"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
My son and I are reading through the book of Joshua. We just finished the run down of the land distribution to the twelve tribes of Israel. It read a lot like a genealogy, a list that goes on and on with lots of names my East Texas twang has a hard time pronouncing. We had a lot of fun trying to decipher the different names of cities and villages. I often reminded my son, and myself, as we read those chapters that this list, though tiresome at times, is actually very important for many different reasons; one of which is that it displays the faithfulness of God. The Lord promised the Israelites this land, and this list is evidence of His fulfilled promise.
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" Isaiah 55:11
But, after wandering around in the desert for 40 years, I wonder if maybe the Israelites grappled with letting go.
Letting go? Of what?
Well, of the wilderness. Of the identity that went with it. Of the miraculous provision of the Lord. Of the anticipation of the promised land.
The Lord promised them the land, and He is faithful. Forever faithful. But forty years is a long time. A long time.
I have found myself entering a new land recently. Land promised over ten years ago. Ten years of praying and waiting, and faithful provision from the Lord. Ten years of adjusting to the wilderness. Of learning to live and breathe and be in the wilderness. Of becoming one 'who waits on the Lord for the land of promise.' Ten years of creating an identity.
First, please hear me. I am in no way desiring the wilderness again. I pray every day that this promised land stays, and I never go back to that wilderness. I take delight in the Word of the Lord, and His promises. He is faithful, beyond compare and comprehension.
It is just a lot different than the wilderness, and very surreal. When you pray for something and pray for something and wait for it, it is almost unfathomable when it finally arrives. There is a way of life in that wilderness which will not suffice in the promised land. You can not be a 'wilderness man' and dwell in the land of promise.
But, hallelujah, the Lord changes us in the wilderness. The majority of the children of Israel were not ready for the promised land initially; they were down right scared. The Lord 'changed' them, literally to a great degree, until they were ready.
And He has changed me. I am not the same person who entered that wilderness ten years ago. He has prepared me for this land. It has been long and it has been hard, but He is long suffering and His love endures.
So, though I enter with slight trepidation, I also enter with trumpets of praise and shouts of joy!
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Ps. 100:4-5