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The Next Chapter:: 3


“I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you—from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Seaa in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them'” (Joshua 1:3-6, NLT).

We live in a day when promises are viewed with great suspicion. It seems that with each passing day our nation grows more skeptical and cynical. I especially see this in today’s youth and children. The aura of awe and wonder that should characterize bright eyed imagination seems to be all but gone by the time a child reaches Kindergarten.
Unfortunately, that can negatively impact our faith.

Our God is a God that is unafraid to make promises. The promises of God are not like the promises we make to one another. His promises are rooted in his unfailing character and He delivers on them 100% of the time. Joshua and the Israelites were recipients of some of the powerful promises of God, as outlined in the text above. God’s promises were more than simple spoken words. Literally in Hebrew the text reads, “I have already given you…” Hebrew grammar has a verb tense called the prophetic perfect. It is used when God speaks of the future as though it is history. We are unable to make those kinds of promises, but God can. He sees our yesterday, today, and tomorrow simultaneously. The calling He offered to possess the land was sure because He was already there.

The promises of God are not just vague spiritualities that we can paste to our bumpers or affix to our refrigerator doors. They are tangible! If you look carefully at verse four, for example, there is a geographical description of the land that sounds like a map. If you flip to the back of your Bible you’ll find all kinds of colored maps that detail national borders, cities, rivers and such. All of this should remind us that God works in time and space.

Tomorrow I’ll finish this week’s series from Joshua chapter 1. In the meantime, reflect on this question. Do you see the activity of God in tangible ways in your life and church? Don’t diminish the work of God to cliches. God is real and His work is expressed in tangible ways!

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