Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. Joshua 21:45
This is such a simple sentence, yet, what a wonderful truth for the people of Israel! How marvelous it must have been for the Israelites to look back at the toil they had been through, yet without fail, God upheld every word of promise. This, then, begs the question – what did He promise? God had promised to give them the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:18-21), He had promised Israel rest (Exodus 33:14, Deuteronomy 12:10), and God promised them victory in battle (Joshua 1:1-9). These are just a few of the promises of the Lord made to Israel, and God, being faithful beyond measure, filled every promise. In his book The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer wrote “God being who He is, cannot cease to be what He is, and being what He is, He cannot act out of character with Himself. He is at once faithful and immutable, so all His words and acts must be and remain faithful. Men become unfaithful out of desire, fear, weakness, loss of interest, or because of some strong influence from without. Obviously none of these forces can affect God in any way. He is His own reason for all He is and does.” In other words, because God is faithful, and unchanging, He will remain faithful to us in all His promises just as He was faithful to Israel! Scripture, also, is beset with examples of God’s faithfulness – Psalms, being just one example, is an entire book chronicled with the faithfulness of God!
For a number of years, I have attested that the two greatest words in all of scripture come from Ephesians 2:4 – But God. In two little words rests so much hope, and not just hope, but the hope of mankind! The word but indicates a change, and alteration of direction, something contrasting with a statement already made. Preceding this ‘but’ in Ephesians Paul describes the condition of Man, our condition, when we were slaves to sin – And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
We, each and every one of us, were at one time set against God! Our lives were not just a condition of complacency in not “joining God’s camp”, so to speak, but we were literally opposing God in our sin! Who can win that struggle? Who can oppose almighty God and claim victory? Not one! We were children of wrath of the Creator of heaven and earth! We were destitute, despised, and forsaken, void of hope and life! But God! Thanks be to God that this was not the end of the story! He didn’t see fit to leave us in such a bleak condition! Following these two simple, yet remarkable words is the sweetest truth ever told!
Eph 2:4-9 – But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Oh what a glorious, praiseworthy truth! This truth, also, has been sealed with a promise from scripture, for we read in Romans – because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Rom. 10:9).
Take heart today, dear brother and sister, for we have an unfailing God, who is constant in faithfulness, and surely, strong enough to save. Believe, too, that if God is strong enough to save your soul from the pit of hell, he can surely uphold you in any trial you might meet today.
Jesus, I my cross have taken
All to leave and follow Thee
Destitute, despised, forsaken
Thou from hence my all shall be
Perish every fond ambition
All I’ve sought or hoped or known
Yet how rich is my condition
God and heaven are still my own
(Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
by Henry Francis Lyte.)