Today’s New Testament Reading

The God Who Began a Great Work

Joshua 20–24

God’s Story

Though God’s people aren’t yet completely occupying the promised land, they are finally established there. God gives them rest. When the nine-and-a-half tribes are safely settled west of the Jordan, Joshua blesses the tribes who chose to live east of the Jordan. They’ve faithfully fulfilled their obligation to their brothers; it’s time for them to go home.

Once settled, the eastern tribes build a large altar as a testimony to their dedication to the Lord. But the western tribes think that it’s intended to replace the altar at God’s tabernacle. Ready to rid the land of sacrilege, the western tribes prepare for war. But the misunderstanding is quickly resolved.

Joshua, now an old man, gathers the nation and charges them to walk with God. Reminding the people of their great history, he leads them in renewing their covenant with the Lord. After his long and loyal life, Joshua, God’s warrior-servant, dies.

The King’s Heart

“I took your father Abraham . . . and gave him many descendants . . . I sent Moses and Aaron . . . I afflicted the Egyptians . . . and I brought you out . . . I brought you to the land . . . I destroyed them . . . I delivered you” (Joshua 24:35810).

“I took . . . I gave . . . I sent . . . I . . . I . . . I . . . ” It had been God—it had always been God.

God is the Great Initiator and the Great Fulfiller. He initiated the promise, and he followed through with its fulfillment. He started his people on the journey to freedom, and he carried them all the way home.

We, like the wandering Israelites, live in the middle of a certain promise too. We are the holy-but-not-yet ones.

Hear the promise of God the Initiator and Fulfiller: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). God began a great work in us—and he will carry it out until we see Jesus himself. We don’t have to stress, strain or struggle. God is working out the kinks in our souls. Like the Israelites, our only job is to obey because the Great Fulfiller will see us through.

Insight

Part of a Levite’s role was to teach the words of God. The cities of the Levites, listed in Joshua 21, were scattered throughout Israel so they could live among the people and better teach God’s truth.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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