the following was first published on our church website
“Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled” (Joshua 21:45)
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
The story is Joshua is really the story of God fulfilling his “good promises” to his people, often despite themselves! Here in 21:45 we read “not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed”. Yep, not one! Just think about that for a moment. How many promises have you or I broken over the course of a lifetime? Whatever number you come up with, it’s going to be more than none! However, this story reveals to us the faithful nature of the God of the Bible. Isn’t that something worth reminding ourselves of in this turbulent time?
However, there is an even more profound reason to recognise and then rejoice in the faithfulness of God to keep his promises. You see, in the New Testament, there are a whole multitude of even more wonderful (gospel) promises that God makes toward those of us who are his. Take John 10 for instance (see above). Here we read:
My sheep listen to My voice: Never again can a Christian say they’ve not heard the voice of God. Why? Because to become a Christian we must have heard God calling into our lostness as the great shepherd of our soul!
I know them – To be known, as the saying goes, is to be loved. To be known means to be seen and valued among the millions and trillions of moving parts in this universe and not to be discarded or overlooked or forgotten about but to be within the orbit of God’s good care!
I give them eternal life – Yes, that’s right, eternal life. Do you feel the weight of this phrase? Jesus is not offering some limp ‘pull yourselves up by your religious boot-straps’ type of life. No, it’s never-ending, everlasting life. Life with him!
They will never perish – Judgement and perishing were once our certain doom. But now, in Christ, we will never have to experience the perishing pull of hell.
No one can snatch them out of My hand – This phrase is one of the most beautiful phrases in the whole of the New Testament. It speaks of God’s sovereign choice to save and redeem those he will redeem! It wraps our salvation in God’s protective care!
And this is just one of the many promises that Christ has made!
Father God, thank you that you are promise-keeping God! Thank you that my salvation is wrapped up in your active and protective care! Amen