Joshua 16-20 might possibly be some of the most boring chapters of the Bible to read. While these chapters are super boring to read and study, the events they cover were probably one of the most exciting times in the history of Israel.
We should never discount any passage of the Bible as being useless and we can still learn something from these chapters.
This week we’re going to learn how God kept His promises to Israel and specifically to Abraham. Let’s start by jumping back a few books to Genesis 12, where we come across Abraham’s first encounter with God.
In Genesis 12, God approaches Abraham, who is called Abram at the time, and tells him to leave his country. He promises to make his descendants into a great nation and in Verse 7, God promises the land of the Canaanites to Abraham’s descendants.
Moving forward a few chapters to Genesis 15, we see God making a covenant with Abraham, promising in Verse 18 to give all the land of the Canaanites to Abraham’s descendants once again. One more chapter ahead in Genesis 17:8, God tells Abraham, “And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
Obviously God is serious about this promise of giving the Israelites the land of Canaan. He promised it to Abraham 3 times!
You might be wondering how in the world this has anything to do with this week’s reading. The answer is that these 5 chapters we read this week show the final fulfillment of God’s promises about the land of Canaan to Abraham.
God just completed what He had promised to Abraham almost 500 years earlier!
500 years seems like a long time to wait, but ultimately God remained faithful to His promise to Abraham so many years before.
Have you ever waited for what seems like an eternity for an answer to prayer?
Have you ever felt like we’ve been waiting for way too long for the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus will return again someday?
When it seems like you’ve been waiting for way too long for an answer from God, or that He needs to come back sooner, you have to remember that God’s timing is best. It’s always better to wait on God and His timing then to try and rush things in your own timing.
When we get anxious and impatient with God, we are telling God that we know better than Him! That’s a pretty bold thing to say to the face of an all-powerful, all-knowing God who has laid everything out in your life from beginning to end before you even were born!
Charles Swindoll reminds us in his book titled Abraham: One Nomad’s Amazing Journey of Faith,
“We don’t like waiting, but that’s when God does some of the best work on our souls. When I’m forced to wait on God’s timing, I change. Sometimes I discover that my request was selfish-not part of God’s agenda at all. Other times I find that my level of maturity could not yet bear the blessings God wanted me to enjoy; I had to grow up so I could handle it well. Very often, my circumstances needed to change, or the blessings would have become a burden.”
As believers, when it seems like we’ve been waiting way too long and we start to get a little antsy, we need to trust God and lean on Him.
Trust that God always answers prayers, even if His answer isn’t always what you want it to be.
Trust that He always fulfills His promises and that He knows what is best for your life.
Take comfort that all the waiting you’re doing is for your benefit and in the end it will turn out better than you ever imagined, and know that in your waiting, God is growing you spiritually in a very deep way.
Let’s talk in the comments below:
What are you waiting on God for in your own life today?
How has God changed you by making you wait for something?