Joshua 21

Joshua 21 has Joshua finalizing the last details of the handing out of the Promised Land.  All that remained was to deal with the Levites.  They were not to be given any land but rather to be given some cities for their place to live.  “The Lord commanded through Moses that we be given cities to dwell in, along with their pasturelands for our livestock”.  God had set that up long before and the plan was for these priests to be provided a place to live among the tribes in cities that they would be provided.

So Joshua systematically works through the tribes and assigns cities that are to be provided to the Levites.  “The cities of the Levites in the midst of the possession of the people of Israel were in all forty-eight cities with their pasturelands”.  The priests weren’t isolated and pushed to the sides or marginalized in where they were to live.  They were provided these 48 cities as their homes, and “these cities each had its pasturelands around it”.  The Levites had livestock they had to care for, so not only did they get an allotment of cities but also land to be able to care for their animals.

So God’s covenant with His people is fulfilled.  “Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers”.  The truth of the matter is that God always does what He says He will.  God made a covenant with His people centuries earlier, and it has completely come to be.  “And they took possession of it, and they settled there”.  He set them up in the Promised Land – each tribe with their own area and the priests with their own cities just as He had promised.  Joshua was the leader who executed the handing out of the land.

But God’s promise was more than just a new place to live.  “And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands”.  This covenant was about far more than a new place to lay their heads.  God had promised protection on their journey and as they took their new homeland.  He was faithful.  He had promised them rest – that they would not continually be attacked from all sides – and He has been faithful.  “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass”.  God is faithful, all the time!

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