of His promises, to remember the covenant established with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to aspire to become like them.
When you received healing among us today, it's because there was a group of people who established a church for the glory of God. When you see such accomplishments, how should you respond? Will you choose to join them in establishing a church for the glory of God? Will you become a person like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
Only by becoming people like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob can God's promises be fulfilled because God remembers His covenant with them. If you only see the benefits, it becomes troublesome. But if you see God behind the benefits and become a person in a covenant relationship with Him, then God will bless many people through you.
I am deeply moved by the fact that many people in their lifetime prefer to be the ones who receive the promised land rather than those who carry on the covenant established by God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We need to understand that the Israelites obtained this land because of the covenant established by God with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is God's promise.
It is not easy for God's promises to be fulfilled. On the way to entering the promised land, there were countless obstacles. Only Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land among the previous generation of Israelites; the rest all perished.
So today, we need to know one thing: to obtain God's promises, we need to fight and be victorious. Why don't we become people in a covenant relationship with God? Wouldn't it be better to be people like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Although Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob didn't receive the land in their lifetime, they obtained it 500 years later.
Today, we should determine to become a blessing to our family, not because we seek to gain something, but because we give ourselves completely. When we are willing to give ourselves completely and become a blessing to our family, we will speak with wisdom because we don't seek personal gain but the benefit of others. This is the image of God's glory.
In the past, during leadership training, I asked them, "What does it mean to walk with God? What is God's most important attribute?" **God's most important attribute is to give Himself completely without expecting any return. God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Today, Jesus Christ has borne our sins and carried our burdens. What we receive is the promise fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and that is wonderful!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
So, what kind of person should we be? The Levites received the most because they served God. Should we focus on what they received and serve God, or should we serve God and receive the most? Of course, we receive the most by serving God. If we serve God only to gain, then we cannot truly serve Him.
The covenant that God made with Abraham was a covenant of becoming eternal priests of the living God. We are destined to be honored priests of God! We are destined to become a blessing to many people! If that's the case, not a single word of God will fail in our lives.
May God bless you all!